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The Taker by Alma Katsu

The Taker by Alma Katsu

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Published by Simon and Schuster

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Published by: Simon and Schuster on Mar 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Taker 233
 e only subject that interested Adair and his entourage, the only endeavor they undertook with any seriousness, the preoccupation thatfilled their days, was sex. Each member of the entourage kept a play-mate, whether for the evening or for a week; it could be a Brahminmet at a soiree or a comely footman co-opted for the night. ere wasa stream of women parading through the mansion, too, blowsy pros-titutes, as well as daring society daughters. No one in the householdever slept alone. Neither Alejandro nor Donatello seemed interestedin me at all, and when I asked Alej if he didn’t find me attractive, helaughed and told me not to be obtuse. e family was given over to seeking and experiencing pleasure, it was as simple as that. Everything about my surroundings was the an-tithesis of how I was raised and eventually their lack of industry woulddisgust me, but at first I was seduced by luxuries I’d had no idea existed.St. Andrew had been a town of homespun linen clothing and raw pinefurniture. Now I lived surrounded by finery, each new temptation bet-ter than the last. I ate food and drink I had never known existed, woredresses and gowns made from exotic European fabrics by a profes-sional tailor. I learned to dance and play cards, was given novels to readthat would expose me to even more worlds.Adair was fond of parties, and since he was still a sensation in Bos-ton, we went to one almost every night. He took his entourage withhim everywhere, letting Alejandro, Dona, and Tilde charm the Bos-tonians with their continental ways, outrageous fashions from Parisand Vienna and London, and tales of decadent European aristocracy. What really stunned the Brahmins, though, was when Adairforced Uzra to accompany us. She would venture outdoors wrappedin a swath of burgundy cloth that covered her from head to toe. Once we had arrived among the partygoers, the wrapping would fall to thefloor to reveal Uzra in one of her costumes, tight organza bodice anda skirt of veils, her eyes rimmed thickly in kohl, adornments of brassringlets circling her bare waist, hands, and ankles. e richly coloredsilks were pretty, but sheer; she was practically naked compared with

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