Ms. Madison looked at the gallant Lord in dumb amazement. It was all she could do to keep her jaw from dropping.
"How..." she breathed, "...how could you know?"
"You're not the only person with strange sources and contacts, Lynette," Lord Ambrose told her. "And I have very keen ears. Have you noticed, Lynette, that this is not an awards evening. You are the only employee of the organisation here - the only junior one, anyway."
"What's the plan, then?" Ms. Madison spoke softly.
"Act as if you suspect nothing." Lord Ambrose's voice was soft and reassuring. "You can do nothing alone, and if you let them know, then they will act. Perhaps before your friend the Green Man can intervene..."
Ms. Madison nodded in sober agreement, before she was called over by a man in a white dinner jacket.
"You are the girl from the Call Centre, aren't you?" He spoke with a smile, a hint of mockery in his voice.
"Maybe so," the blonde shook her head. "I was inited here as some sort of award. It's really nice, since I've been there for such a short time. Would you like to dance?"
And that was all she could say. The man agreed, and the two moved onto the floor, Ms. Madison's arms about him. She waited a while before speaking again.
"How many other girls like me are there?" she asked curiously. "Here, I mean, I've talked to a ouple of people, but they turned out to be really posh..."
"I saw," the man smiled, "Lord Ambrose and his sister, Lady Sylvia. The boss wants some class added to this little gathering. Lord Ambrose is fantastically rich. He's also unmarried - did you know that?"
Ms. Madison pretended she hadn't. She shook her head and tried to look impressed.
"I've got my own boyfriend," she laughed. "And I don't fancy being a gold-digger, even with a man like Lord Ambrose. When do I get to see the boss?"
"Not yet," he told her, leading her to a door. "Right now, you will go to bed. I'll let them know you had a headache."
The gun in his hand persuaded Ms. Madison not to argue. As she ascended the stairs, a liveried footman took over the duty.
The blonde retired to bed full of foreboding, and it was only with extreme difficulty that she was able to get to sleep.
It must have been long after midnight when she awoke again, and the cause of this was the sound of a key in the lock.