Tooth and Claw
Lucille Collins-Smythe (nee Beauchêne) is an imposing woman, currently aged 58 – although she doesn’t look it, and quietly pays good money to make sure it stays that way. She has always been incredibly driven, to the point where she can be very unforgiving of herself and others. She is whip-smart, stubborn as a mule and always gets what she wants.
She was raised by an overbearing French mother and distant American father in one of the wealthier urban districts of [city]. As a child Lucille always intended to be a dancer and was rigorously trained from an early age for that goal. She has the physique for it, being tall and slender – she credits her looks to her French family. Unfortunately a series of ankle injuries in her mid-teens put paid to that and Lucille spent the better part of a year recuperating. Whilst she was resting and undergoing physiotherapy, she was forced to redirect her drive elsewhere. She decided that she was going to become a businesswoman, whatever that meant, and set about achieving that goal.
Lucille met Richard at a society gala when she was twenty-one and he was twenty. She knew the moment she laid eyes on him that this was the man she was going to marry, and informed him of the fact on the spot. He laughed, and introduced himself. They were inseparable from then on and got married six months later. Both their families disapproved, but she was too headstrong and he was too besotted for it to make any difference. After Richard’s father retired and they took over, she was able to really get to work and let her talents flourish. She has been the driving force behind the renaissance in the Collins-Smythe fortunes, as the brains behind the company and in recent years also its face. Her drive and ambition have made them some of the richest people in the country, but she shows no sign of slowing down soon.
Lucille has passed on much of her personality and drive to her daughter – Julia is incredibly similar to Lucille, although without the years of experience to wear down some of the sharp edges. As a result they frequently clashed throughout Julia’s childhood, with long intricate power plays as both of them struggled to get what they wanted. She expected nothing but the best from her daughter in all areas; whilst she was pleased with the progress Julia made in the subjects she was interested in (and thus excelled at), she was frequently angry at Julia’s lack of interest in academia. She also disapproved greatly of all Julia’s boyfriends, Jake most of all. The last time they fought, it resulted in her child leaving home and subsequently disappearing, presumed dead.
Lucille loves her family very much, even though it can sometimes be difficult for her to show it. Although outwardly she would never admit it, she still can’t forgive herself for her daughter’s disappearance. The strain that it put on her husband especially has had a profound impact on her; even though she had increasingly lost hope that Julia was in fact alive, she couldn’t say so to Richard. She simply focused on running the business and keeping up the search.
The search unexpectedly bore fruit and she was reunited with her lost daughter. The reunion was not a smooth one, however. Lucille was frustrated by how elusive and difficult Julia was being and didn’t understand why her daughter wouldn’t tell the truth about what happened. She was also angry to discover that apparently the man she hates is still part of her daughter’s life.
This came to a head in the aftermath of the Wendigo attack on the familyhome, when Julia unintentionally revealed to her family that she is a werewolf. Lucille, having been aware of the supernatural community for much of her life since she met Richard, was relieved more than anything. She hopes that this new discovery will help bring the family closer together again now that Julia no longer has to hide the truth – especially important since her husband has been deteriorating lately. For now, they are tentatively trying to rebuild a relationship and catch up on the last four years.