Bound in Moonlight

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Authors: Louisa Burton
our playmates, if any, since we've been together. I think I was admirably forthcoming in telling you there'd been no one else, especially considering I didn't owe you that information, that I just volunteered it out of concern for your feelings. Given that, I don't for one moment think I was out of line in asking you to reciprocate in kind. For you to say that you don't owe me either fidelity or an accounting of your infidelities because we're not man and wife strikes me as surprisingly cold (really quite unlike you, Rèmy) and transparently conniving.
    If you think I'm going to marry you just to find out whether you've screwed anyone else in the past year, you don't know me very well. It's not as if it's even that important to me. I've already told you—I've
always
told you—that we're both adults and may do as we please. I don't care if you've slept around. That's not the reason I'm so ups bringing this up. I care that you're being coy and calculating when I was so open and honest, and that you're trying to punish me when all I wanted was for you to show me the same consideration that I showed you, not because it's an obligation, but out of love.
    Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I'm not dwelling on it, so if it seems like I am, I just want you to know I'm not. I just can't help thinking that if you really It doesn't matter. It's not important. If you don't want to tell me, don't tell me.
    Anyway, on to
Emily's Adventures
.
    When last we saw our plucky heroine, she was observing a marathon shagging session between Elic and Helen. I don't know how many more times they did it that night. I left in the middle of the third act, went back to my room, ran a hot bath, and gave myself three or four ferocious orgasms while recalling what I'd just seen.
    I slept till ten the next morning, having been up half the night. I probably would have slept even later, but I was awakened by a knock at my bedroom door. I assumed it was Hickley wanting to say good-bye, but I was groggy and in my nightgown, and I really didn't want to speak to him again until I'd had a chance to think things through, so I didn't invite him in.
    I'd been hoping the weather would have cleared so that I could drive back to Lyon, but rain was still battering the windows, so it didn't look good. Unable to get back to sleep, I dressed, grabbed
My Secret Life
and
The Autobiography of a Flea
(which I hadn't even started yet), and headed downstairs to the library to spend the day reading.
    The library was at the front of the castle, with French doors leading to a ground-floor balcony overlooking the gravel driveway. The departing guests stood under black umbrellas next to a queue of waiting carriages. I recognized Hickley and stepped behind the velvet drapes, peeking through a gap between them.
    He was chatting with a couple standing beneath a single umbrella, and whatever he was saying seemed to amuse them enormously. At one point, he made a circular gesture around his head, as if to suggest a large hat, then pretended to yank down on its brim as he pouted forlornly with big, cow-like eyes. His friends roared with laughter.
    I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.
    A woman in a tarty yellow-striped dress with an enormous bustle ran from the gatehouse to the protection of Hickley's umbrella, lifting her skirt with one hand and holding her hat down with the other. I recognized her as the dark-haired vamp he'd been tonguing when I interrupted his little threesome the day before, the one who'd been whipping him with the riding crop and ordering him to fuck the blonde harder. Hickley pulled her close and gave her a good, long kiss.
    I shook my head, whispering, “You son of a bitch.”
    â€œWho?”
    I wheeled around to discover Inigo smiling at me over the back of a leather couch in the middle of the room.
    â€œHow do you always manage to sneak up on me like that?” I asked.
    â€œIt's a skill I've cultivated in order to watch

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