The potential of a life of clinical debauchery had its delectable merits, more so when one had the ear of The Pope. Better that than a lifetime of tedium, kneeling upon cold stone with glued palms and eyes closed tight dreaming only of forbidden celestial flesh. Given that hara-kiri was not of his fancy it was thus he had to deal with the pressing issue at hand.
Nuns, for the main part, had scant appeal, nor choirboys. Most definitely not the latter. That would never do. His reputation in a world of nosey clerics had to be maintained at any cost. Also, were it not for their foul language and a lack of that certain panache barmaids would suffice in a crisis yet could never be ideal. Decisions, decisions. At times like this he wished his sister were not his sister. She may well have sparkled like the midday sun yet was no tempting waning moon. A role model for the delights of original sin she was not. Such a pretty creature. Fetching yet oh so tiresome.
Having dismissed a galaxy of prospective intentions he had concluded that pliable angels were few and far between. What to do?
All was not lost. By way of curious fate and time’s own twists and turns the perfect specimen arrived in modern day Rome on the back of a donkey cart in the company of perspiring Vandals all seeking sanctuary from the unenlightened Goths of the Crimea. Sanctuary, of course, comes with a price. Given her recent perilous circumstances, ‘twas a price worth paying especially so for a gal who was the match for any ecclesiastic budding rake.
Inevitably he wrote her sonnets as quatrains. Erstwhile the ragged poem, the deceitful enchantment that neither attracted nor repelled. As a blind fool in a museum he gifted them her regardless. She kept them in a drawer in the company for buttons, cotton wool, corkscrews and little things that were once part of something else. In truth she read just some of his woeful words finding them not fit for purpose. Not worthy of her seduction. Would she be his tranquilized suffragette? The offer of consummating his bestial cravings, politely, yet firmly refused. ‘Such a proposal would be an almost agreeable dilemma were he the assertive Young Turk,’ her passing thought.
In the house of vivid memories she was often forgotten in a blink. In times of darkness particularly. Once awake wicked images of her ran rampant. His affliction, a virus named ‘indulgent adoration’. Strong liquor its only remedy. Her temper, a mushroom shaped cloud of exasperation told him a thing or two. To his discredit nothing he did not already know. The ever expanding ball of fire merely scorched his leathern flesh, albeit targeted his very being. To trade her heavenly body for a roof and fodder she deemed insufficient when the slug was no artist in or out of bed. After all a gal has standards.
Sat in what was now her chair, elbows upon oak armrests, chin perched on the cradled fingers of coupled palms she watched eagle-eyed as he died a thousand tortuous deaths.
Later that same day the head of a devout, frocked excuse was served upon a platter. A victory of sorts? Certainly his legacy would fund an open door to seventh heaven’s graceless house of ill fame. A dream come true. That she would wed his sister, a given.