The first time I saw Simone, she was taking my photograph. The flash blinded me. When the sparkles faded, I saw her sitting at my table. Her mouth smiled but her pale eyes never stopped probing. They were hungry eyes, the kind that were too curious to be self-conscious.
The only son of an overburdened widow, Charles wanted to help people because he had never been able to help those he loved most. He needed to be needed, which is why he had devoted two decades of his life to the Church, and why Raphael happily received the task of answering the hidden prayer he tried so hard to deny.
In the lulling hours of late afternoon, when my sons are with their tutor and my husband is at his office, I usually take tea and sit with my daughter watching the birds along the lake shore. But not today. Today, my daughter is dancing with other well-groomed girls at the Haverton Society, and a woman lies naked in my bed.