Page 99: closer

But the more she listens to the Duchess, the more she analyzes her features and mannerisms, the more…

They say hearts are shaped like fists because they have to fight. Hers is fighting its way out of the cage of her chest.

Lucien walks into the living room. He doesn’t seem surprised to see her there. He takes a seat on the couch, next to Elena. Kisses her.

Without meaning to, Alice sights.

“Why do you do this?” she asks. Without meaning to.

“Beg your pardon?” Lucien inquires.

“I was here before. You realize that, right? We… You were dressed as a maid,” she says, pointing her finger at the Duchess.

“Oh, yes. Yes.” They both exclaim.


Lucien stares around the living room for a while. At the paintings, at marbled busts of people long gone. “What do you think would happen if you used a knife to cut through flesh?”

Alice shakes her head. “The flesh would probably heal.”

“Indeed,” Lucien nods. “But if you do it over and over again.”

“A scar -”

“A scar.” He rubs his fingers against his chin. “What do you think happens to souls when subjected to a similar manner of torture?”


“It is said that when Alexander the Great saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer,” Lucien says.

She shakes her head. “What does that-”





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