We played so well together, my darling. Surely you can forgive me for my follies? After all, I’ve made you into my own image, Lisette. Will you forgive me? Please say yes, my darling. I don’t think I can keep running after you much longer.
I remember everything you’ve ever done to me. I remember how you dirtied me and used me. I remember every single lifetime you’ve taken from me. I remember it all and I will make you pay for it. Then and only then will I consider ending this enslavement.
---Lisette, Sophie, Chessie
December 13, 1753
The tiny room reeked of alcohol and misery. The stench didn’t come from the dwelling’s owner, but rather from him. Spoiled, intoxicated, arrogant—just like the rest of his aristocratic brethren. The woman with her trademark reptilian gaze stared at the seated man with unconcealed disgust. He had invaded her peace, forced his way into her haven, and demanded the obscene. She would take great pleasure in denying him.
“I want her back.” The words, while drunkenly slurred, held the resonance of a creature bent upon implacable satisfaction.