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"Presumption" is the fourth story in the Tales of of the Slayers graphic novel. It was written by Jane Espenson, with art by P. Craig Russell, colors by Lovern Kindzierski and letters by Gallen Showman.

Summary

The story is set in Porter Hall, Somersetshire, in 1813, during a high society ball held by the Weston household, which is attended by a large group of people, including a young woman called Catherine and her sister. The sister complains to Catherine that the latter has been "thoughtful and low" lately. Catherine is introduced to a young man, Edward Weston, who asks her to dance. The Slayer ponders on how the ladies at the ball, while inteligent and witty, are unaware of the existance of vampires. As Catherine and Edward hold hands for the dance, the Slayer notices the cold hand of her partner and what it means.

Catherine tells Edward that he's an object of fascination for the women present, as he is one of the few unmarried men in the neighborhood, who, according to Catherine, want to know if he hunts, his taste in poetry and even his favorite meals. Edward is offended and stops dancing, attracting the attention of people in the dance hall. He points out that he's uncomfortable with being the object of scrutiny. Catherine apologizes and the two part uncomfortably. The Slayer muses that it was for the best and it isn't good to be attracted to the creature she's meant to destroy.

Catherine's sister ask her what happened, Catherine answers that Edward strives to look and behave the very best, but at the same time resents drawing attention to himself: "an unpleasant mix of presumption and resentment", she concludes.

Edward retreats to the card room with his brother. As the two play poker, the brother asks him why did he backed away after having seemingly singled Catherine out as a "target." Edward retorts that he's not backing away, merely reconsidering his approach.

Edward approaches Catherine again, offering to fill her cup and asks her if she's always so direct in talking with newly acquainted men and free with her words. She retorts that society allows women few freedoms except learning al they can and speaking all they can get away with. Noticing that Catherine finds the life of a lady confining, Edward challenges to go to the terrace: a place off-limits for unmarried ladies and gentlemen. She agrees and gets out the door, Edward following her.

Finally alone with Edward, Catherine vamps out only to be staked. The Slayer runs away to meet with her Watcher who asks "Did you get her, Miss Elizabeth?." She answers that she did, and that she's to be called Edward. The limitations imposed by society to women is why the Slayer, Elizabeth Weston had given up the life of a woman years before.

Slayer and Watcher leave, while the ball continues.

Appearances

Characters

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