Most old southern families have a few skeletons in the closet. We’ve got a goddamn graveyard behind the overcoats.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. The family graveyard is down below the lower forty. Secrets, on the other hand, well, secrets tend to pile up like manure, but unlike manure it’s no use spreading them around — so they tend to accumulate over time and become skeletons in the closet.

And, like I said, we’ve a graveyard’s worth in our closet. Why that is, no one really knows. We Berengars aren’t the wealthiest family around, but we’re not poor white trash either. We’ve land a plenty, some money … Maybe it’s our longevity. We do tend to live a long time, you see, and we’ve held on to this land for over 300 years now. I suppose, after that much time, it’s inevitable that a family would have some secrets piled up somewhere.

As to why we have so many … Well, it’s simple, really. So simple most people in this county overlook it or steer clear of us. We’re here. We’ve always been here.

And we Berengars aren’t afraid to do whatever it takes to hold on to what’s ours.

Part 1

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