Interview With The Rakehell

Gentle Reader,

Whilst perusing my notes for The Serpent Prince, I noticed this preliminary interview I made with the hero, Simon Iddesleigh, Viscount Iddesleigh. Iserpent present it here in the hope that it may amuse you.

Yours Most Sincerely, Elizabeth

Lord Iddesleigh sits at his ease in my study. He wears a pristine white wig, a sapphire velvet coat, and yards of lace at wrist and throat. His right leg is flung over the arm of the chair in which he lounges and his foot–shod in a large red-heeled shoe–swings idly. His ice-gray eyes are narrowed in faint amusement as he watches me arrange my notes.

Q: My lord, you have been described as a rakehell without any redeeming qualities. How do you answer such an accusation?

Simon: It’s always so hard to reply to compliments of this kind. One finds oneself stammering and overcome with pretty blushes.

Q: You do not deny your rakehell tendencies?

Simon: Deny? No, madam, rather I embrace them. The company of beautiful yet wholly unchaste ladies, the exchange of fortunes at the gambling tables, the late night hours and even later breakfasts. Tell me, what gentleman would not enjoy such a life?

Q: And the rumors that you’ve killed two men in separate duels?

Simon: (stops swinging his foot for a second, then continues, looking me frankly in the eye.) I would not put too much stock in rumors.

Q: But—

Simon: (admiring the lace at his wrist.) Is that all?

Q: I did want to ask you about love.

Simon: (sounding uncommonly bored) Rakehells do not fall in love.

Q: Never?

Simon: Never.

Q: But—

Simon: (now sounding horribly kind) Madam, I tell you there is no percentage in it. In order for a rakehell to be foolish enough as to fall in love, he’d have to find a woman so extraordinarily intelligent, witty, charming, and beautiful that he would forsake all other women–and more importantly their favors–for her. What are the odds, I ask you?

Q: But say a rakehell did fall in love—

Simon: (heaving an exasperated sigh) I have told you it is impossible. But if a rakehell did fall in love . . .

Q: Yes?

Simon: It would make a very interesting story.