Origins: Ain't Life Grand? EM Godiva Ten-year-old Charlotte Christianson listened quietly as her grandmother, Aurora, droned on. “I did not become a grand duchess by wasting my time with unimportant people.” her grandmother said, exhaling loudly. Charlotte wondered what Michael was doing. It was early afternoon so he was probably helping his mother clean the kitchen. “You must surround yourself with a good mix of people who are just above or just below your status.” she continued, looking sternly. Charlotte thought about what he had said to her last night and her chest tightened. She needed to speak with him again as soon as possible. “You need the balance in order to raise your station while still always maintaining superiority over someone.” her grandmother concluded. “Mother?” Gwyneth Christianson asked, knocking on the door. The grand duchess gave Charlotte a sharp look, which Charlotte knew meant this discussion was yet another “secret” between the two of them. “I am spending some quality time with my granddaughter.” Aurora said, with an insincere smile. Gwyneth opened the door and smiled shyly back at her mother before addressing Charlotte. “Let your grandmother rest now.” Charlotte tried not to look too excited as she made her way to the door, where Gwyneth was waiting. Aurora glared at them both, uninterested in keeping up appearances at this point. The grand duchess turned her back on them and huffed loudly as they were closing the door. Charlotte tried not to run as she made her way to the kitchen to find Michael.