27. Feeling His Humiliation

Lucius Shelawn sits in the library, as he often does. If someone were to ask what he’s doing, he would say that he is feeling his humiliation. No one asks, so there’s no opportunity to say this, but it is what he thinks as he sits there, hour after hour. “Library” is a grand name […]

13. Free Fall

Over the years that follow Sieia’s flight, Lucius and Valeria start to fill their nursery. Through some strange miracle, Lucius is an affectionate husband and father. Not only can he tell his children apart, he has an intimate knowledge of their likes and dislikes, and their intellects and temperaments. He and Valeria are aware that […]

11. Foreshocks

Tereus wakes gradually. The light seems wrong. It’s afternoon or evening, or a storm has rolled in and obscured the sun. He feels so fucking miserably ill that it takes him a moment to appreciate that he’s not in jail, and though the skin is broken on the knuckles of both hands, he’s not covered […]

8. The Smooth, Hard Surface of His Indifference

When they reach her bedchamber, Lavinia hisses, “How could you humiliate me like that?” He’s a bit taken aback. She’s taken much more flagrant behavior in stride. “Pardon me?” “The way you fawned over those vulgar, nasty old women.” He says in a commonplace tone, “If you’re bent on quarreling, come into my dressing room […]

68. The Iliad, of Course

Inglorion has several frivolous ideas about how he’d like to be portrayed — or, at least, ideas that he can’t explain, like posing in a corset — but he keeps thinking that, damn it, he wants Lawrence to draw him in a library with a copy of the Iliad. It’s far from an unusual desire. […]

57. No Man of Honor

Penelope and Sieia pay a brief call of ceremony on Virginia the following day, and make arrangements for the proposed dinner party. Sieia says, “Valentine and I will come fetch the three of you. Even if it’s just a family party, somehow it’s more comfortable to arrive together.” That evening, then, the Ceralac family barouche […]

21. That Cruel and Masterful Man

Soundtrack: Husker Du, Dead Set on Destruction Over the week that follows, Inglorion feels a persistent sense of shame. This is the first time he’s ever regretted a sex act, and he’s not certain why it bothers him. He doesn’t confess it, any more than he’s confessed the rest of his unchastity, but he’s disturbed […]

8. I Don’t Want to Be There

Soundtrack: Pixies, I Bleed (Demo 2) Everyone — family, servants guests — starts combing the grounds, knocking on the doors of nearby houses, searching the streets and alleys and parks. In such a wealthy neighborhood, everything is accounted for and children are seldom lost. Sieia’s disappearance raises fears of murder, abduction and kidnapping. Inglorion has […]

6. A Thoroughly Nightmarish Evening

Soundtrack: Marilyn Manson, Get Your Gunn Tereus’ brother and sister-in-law, Lucius and Valeria, have returned from a diplomatic posting, and a ball is being held in their honor. It’s the first time the family has entertained in three or four years, and from the servants’ perspective, it goes very badly indeed. The new majordomo is […]