When Sarah had fallen asleep, Robert folded the table quietly, and left the room, swinging the great stone door silently closed behind him. Claudia and her staff of Amazons (the third degree of the Order of Ostia) would monitor her on the surveillance cameras. One of them would wake Sarah in two hours to show her the bathroom that lay through a hidden door in her chamber. Robert would watch that himself, he decided, on his own monitor in his apartment in the penthouse. It was always charming to see the look on a girl's face when she realized that from now on others would accompany her to the bathroom and watch her upon the toilet. Nor did he want to miss the little pout on Sarah's lips and the furrow on her brow as she peed. He would have her pee in front of him before too long, he decided.
As he rode the elevator up to his apartment, he contemplated the business of the following day, wondering if he could concentrate on it at all, with the vision of what would happen at sunset, upon the bed of the pleasure chamber, before his eyes.
He fell asleep in his enormous bed, between sheets of Egyptian cotton, wondering how quickly Sarah would take to her duties as a nupta. Something about her seemed so very analytical that he thought he wouldn't be surprised if she turned out to be a natural at it. Nor was he sure he had spoken the truth when he told her that she wouldn't understand why she monitored the subjects they gave her to monitor.
Robert's own job, he felt, held a great deal less intellectual stimulation than Sarah's would. He spent his days, when not in marathon meetings here in New York, or in Rome, or in another city where the Guard maintained a center, writing reports about those meetings. Theoretically those reports distilled the essence of the resolutions arrived at through painstaking consultation among the most brilliant minds in the world, putting forth various abstract bases and justifications for the frequently purely ad hoc decisions they made because someone must and presenting the possible ramifications of the Guard's actions. In practice, Robert's job amounted to glorified secretary duty: The cardinal said X, and the director said Y, and then the president said, "No, Z," and the meeting was adjourned.
Sometimes Robert was of the cynical opinion that for all the grandiose metaphysical scaffolding put in place by Cardinal Otranto, the banqueting and the fucking were only there as the most massive carrot the cardinal could find. Otherwise, Robert put it to himself as he fell asleep, nothing could get intelligent men and women to do a duty as depressing and boring as saving some shred of civilization from its doom. Without the prospect of spanking, whipping, and fucking one another's brains out to await them at the end of the day, they would merely pray that the charts were wrong, and retreat into their enclaves and wait for the end.
O true man, the lost books of Mithras ended, I give you much, when I give you this duty, to master beautiful young women, to bind them, to whip them, and to fuck them as you please. But I demand much in return.
I'm guessing it will be out in early August!