The villa was ancient, abandoned, almost in ruins, but the ancient splendour that characterised it was still evident. The intricately carved ebony front door was ajar, and once inside, she made her way to one side of the entrance hall, towards the only glimmer of light that could be seen. It came from a partially open door, and upon crossing the threshold, she was greeted by the semi-darkness. A faint scent of burning wood emanated from the crackling fire in a grand Marquinia Black marble fireplace. Its imposing presence cast long menacing shadows on the heavy Arabian rugs that warmed the floor. The room, upon closer inspection, was immense, but the atmosphere within made it rather cozy. ‘Come closer’. The deep, low voice resonated in the room as a cloud of smoke rose behind the high back of a velvet- covered armchair. Positioned in front of the majestic fireplace, it did not allow her to see who was sitting there. She briefly glanced at the small piece of paper in her pocket: an invitation printed in gold leaf on exquisite, marbled paper, urging her, ‘I await you’. On the back, was the address of the villa. She began to advance slowly, one step after another. Something in the air made her uneasy, but at the same time, it drew her irresistibly. She felt seduced by that voice, enchanted as if a mystical power were pulling her against her will. No, it wasn’t just the voice. Or at least not only that: a particular fragrance was enveloping her, intense, captivating, intoxicating, but she was not afraid. A soft, soothing note made her feel safe. Whoever was sitting in that chair, whoever had summoned her that evening, was someone she could trust.