By Lisa Hilton
In her incredible new biography, Hilton chronicles the lifetime of this striking lady, referred to as "the actual Queen of France," who reigned as reliable mistress to Louis XIV through the so much wonderful interval of "the most excellent century."
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Additional info for Athénaïs: The Life of Louis XIV's Mistress, the Real Queen of France
The man lay curled on the floor below it. ” Tim stood in the doorway, his shadow falling across the floor, touching the prone man. ” No answer. He took a step closer and the smell hit. Besides the shed’s usual smell of must and fertilizer, he caught a whiff of the acidic stench of fresh puke, and beneath it, shit. Tim put his hand over his nose and mouth, blocking the smell. ” The man didn’t so much as twitch. Tim held his breath, listening. Yes, there it was: the slow rhythm of his breathing. Alive -- not in good shape, probably, but alive.
The urge to put the tip of his finger into his mouth, to taste the man’s life, made him run his tongue across his parted lips. He inched the finger toward his mouth, saliva flooding his tongue in anticipation, but stopped. He didn’t know where this man had been, no concept of his habits or what diseases he carried like a sewer rat. Tim hastily wiped his finger on the man’s grubby coat: likely not the first blood stain to grace its surface. With the impulse passed, he returned his attention to the job of tightening the ropes to keep the man’s noise-making to a minimum.
His father’s footsteps retreated across the lawn and Tim knelt by the garden choked with rage and grief. Once more, the asshole ruined one of the great moments of his life. He plucked the finger out of the pile, dropped it in the hole, and unceremoniously covered it with dirt. *** The next day, the temperature dropped another degree toward winter but the sun still shone. Tim stood in the middle of the back lawn with the blue plastic tarpaulin folded into a two by two square tucked under his arm.