"Ah, so you're here already? Sit down, sit down. You may be surprised that I need your services, but someone needs to know the whole truth. I need to earn my name after all.

"The first thing you need to know is that I loved the Moor. Don't look so scandalized. I'm going to die soon anyway. But yes, I did, from the moment I saw him as a young man, I was his. Desdemona may have fallen in love with the man she heard of, but I fell for the man I saw. The flex of his muscles, the swing of his sword, the sheen of his skin, everything lured me in. I was gone as soon as our eyes met. He was my first and truest love.

"You must be wondering about Emilia though. I loved her too, but I always loved him more. She was twenty-two when we met, and her soul was as old as the sea. Her father had just died, and she had defended off suitors, men who could have made her one of the richest women in Venice, for years in order to care for the man. There was something about her devotion in spite of the offers of the world on a golden platter that appealed to me, so I married her. I must admit, I took no pleasure in killing her, but her loyalty should have been to me, not that slattern.

"Yes, Desdemona. That whore. She ruined me. For years I hid my feelings, but then everything fell apart. Cassio was promoted instead of me, Othello's loyal ancient, and then that rumor started about Emilia's adultery. I'm not sure who I hated more when I heard that, Othello for sleeping with my wife, or Emilia for having what I never could. And then that strumpet came along and claimed in a fortnight what I had lusted after for years.

"Everything broke lose after that. I could not stand the thought of him happy. He betrayed me in every way possible; he shredded my heart, and from the blooding ruins, only hatred could be salvaged. He needed to suffer as I had, in every way possible, and what other destruction I could work would only add to the experience. And I cannot lie: I enjoyed every second of his suffering and that of those around him.

"And that is the story behind it all, my dear priest. To be honest, the only thing I regret is that I could never tell the Moor the truth, but I'm sure you don't believe old honest Iago, now do you?"