Amuse Bouche

That was the staircase where she was once photographed with poor Wilde, on a night when he wore his fame like an ermine stole. Shaking the hands of royalty, accepting kisses from dowagers. Signing autographs with quills dipped in vintage Ch√Ęteau d’Yquem. Two years later, he’d be dead.
In that alcove, a peer of the realm sipped champagne from her slipper, whispered suggestions that would make an iceberg blush..

from Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (2019). Very Highly Recommended.