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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Hayll

Hayll has been in the grip of conspiracy for years, with shadowy hands pulling the strings of a puppet Queen, and attempting to ensure Hayllian dominance well into the future. The Coliseum was destroyed, and the uprising has given a voice not only to the slaves that escaped the bloodsport, but to the frustrations of the people at large. Traditionalists, hedonists, and freedom fighters collide in an effort to shape Hayll, with internecine war a looming threat.
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Author Topic: Pretty Please  (Read 686 times)

Description: tag: Gaetano

Offline Michaela Augustus-Tibault

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Faro Province

    • Territory

      Hayll

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      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

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      59

    • She moves and it's fire, speaks and it's flame

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Pretty Please
« on: Mar 31, 19, 10:55:08 PM »
The business of the evening had been finished for near an hour leaving the salon half emptied of those who had filled the room earlier on. Prince Aemilius Tibault had hosted the gathering at an overlarge townhouse in the capital city. Senators like him were the largest portion of those in attendance, but there were others as well, all men of import whether they held office in the public eye or not. The structured gathering had become almost immediately casual upon dismissal. Some couldn't have managed to leave any sooner leaving others to trickle out in their wake. What was left was a quietly murmuring group of sympathetic types receptive to the words of their cohorts. Politics had divided the Territory into more than two sides in recent times. It was a feat that the evening had ended as planned and not in fight or fire. But the old Senator Tibault had always been well respected by all and so he was often called to host for this specific reason.

Hayll had changed a hundred times over since Prince Tibault had risen to adulthood but it was clear that each of these changes had taken something out of the old man. At times he seemed as though he might wistfully resign himself to the whims of the more fiercely outspoken, but he never did. The gold in his eyes was flecked with steel shavings now and whenever someone tried to shut him down, their dull luster was heated until red hot all over again. It was impossible to bring Aemilius to rage, but those ancient and knowing eyes seared away the resolve of anyone who had recently tried. Peaceable, he was still none to be ignored.

Drawing Senator Accorsi aside, the grey-haired Prince probed gently and respectfully into Gaetano's beliefs. When the younger Senator spoke, he folded his hands at his back and listened attentively, his animated face giving proof of the emotions evoked by the conversation. Unlike some, Prince Tibault's interest was real and the difference was easy to spot when it came to a man so given to such lively mannerisms. He was no longer fast in anything that he did, but there was still so much vigor within.

The low din of the others had died off behind them a few halls back when Prince Tibault turned toward a doorway hung with sheer curtains. A slave from the other side drew the fabric back, beads melodiously tapping against each other and scraping the floor as the old Senator proceeded through and looked back for Senator Accorsi to follow.

Within was a sitting room of sorts, but it was more an entryway to another wing than anything, a place to wait before coming or going. There were much finer places to enjoy a rest in the house, after all. Lady Augustus-Tibault pushed away from the wall when the men entered, her soft features coming into the light as she approached with a thankful smile. She was the mirror opposite of her husband in many ways but in the moment they shared the same warm grace.

"Senator Accorsi," she greeted, the heave of her breath making her sound both surprised and relieved.

Her husband chuckled lightly and gestured toward her. He hadn't announced this visit to Gaetano, but few things in Hayllian politics ever happened out in the open. A hint of uncertainty sparked in Michaela's eyes and she glanced at her husband for answers, but he merely nodded encouragement. She'd asked for this meeting and he'd agreed to arrange it, leaving it at that. She only hoped that all parties were willing participants. It was as informal as it was secret, but she had faith that there was something to be earned for all involved.

"I'll leave you to it, then," the old Senator mused. Michaela leaned in to accept the kiss he bent to her forehead but didn't watch as he proceeded beyond and disappeared into another hall.

"I hope you don't mind that I've asked my husband to bring you to me. I've wanted to meet with you for some time but in the current climate, not just anyone is comfortable being seen with the Queen of Faro." There were other reasons, but everything in its season.

Offline Gaetano Accorsi

  • Character Account
    • rose2bo
    • prince
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      Senator

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      The Hundred Families

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      Hayll

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      Gavin

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Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #1 on: Apr 03, 19, 11:39:04 PM »
As a Senator and a member of the Hundred Families, Gaetano was invited to hundreds of events monthly, and thousands during the year. He attended few of them. Most of them were shameless attempts to pull the undeserving into higher company that they had not earned. Others were thinly veiled attempts to suggest what he should be doing with the power and influence of his office. Gaetano view the latter poorly; he usually made his displeasure evident before he left said parties to find something worthwhile to do with his time.

The invitation from Senator Tibault, however, was a pleasant surprise. Gaetano attended because Prince Tibault was a towering intellect and someone that both his older brother and late father both held in high regard. The townhouse was opulent, the salon well-furnished as Gaetano had entered and mingled among the guests. He recognized a number of his fellow senators among the gathered. Gaetano greeted several people he knew well, but also kept his attention upon those who’d recently opposed some of the bills his allies brought through the Senate. He wasn’t worried about the opposition. Eventually, they’d all fall in line. They just needed to be guided along the right path.

The crowd thinned after the major business ended and Gaetano found himself in the company of like-minded individuals, along with a few who were still undecided. Always eager for a chance to talk and get people talking, the Accorsi Prince stood willing to discuss the issues facing Hayll and discuss the future. He’d fallen into a discussion with a small group of men and women who wanted to see the Coliseum rebuilt and the slaves returned to its walls. Gaetano listened quietly, hands clasped behind his back, and reached into his Blood Opal. They wanted to hear stronger, bolder ideas to address issues in the south. They wanted a leader.

Senator Tibault’s approach drew his attention. If Gaetano was surprised by the invitation to this gathering, then he was genuinely pleased when the elder man drew him aside to talk. He asked question and Gaetano provided his answers as best he could. Rather than feel interrogated or cornered, the Prince felt like he was finally speaking to someone who truly had Hayll’s interest at heart. The older man reminded him of his father, in a way, as he listened and provided counterpoints to some of Gaetano’s ideas and asked him questions that caused him to refine his thinking. They’d started walking away from the crowd at some point and Gaetano folded his hands behind his back, walking with the other man down a hallway and, presumably, to a private room where they could continue their discussion without interruption...and perhaps a drink.

A slave drew the beaded curtain aside. Gaetano followed Prince Tibault into the sitting room, a smile upon his face. Perhaps they would meet a few other people, a smaller circle with whom they’d be free to talk.

His name on the lips of the Queen of Faro Province was the last thing he’d expected.

Gaetano frantically searched his memory, though his expression remained pleasant, if surprised. No, he hadn’t missed her in the other room, One’s eyes didn’t just slide over Michaela Augustus Tibault, no matter how many people were in the room.

He stepped forward and offered his hands to greet the Province Queen, though now he wondered what she wished to speak of that required so much secrecy. “Lady Augustus-Tibault, this is a pleasant surprise. I didn’t realize that you were here. Shall we all sit?” Gaetano asked, looking between the pair.

Instead, her husband bid them farewell, stopping only to kiss his wife on the forehead before leaving.

And then he was alone with the Opal Queen who also happened to be the daughter of the man who lead the Senate.

I don’t mind at all, Lady Augustus-Tibault. It’s rare that anyone wants to meet with me outside of my office, but I’d gladly make time to meet with you anywhere.” Gaetano said, his smile bright and warm.

To what do I owe this unexpected honor?

Offline Michaela Augustus-Tibault

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Faro Province

    • Territory

      Hayll

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      [Link]

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      Starling

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Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #2 on: Apr 25, 19, 10:51:50 PM »
"The honor is mine," Michaela replied, hardly answering his question, but the dancing light that shone through her lashes said that she had something for him, something too delicate for just a hallway even if it were in her own home. She smiled with a hum, dropping playful eyes for a moment before they rose again. Twisting to face him fully silver silk folded to her form and whisked the marble floor. Leaning in, she grasped his wrist and forearm and took half a step back, silently asking him to come along with her. Her playful expression was apologetic but there was a confidence there that seemed to suggest that he wouldn't regret trusting her in this simple request. Rarely was the Queen of Faro informal, even in her own home, but rarely did she ever have so few eyes upon her, either. Now there were only two.

One furtive step and then another from the senator and Michaela's glad satisfaction shimmered across her features. She turned about, still eagerly leading Gaetano with one hand latched to his until his step fell into stride at her side. Slipping close, the Queen tucked fingers beneath his arm and curled them lightly there. A faint sound like static scaled the walls on either side, the Craft that carried it meeting on the ceiling above and glowing softly. A chain reaction cascaded down the corridor, the ethereal light gleaming on every shined surface and then quickly faded away.

Squeezing the senator's arm, Michaela pointed. "Shields." More than just shields, there was more Craft in that single hall than there was in many towns in Faro, but announcing the rest would only negate a portion of the security afforded. Even the Queen herself didn't know the finer details of the spells woven to keep her safe in these troubling times. The home was a vault of power for as much consideration was paid to safety, but improper access to the private chambers or an attempt to gain as much would be deadly on a suicidal level. Senator Accorsi's visit hadn't been worked into the weave of the webs here--it would have meant informing others--but he was escorted by the master key herself which bypassed other needs.

Passing through the intricate layers of protection, Michaela's heels clicked quietly, muffled beneath the weight of her gown. Apart from the thrum of an incredible amount of Craft, nothing seemed to be too different from the rest of the home, or any of Michaela's residences. It was opulent as always but the absence of servants, escorts, and advisors might have struck someone who was more accustomed to Michaela's apparent preferences.

At the end of the hall, an open archway stood atop a short set of wide steps. Here, Michaela slipped away from Gaetano, gliding down the steps to drift among the massive statues in a large, long gallery. Beneath the hooves of a rearing stallion, Michaela turned to look for Gaetano.

"You're safe here," she offered, not sure if he'd gathered that his life had depended on her touch while within the hall. If not, her words might come across as rather cryptic. "We both are," she followed with a laugh.

Though she continued through the room, the Queen showed no sense of urgency, turning her attention to the intricately carved stone figures on all sides.

"To answer your question, Senator, my husband thinks very highly of you, and I very highly of his estimation." Her voice echoed softly in the marvelous yet inhospitable space. "I find myself in need of a new perspective and I had hoped that could provide it for me. I suspect that unlike others, you might be true with me. More than a single question, I'm looking for someone to fill an advisory role, though not so official, and even less overt in nature. It would be a risk for you because you must go blindly or not at all. But if you leave, whether to return or not, you'll go with Senator Tibault's respect, and mine as well."

Offline Gaetano Accorsi

  • Character Account
    • rose2bo
    • prince
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      Senator

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      Hayll

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      Gavin

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Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #3 on: Apr 29, 19, 11:32:11 PM »
Gaetano smiled at the flattery even as Lady Tibault did not directly answer his question. Rarely, between people of power, did anyone state anything so directly at the start of a conversation. There was an art to things, a banter that couldn’t be appreciated by those below them in the social or economic strata couldn’t really appreciate or understand. The playful, mischievous cast to her eyes and her gait hinted at secrets untold and Gaetano wanted to know the reason for this meeting. Not because he was in a hurry to find out and leave, but because he wanted to know how to play this game with the young Queen who’d reached out to him through her respected husband.

Gaetano couldn’t help looking over his shoulder once more, expecting Prince Tibault to emerge from nearby to observe how his wife interacted with Gaetano. She held his arm as they walked, making it easy for them to keep pace with each other. They were still alone. They fell into step together and he let her lead him as he was the guest here. When she spoke of the shields, Gateano nodded in acceptance. A woman like Lady Tibault probably had thousands of secrets and secret meetings like this. Information led to power, but especially in Hayll.

He reached out with his senses, trying to get an idea of the shielding that might exist in this place. While he sensed a few layers of shielding, Gaetano didn’t believe for a second that the ones he sensed comprised the sum total of her defenses. The Tibault family had deep connections and enough money to hire the entire Coven, if needed. Combined with the Queen’s status as a Province Ruler and the daughter of the Consul, the money probably wouldn’t even be necessary to buy the assistance of a few Black Widows skilled in shielding a place. Gaetano’s skin fairly crawled beneath his clothing at the idea.

He followed her down the hall and regarded the opulent design of her home. It took him a moment to recognize the distinct absence of servants or guards in this part of the home. He’d heard rumors about her appetites, but he’d never put much stock in rumors. He also didn’t begrudge most people their eccentricities, so long as they didn’t bring shame on Hayll. They reached the end of the hall and entered the gallery. Here, she slipped away from him and explained that they were both safe now.

His eyes went back to the hallway. She’d taken his arm during their trek down the hallway. The Prince looked back to Michaela, then, as she explained her agenda to him. Gaetano’s eyes narrowed slightly, his mind working over the statements she’d made. She had a thousand men who could advise her, and would, at the drop of a hat. Instead, she’d reached out to him. Her husband was a senator, so she couldn’t possibly need Gaetano’s expertise with that esteemed body.

That respect is mutual and deeply felt. I met your husband years ago with my brother, at our father’s side. He spoke one day during session and neither my brother or I could look away. We both wanted to be Senators after that.” Gaetano said, his tone somewhat wistful as he thought of Troius. They had both ended up in the Senate after all, just at different times.

I suppose it depends on the questions you want to ask. I wouldn’t want to mislead you, but information is best when shared. It’s a risk and you’d gain another powerful ally in the Senate.” Gaetano said. He left the remainder of his thoughts unsaid, mainly how their association would benefit him if it was not overt.

I’m not so eager to leave just yet. The conversation upstairs didn’t even get interesting until Prince Tibault stepped forward.

What can I answer for you?


Offline Michaela Augustus-Tibault

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Faro Province

    • Territory

      Hayll

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      59

    • She moves and it's fire, speaks and it's flame

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Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #4 on: Aug 15, 19, 05:27:32 PM »
Stepping into the long shadow of a stone soldier that loomed overhead Michaela studied the Senator. He was ten times her age, but it wasn't something obvious, rather she'd had to remind herself. Gaetano didn't carry himself like the sort of men who wanted to impress upon her how impressive they were, even for something as simple as how much longer they had managed to live as compared to her thus far. The merits that he wore carried more weight and weren't self-pinned.

When he spoke of her senescent husband, there was a warmth in his tone that was either authentic or artful. A broad smile spread across her lips at that but was quickly reigned into something more measured.

Nodding as he went on, Michaela shifted without looking away, stepping slowly toward the end of the room. Turning a palm up, she invited him to follow. Neither she nor her attention strayed far as they slowly made their way past the remaining titans.

At the end of the hall, beyond ornamented walls meant to hide service corridors, there were two doors at the bottom of two a two-step landing. She was looking over her shoulder at him when he came around the last corner and emerged on the other side. The hint of a chiding smile was on her lips, but she faced forward again and waited for him to take his arm before she gathered her dress and proceeded down those two steps toward the doors.

"I think you'll be pleased to find that the risk is almost entirely mine."

Large, but plain, Michaela lent the doors a little elegance when she passed through them into the dim room beyond. It wasn't a small room, but not a grand space either, not judging by the height of the low ceiling. Longer than it was wide, more came into view as Michaela moved ahead of him, calling Witchlight into sconces on both walls. She passed a few couches lined along the narrow walls and moved to a place where the furniture was situated less stoically. There was no clear theme to the room, but it seemed apparent that it was used by the servants and slaves who maintained the wing of the manor when guests were being entertained there. A staging room of sorts, or for resting and waiting, or any other type of in-between need.

Looking toward the darkness well beyond where she stood, Michaela thoughtfully called lights along the walls elsewhere in the room as well, if only to allay any fears that the senator might have of something awaiting him in the shadows. He was a well-loved politician as far as politicians went, but he was a politician.

Tucking her dress behind her legs, the Queen lowered herself onto a plush black couch and called in one last light to the low round stone table in front of her. Gold trays glinted there, set with wine and refreshments gathered for the Senator's visit. There were two other couches arranged around the table, one across from her and one beside as well as an armchair and a tufted ottoman. Turning her chin to her shoulder she looked back for Gaetano and watched for him to join her, letting the kindness of her smile welcome him instead of an overly formal or protocol heavy invitation.

Drawing her eyes away, Michaela looked back to the stone table and set to producing the wine, an embellished bottle that was stamped with the emblem of her vineyards in Faro. Filling two glasses, she floated one to him unwaveringly.

"I wish I knew how to explain without telling you too much too soon. Typically I have twelve mentors in my ear to feed me the words that I'm meant to say." Holding her wine between both hands, Michaela watched Gaetano thoughtfully for any nuanced reaction. She didn't continue until he'd made himself comfortable and met her eyes again. When he did, she'd become more solemn than a moment ago.

"What I want to say to you is dangerous. For me, Senator. I don't have the power to bind you to secrecy and calling in my staff to do so adds another link to a chain that is already too heavy around my neck."

Swallowing, she looked away, then down at her wine where her rings were softly resounding as she tapped them on the base of the glass.

"I won't ask you to assure me of your integrity," she said to the wine. "You're here because my husband has. Just... please allow me to proceed slowly. And if you are uncomfortable, make me stop. For both our sakes."

Offline Gaetano Accorsi

  • Character Account
    • rose2bo
    • prince
    • Role

      Senator

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      The Hundred Families

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      Hayll

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      Gavin

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Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #5 on: Aug 15, 19, 07:21:48 PM »
The young Queen lead him further into the bowels of the estate, deeper than he thought they could go. They’d already crossed a set of security wards, a number of stairs, and even a few private rooms, but the Queen’s need for the utmost privacy remained unsated. The Prince’s mind weighed that even as he followed her. It wouldn’t do to come all this way only to balk at the idea of following her further. He acknowledged to himself, that he enjoyed the sway of her hips as she lead the way. She was younger than his daughter, forcing Gaetano to acknowledge (again, to himself) that his enjoyment of younger women, especially Queens, loomed on the dangerous side. Were anyone to learn of it, it was a flaw that could be exploited against him.

I’ll take precautions.

Gaetano followed her, unwilling to release her from his attention or his golden gaze. She had men lusting after her daily, he knew. Did her husband enjoy the brunt of her focus? They weren’t proper or pertinent questions, but then Gaetano didn’t have to voice them to her at all. He followed her down the stairs and then offered her his arm at the bottom. The heat of her fingertips through the soft fabric of his coat made him aware of her touch. Did her males feel this way? He knew what it felt like to be a Queen’s focus, but he’d not seen his own Queen in some time. Hayll was in flux and that made it hard to get away.

Yet he was here on this clandestine meeting with a Queen he barely knew, hoping to gain useful information and favor for the future.

She was the brightest thing to pass through the doors, even as she turned on the witchlights for his benefit. This place seemed to go on forever; the Prince wanted to know it if it did almost as much as he wanted to know why he was here. He expected a party of some kind, a secret gathering of which he was the last to know, but all he found was more privacy and more questions to wet his appetite for knowledge.

Their destination reached, Gaetano took a seat on the plush couches and noted the golden trays and the possible functions for this room. He accepted his wine quietly and sipped it, eyes lidding as the various notes danced upon his tongue. He didn’t speak or regard her for several moments, letting the silence hang as he experienced the wine from her vineyards and enjoyed the brief taste of home she provided. He was grateful to her for that. He’d spent too much time in Draega lately. He needed to get home more, if only to resume his more thalassic pursuits.

I needed that, Lady Augustus-Tibault. It’s been too long since I’ve had truly good wine.” he said.

His gaze grew more solemn as she talked about the number of mentors she had whispering things in her ear. He could only imagine. She was young, very young, and the number of men who’d want to control her was high. Lady Sabine shared a similar dilemma, but...she had terrible advisors. Why else would she make such poor decisions?

Gaetano set down as his wine and leaned forward, reaching out to touch Michaela’s hand, gently, if she allowed it.

I have no reason to betray you. You can speak freely here, Lady. I’m not looking to judge you. I’m concerned for your well-being, if I am being honest. Tell me whatever you can, as you can. I won’t force you into anything.” Gaetano said, favoring her with a warm smile.

Though...I don’t think anyone could force you do anything you hadn’t already agreed to, if I am speaking freely to you.

Offline Michaela Augustus-Tibault

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Faro Province

    • Territory

      Hayll

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      59

    • She moves and it's fire, speaks and it's flame

    • View Profile
Re: Pretty Please
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17, 19, 02:25:34 AM »
Even under other-than-ordinary circumstances Lady Michaela Augustus-Tibault, the prodigious Queen of Faro had never been one to falter. No one could remember a time that she had been less than poised and elegant, confident, charismatic, unflappable excepting perhaps the occasional fit of righteous rage... Yes, she was pinned into place by a hundred or more aids be they personnel, Craft, subterfuge, learning or anything of the like, but nonetheless, take it all away and the woman who was merely Michaela was still dauntless, still a storm of flair and will.

But...

There were the rebels, her distant father, her distant brothers, her circles full of appointed strangers. She was tired of the endless talks, the intrigues, memorizing who hated who and which senators she needed to keep shaved slaves on hand for. And for what? All that she did was done to serve interests that were never her own--had never been. For so long she simply believed that that's what being a Queen was. Maybe she still believed it, but if she did, she didn't want to anymore.

Gaetano's hand on hers left her feeling naked thought she might have never been more clothed in her life. There was a spark of raw emotion there where their hands met and she wondered if this was what friendship felt like. Her instinct was to pull away from the thing that made her feel weak, but she didn't. If it endeared her to him, maybe he would be more willing to aid her. She'd never been above tricks in her dealings with men and this was by far one of the least dirty of the lot.

He said that he wouldn't force her into anything and it garnered honest relief and gratitude though she hid it away by turning her cheek toward her far shoulder instead of showing the smile it earned. But as he continued and then there was no response, the darkness around them seemed to creep in just a little.

Still facing away, Michaela's silver sleeved shoulders slowly fell. The light on the table illuminated only one side of her golden face and her long, elegant throat, swallowing hard. She went too long without giving any answer for something to not be wrong, but she was too afraid that if she moved too quickly she would come apart completely, working as hard as she could already to hold the dam.

Transferring her wine glass to one hand, she then reached it out to the side without looking and carefully pushed it atop the table, her hand trembling just slightly as she did so. She could feel it coming, feel the thread being pulled from the seams. She did not want to come apart in front of Gaetano but there was little choice at this point. There was no crew to cover for her, to fabricate a pressing reason and a neat escape. Of all nights, this one was not hers, and she had to accept it. Anything otherwise wouldn't be dignified.

Sipping a few quick breaths, she halted a sob, pressing her fingers over her mouth and standing quickly. Her mother had told her that if she had to cry, to do it standing so that she didn't appear so pitiful. Looking down the length of the room into the darkness she wondered what Senator Accorsi thought just then.

He wouldn't understand what had happened. Even if he did agree to everything that she wanted she still couldn't fully explain to him why his words cut so deep. She had been forced to do so much, but so much more she'd done of her own free will like a properly trained slave.