If there was just one thing Elizabeth Lord had learnt from her parents, it was about risk-taking. Her father had been a self-starter, managing to start with very little, reaching the premature end of his life one of the most wealthy men in England. Beth likened herself to her father in many ways; her brothers took after him in their own ways, of course, but she'd always found herself hopping from one business venture to the next with more money in her pocket than she'd had going in. The types of things Beth got herself into professionally had never held her interest for terribly long--the most tenured being her piloting career, only because it took her to a different place every day. She prided herself upon living life dangerously in the realm of business and fortune, knowing she had just enough to fall back upon, while still somehow employing her father's entrepreneurial spirit to kick her out ahead of where she'd been just before.

What she wasn't used to, was defeat. What had started to look like a promising business venture had quickly turned to something she'd started to dread. Months and months of planning, building, and her love poured into it, but each day brought no new clients. At last count, Beth had ten clients signed up for classes--most of them in the least expensive classes, at that. She'd tried her best to make the classes affordable, to make them fun, to make them everything she'd wanted out of a dance school when she was younger... But she'd been met with a lot of doubt, mostly by those who could've been clients, if she'd opened another dance school like all the rest. More ballet, more military-grade strictness... what that'd equaled to her was, less fun. It hadn't meant less passion, but according to the dance mums in the area, clearly that's what it was.

The final moving box rested between her elbow and hip as she stood in front of the door, the lights off in the dance studio. The family photo, the one she'd had hung up in her office for months, stuck out of the top of the box as if to give her emotional support. She wasn't used to failure. If she could've only done this, or that, or something else... she'd been tossing and turning every night, getting virtually no sleep. She'd slipped into a funk, not talking with Pete, or anyone for that matter. She'd been hiding it for a while, even from the man she called her husband. She didn't like admitting something was wrong... but then again, he knew that. He always knew. Beth sighed as she turned the key in the door, the deadbolt latching once more. She couldn't help but fight the feeling that she was leaving something behind, some artwork or memorabilia that she'd meant to take with her...

It wasn't until she was four beers deep at the local pub before she realised--she wasn't leaving any one thing behind. Not a single thing. Just her blood, sweat, tears, effort, time, money, and ... well, what felt like her everything. The studio had been a passion project, but then again, she should've known. All the other things she'd done in her life before that had been wildly successful were all things she never really tried for. Not really. She showed up, did just enough to be considered a professional, and her minimum was someone else's maximum. This was the one thing in her life she'd actually tried for, and she'd lost it. She sunk down on the bar stool, her posture hunched, as she folded her arms to rest her face upon. Elizabeth Lord didn't need anyone to see her cry.