“Stop looking at me!” Ava couldn’t contain her fury, or the burning threatening to rise in her throat. Why did Cece think this decrepit old thing could possibly be--
"Excuse me,” Marie cut in firmly, “If you will not show some respect, I must ask you to leave.”
Ava’s voice shook with anger as she spoke. “Fine by us!” She turned to Abe, fully intending to show Marie just how disrespectful she could be--but he avoided her look.
"Listen, Ava, if she’s a Coulise...”
“I’ve never seen this woman before in my life!” She clenched her teeth, determined to stay at least a little bit calm. “My family is not a big one, Abe. I would know if I was related to her.” She turned to storm out, trying with all her might to stop the tears from forming--she had really hoped, she had really been stupid enough to think that this might actually--
"Ava.” The old woman’s voice rang out clear and strong across the room, nothing like her mutterings from before.
Marie gasped. Ava turned back and finally looked at the Madam -- really looked. There was something familiar in those eyes.
“How do you know my name?”