Vera could still vividly recall the day she arrived at the Lombard state.
It was a beautiful property, with an impossibly long entry to the main house, surrounded by a whole variety of trees:
From the gloomy yet stylish weeping willow to the majestic cedar tree.
Pin cherries, paper birch, hickory trees, there were all properly lined up for the eye to enjoy.
She had been told her employers were wealthy socialites. At least the wife was.
Not because Mrs. Hemsworth had been born to money, it seemed to be it wasn't the case. No.
If rumors were true, Olivia Hemsworth was obsessed with parties, soirees and summer gatherings.
She would have a meeting each and every week and enjoyed having her guests
gasping and gossiping about her modern appliances, her impeccable sense of decoration and her magnificent feasts.
The epitome of a fine society host.
Her husband, on the contrary, was seldom seen in his wife's carefully planned affairs. Oh, people were assured he was far too busy, but those who knew Alexander Lombard well would beg to differ.
He may have been busy, of course, being a man of business. The truth was, however, he simply did not care for such events.
There were questions regarding the Lombard's position, certainly, but money spoke far louder than doubts.
After all, hadn't Mr.Lombard's parents been middle-class citizens at most? Hadn't Rose Lombard, nee Dean, been a simple governess?
Hadn't James Lombard been nothing more than a tailor? A good tailor. An honest tailor. A tailor who had certainly been able to provide properly for his wife, his daughter, and son, but not a man who could boast about his earnings.
And yet wasn't young Alexander amongst England's most prosperous residents?
Hadn't he donated a disproportionate amount of hush money to quiet down any possible discussion about his businesses ventures in the newly independent South African countries?
Or the still colonized Morroco and French Guinea? Wasn't it diamonds and cheap labor forces?
Didn't those informed and well connected in illegal trades knew how to reach him when needed?
It was quite clear affairs weren't pristine in the Lombard family, yet they had managed to keep any suspicion aside though different measures.
Mrs. Lombard was said to have asked her husband to procure her with the most exotic vegetation money could buy, and he had dutifully complied.
She had boasted she'd soon possess the brightest jewels any lady not related to the queen could wear without causing a scandal...
Lo and behold, the very next ball had greeted her wearing an impossibly ostentatious pearl and diamond necklace which seemed to be moments away from making her trip forwards from its sheer weight.
Beautiful yet distant, Mrs. Lombard held a striking similarity to the jewelry she owned