The Duchess Ducompte laughed irrepressibly and slapped Michele with her fan. “You are nothing but a tease and a spoiler. I banish you at once to my dungeon.”

“Only your instruments of torture would I be able to endure Madame,” he said, raising his eyebrows and kissing her hand, “but it is true I must remove myself at this juncture. I am sure there will be others for you to torment. Adieu.”

Glancing around her, the Duchess found the rest of the party insufferable. She sighed, feeling tormented herself. Another garish ball thrown by her husband, who, surprisingly for a Duke, was actually the life of the party. Easy enough with the spirits he consumed earlier, and now he was plying a thick coat of droll on the Marchioness. Of course she tolerated him…but Selene could tell Adele was a bored as she was. She needed a new trick.

(above is a dream sequence for a character. It will be included in the story as her “fantasy” world.)


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