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Fanny held her dress up and Sarah stuck her hands through as the fabric fell around her covering the corset. It was another symbol. There was more beauty beneath. The shell was just that, the outward face she displayed for all to see. Beneath was her heart. She could be the refined Miss Mae or she could be the urchin Billy Jo, beneath she was always Sarah.
"Don't think you're going a mite overboard?" Fanny asked, lacing up the dress as tightly as the corset.
"Not a lick. This is my chance to meet Mister Brown and trip him into falling for me. I'm not about to skimp on detail." She perched on a stool to apply her cosmetics. Fanny began working her hair. "If I land this, Fanny, we'll be made."
The old hag smiled, softening her garish features as they were reflected in her looking glass. "You made yourself a long time ago, Miss Mae."
She smiled back. "I suppose, but this will make me for life." She touched her lips together, kissing her reflection. "There has to be an easier way," she thought, lining one eye. "Why couldn't I have been the son my father wanted." That thought had haunted her since his death. It was stupid. She couldn't change who she was anymore than she could make the sow's ear something it wasn't. She simply had to use what she had. And by God, she was going to use it all tonight.
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