Ciceron felt his blood boiling, but for the moment, he remained calm.
"And now allow me to educate you." He said sternly, suddenly very condescending. "Imagine you being me, just for a moment. You took a risk and went for a woman who was statistically out of your league, far more beautiful than any other, and would likely be fiery in personality. Not only did you have to impress her, but you had poignant competition with another family, and in order to win dominance in that field, you had to single-handedly fight three goons. You marry this woman, and feel your feelings and admiration for her grow as she comes to accept parts of yourself that you rarely expose. You start to feel the very familiar tingles of love."
"And then, after several months of marriage, you find out that not only has she not looked into changing her name, but she loathes the idea of it. She says so publicly. She mocks your family, history, name - completely omitting the fact that you have worked to the bone for years trying to regain reputation. She even suggests you change the name you worked so hard to bring good standing. And then she slaps you, in front of a crowd, in the middle of your cousin's highly important wedding."
"She scurries off; you attempt to search for her, but this wedding is about building momentum for a family name, and you cannot provide the life your little wife wants without this opportunity. And so you make the decision to try and recover from any social damage and make some arrangements with fellow guests. Some time later, your wife returns looking a little...dishevelled. Pink in the face. Suddenly suggesting for a name change - but not to what is suitable - simply to a mocking double-barrel name. You decide to take the man up on his offer from earlier in the night when he was taking hits in the drawing room. What harm could it cause? There's a lot of stress, so why not?"
"And then you see yourself break down, screaming, losing control. The woman you love is crying and pleading, and you think you are the scum of the Earth. You want it to end. So you try. She stops you, and you think this was just a blip...and then you feel the scars."
He brought his hand up, fingertips running along the faint scars on her neck, his face still rather stoic.
"By force, she says. Not what it seems, she claims. Another failure to protect the ones you love. You are the scum of the Earth. So self-absorbed and stupid to recognise danger...you let her get hurt. Something died inside you. And then...you decide to go away for a while due to your boss' recommendation. An attempted jump off a cliff...you even pick out which one to jump from. The one with the sharpest rocks at the bottom for a more stricken impact. You deserve it..."
His hand began to slide around her throat, his hold firm but not enough to cut off air yet.
"You sit there, perhaps for hours on end, staring at the ocean below. The salt in the air sobers you...and then you begin to think. A vampire in Iver Hall...how queer. All by force and yet...you almost try to protect him. And then it begins to sink in. The woman you love is a whore."
His hand began to squeeze around her neck, his eyes set on her.
"Pretend you are me, Danica. What would you do? Is there any use asking you? You will say the most favourable answer, right? Because my money, and power, and influence, and connections are so very important. But not me. Never me."
He let go, using the same hand to take his glass of wine and sip from it for a moment.
"I won't divorce you." He said, eyes shifting to her. "I would like to spend the rest of my life watching you squirm in your misery for this."