This was absolutely wonderful. I'm so glad I finally read it (it's been on my "to read" list for ages). The plotting is wonderful and the smut ... *fans self*
I frequently have a hard time buying into a sympathetic Lucius, but you've sold him to me in this. He's not a perfectly nice if somewhat corrupt government type, as you so often see. He is, in fact, a sadistic bastard who is tortured by being unable to torture his servants. And yet you've made him sympathetic anyway. That's a helluva thing to pull off. Bravo!