Vestal Virgin (15)
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Later that day, the King came to see Rhea. It was a rare occasion; the King coming to take counsel at the Vestal House, instead of calling on them to go to the palace. The sun went dark during the day more often.

Rhea had been nervous and excited when the news arrived, hours before the King.

“He never visited when Aemelia was in charge.” Rhea fanned herself with both hands.

Lucretia smiled, offering words of encouragement, “Great news indeed. It means he appreciates the changes you’ve made to the order.” Such changes had been nothings of no transcendence, but offenses never worked as well as flattery.

“And he’s bringing his son. That has never happened before,” Rhea blurted, forgetting all discretion, intoxicated by the imagined honors.


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