b'28LISA E. BETZBut will your father see it that way? Wasnt it disgust over Marcellus slack morals and frequenting of brothels that induced him to revoke the betrothal?Not really. Gambling was the primary issue. With father it always goes back to money and he refuses to allow his wealth to be sucked dry paying off gambling debts. Not for his son. Not for a son-in-law either.IunderstandMarcelluswasfuriouswhenyourfatherre-tracted the betrothal agreement. Could he be the one behind the threat?Not likely. He has plenty of other prospects who can inspire his love poems.I thought he was in love with Livia?Its Livia who adores him. Has for years. He enjoys her de-votion, but he enjoys the attentions of plenty of other girls, too. Besides, discrediting you wont do him any good. He knows my father wont change his mind, no matter what happens.So much for Avitus primary suspect. Any idea who else wants to prevent me from marrying your sister?Curio shook his head. Ill see what I can find out. If I learn anything, Ill let you know in the usual manner.Thanks, my friend.Avitus headed for home mulling over the odd twists of fate thathadbroughthimtothismoment.NeitherhenorCurio had planned on their occasional collaboration developing into friendship. Or that the friendship would lead to Avitus discover-ing Curios intelligent and enigmatic sister. The first woman in twenty years who had treated him without either pity or fear.'