**So just saying, just because i don't update the fic regularly doesn't mean i gave up on it, if anyone cares. It just means i don't have time to update it. T_T**

She left Sue a note telling her she'd left for work and was returning real late. Then she dressed in a modest, old dress and headed for Maribel, this time denying herself the luxury of taking a cab. Cabs are expensive. At least it wasn't raining.

With sleepy eyes, she reached Maribel just in time, dressed in her work uniform, which she found quite uncomfortable. It was a long black dress made from a rough material, and Evelyn could barely move her legs. She remembered the other housekeepers and thought it in her best interest to meet them. They knew the hotel and its people better than she did.

She didn't have to search long. The hotel was rather empty in the early hours of the morning. She was in the Marigold room. She was young and cute, and her calico fur seemed so fluffy it made the uniform dress look even lamer., and she had a Faux Bob hairstyle, black hair shining. Evelyn liked her eyes. They were brown, but they were lively. Her right eye was covered by a patch of copper fur. She had a very wide smile, but it fitted her face. She was leaning on the bar, the barkeeper looking at the end of his patience.

"Excuse me?" Evelyn asked shyly.

They both turned round and saw her, and her eyes sparkled as she greeted Evelyn.

"Well, hello there! Who might you be? We're not used to customers this early."

"You tell yourself that next time." The barkeeper snapped.

"Not now, Walty, can't you see we have a guest?"

The woman diverted her attention towards Evelyn completely, now, turning her back to the fuming man. She extended her hand.

"My name's Cheryl."

New York accent.

Evelyn took it, unsure. Cheryl noticed.

"Don't worry, i don't bite... Too hard."

She laughed.

"My name is Evelyn. Evelyn Caverly. I'm the new housekeeper."

Cheryl's eyes widened in surprise.

"NEW housekeeper?"

Did she not understand the first time? Why did she feel the need to repeat.

"Yes. I have been offered the job yesterday."

Cheryl smiled.

"That's wonderful! I didn't dare hope for someone else to join, and ol' Sally's such a bore! Where you from? I'm from New York, came here for a job. I used to have money, but then father died, and he left all his money to my brother, so i had to come here. How'd YOU end up here?"

Rich brother, rejected by father.

"I was born and raised in Green Ridge. I have an uncle here, and I needed a job, so I thought opaying my uncle a visit. And now I have bought an apartment here and I'm considering making St. Louis my permanent home."

"And this is your first day on the job, huh? Would you like a tour? Ever been here before?"

"No, I'm afraid. And a tour would be much appreciated."

So Evelyn followed Cheryl through the whole hotel, while the woman showed her the rooms, carrying a trolley with sponges, brushes and other cleaning utensils.

As they entered a random room, Cheryl announced:

"THIS is how a room should look like."

A big double bed with pearl white sheets. A red carpet with golden flowers. Blood-red curtains. A blandished pine-wood wardrobe, and the small bedside tables. Evelyn liked the room. It was clean and a pungent smell of vanilla floated about.

Then Cheryl lead her to another room. Opening the door, she said solemnly:

"THIS is our job."

This room had the bed sheets sprawled on the floor, stained with what looked like wine, considering the bottle itself, with whatever liquid that remained, was on the floor, little red drops staining the carpet. Fortunately, they weren't that conspicuous, due to the carpet's similar colour. But it was still visible. Cigarette butts were all over the bedside table.

"Eugh, am I right?" Cheryl asked, crossing her arms."I got used to it."

She turned round swiftly and picked up a sponge and a water bucket from her trolley, handing it to Evelyn.

"We're to clean rooms separately, usually, to finish faster, but I'm going to help you now, because I was told you have no entry-level experience. Hey, cleaning's a demanding job, hun!"

So Evelyn was taught all about scrubbing wine from carpets, brushing dust off furniture, sweeping, folding sheets...

It was all a messy bunch of information, but Evelyn got it organised in the end.

And Cheryl talked, and talked, and talked... Mrs. Tallhart, or Ol' Sally, as she called her, was, in her opinion, a dull lady, always silent and grim. Walter was the barkeeper, and Tom the receptionist. The staff called him Fat Tom, because he was "as skinny as a chopstick". Ironic nicknames were Evelyn's personal favourites.

The hotel also had a repairman and two bellhops. The repairman, Handy Hank, they called him, was a 40 year old man, with a charming smile and a kind nature. The bellhop boys were named David and John. The first was a man a little older than Evelyn herself, and Cheryl said he was average-looking and boring. The latter was "a gorgeous little sweetheart, although, well, he's actually 32, which is rather hard to believe when you look at him!".

The front desk manager was a young woman. She was called Hannah. She was pretty and wearing glasses, due to astigmatism, Cheryl said. Evelyn listened, eager to learn more about the people she was working with.

Evelyn thought the Cheryl woman had something rather queer about her, but she thought she could somehow use her to learn more of the people going in and out of the hotel...

She mentally slapped herself. Just because she had to do what she had to do didn't mean she had the right to treat persons like they were objects. Nothing changed. They still have feelings and hobbies and weird quirks. She, of all people, should know so. She'd studied and observed them all her ife.

Unless they get in her way...

But they won't.

Will they?

All in good time, Evelyn. Just don't lose track of your objective.

When they were done, the room was pristine, and Cheryl departed.

"There are many rooms to clean, dear sweet Evelyn! Rooms are my stage, and I, the magician! We'll talk later!"

Evelyn knew she needed to talk, but talking was dangerous.

Her job bored Evelyn. She wasn't made for it. But she was doing it for mother and for Sue.

After she was done with the cleaning, she tried thinking of a way to reach Asa. Cheryl could help her...

Talk is also a good way to build your disguise and get information.


Talk is dangerous.