3. Guided by Legal Counsel

Life in Liamelia continues during Inglorion’s absence. Valentine’s case moves forward, as it was bound to do. Aside from his own deposition and Inglorion’s, a handful of other witnesses have been called: The Gypsy he injured, of course, but also slaves and drivers who observed his behavior before and afterwards, and all the dreary but necessary […]

26. He Cannot Regret It

Hands trembling, Inglorion unfolds the second slip of paper and reads: He looks forward to seeing her and finds their relations gratifying, though he knows that she loathes him, and that the sight and sound and smell of him sickens her. He relishes forcing himself on her, though he doesn’t find her attractive as a […]

25. Containers for His Grief

As summer gives way to fall, Inglorion comes to think that his father left no record of his crime and its consequence. He might not have thought of it at all. Inglorion accepts that he won’t learn what he thought he wanted to know. It wouldn’t be the first time the gods answered a different […]

22. Forgive Me, Love Me, Let Me Love You

9/1/17— His beauty has gradually impressed itself upon me. I feel his intellect, the force of his will, but more than anything, I feel his masculine vigor. We lay there talking. Because he asked, I told him what I thought of him back then. He listened thoughtfully and said, “I always found you witty, intriguing. […]

21. Lost Children Returning Home

8/31/17— We retreated to the hayloft again. The days are so very long. We were tired, and I think we felt that we deserved a small reward for all our hard work and diligence. He made no attempt to persuade me. We lay in each other’s arms in a dream-like state, as if we were […]

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 […]

12. The Few Positive Duties of Fatherhood

For the second time, Tereus’s valet informs him that Lady Sieia has gone missing. This time, she’s gone to some trouble to deceive her keepers. She packed her doll and a change of clothes undetected, and left the house on foot at midday. When the butler summons the second footman to be questioned, he’s missing, […]

9. Particularly Brutal

Tereus wakes the following morning feeling ill and out-of-sorts. Breakfast is slight and improvised. The toast is cold, and his request for bacon meets with polite incredulity. Lavinia actually laughs it off. She and Valeria seem to have met and reaffirmed their sisterly bond by agreeing that he’s a Bad Man. Tereus has often wished […]

6. One Episode in Decades of Combat

The ink dried on Tereus’s quill long ago. He sets it aside, covers his face with his hands, blocking out the fading light. His jaw is clenched, his throat is working. He’s trying to bring something up, or hold it down. Long before the events of that day, during his first command, he came upon […]