This is an excerpt from the sixth chapter of Shady Cosgrove's The Golden Courtesan. Set in the 1830s, the novel responds to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre in a Rhysian tradition by exploring the life of Edward Rochester's mistress, Celine Varens. Celine was an opera dancer/courtesan and mother to Adele Varens (the child who inspired Jane's arrival at Thornfield). In this excerpt, Celine and Rochester have been engaged in a turbulent affair and Demi, a rival dancer, has just told Celine of Rochester's wife, Bertha/Antoinette. Celine is also pregnant with Rochester's child.