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 […]

56. An Extraordinary Woman

After the first few weeks of joyous optimism, Inglorion suffers creeping uncertainty. He worries that Virginia will meet someone more eligible and leave him. Virginia is not volatile or light-hearted, and seems disinclined to listen to other suitors. She’s beautiful and well-off, though, and a sensible man might try his luck, whatever her initial inclination. […]

30. Listening for a Miss

Life in the Underdark as Marquis Theates sounds exotic, but at times it resembles the life of a mid-level manager in corporate America, seen through infrared vision. Over the next few days, Inglorion attends a lot of meetings and briefings, and holds some. He writes and reads reports, resumes his usual alliances and vendettas. All […]

25. Persephone Eats Six Seeds

He’s gone when her water breaks. The pain yanks her into the open, impales her in her body and the cell around her. She’s bound, as always. The force is terrible — a series of rhythmic blows from the inside that warp her frame. It grips her by the nape, shakes her over and over, […]

24. You’re Just a Little Thing

He enters carrying a tray with a branch of lit candles and a jar of the viscous, violet-scented liquid. He’s quiet, but there’s a sense of barely restrained excitement about him. He feeds her quickly, and leaves her arms and neck strapped to the cot, the feeding tube taped in place. He watches her for […]

23. You’ve Been Forgotten

“I’ve wanted so much to get to know you,” says Tereus. “To share a meal, or the occasional smoke, or a drink. We both hold commands, after all. We’re powerful among our people. I’ve wondered if you felt doubt and regret about what happened — the troops you lost.”  They’re sitting side-by-side on her little […]