Prologue

"I've told you a dozen times before, I don't like him." A young woman paced the office, as she spoke to her uncle. Her long light silver-blue hair was drawn up in a high ponytail with bangs that framed her face and eyes the color of the purest silver. The sound of her wedge heels was muffled as she moved across the carpet, but her movement still created a distraction for Hyperion. Her dress was a dark burgundy, with a slight sheen, a sweetheart neckline and short sleeves on top of a full skirt. It was worn over a single petticoat and bare legs. If he had to guess, this was the latest fashion, or some nonsense.

"Well, now you're just whining." Hyperion rolled his eyes before gesturing to the cushy chair positioned in front of his desk. "Jezenya, please sit. You're giving me a headache."

Jezenya stopped mid-stride and turned, "Does it bother you that much? Uncle, its just another dress." She told him, before dropping into the chair, the skirt fluffing up around her.

"No. Well. I just don't want anyone thinking that you're a courtesan." Hyperion sighed, pulling the newspaper on his desk closer to him. "Old Jack has struck again." He commented, glancing up as the young woman stiffened.

"That's a terrible name for a serial killer." She paused, staring down at her hands which were folded on top of her lap. "Do you think that they'll catch him?" She finally asked, as her uncle opened the newspaper with a flourish.

"I doubt it. He massively outwits the authorities. I doubt that he'll ever be caught." Hyperion told her, his facial expression completely blank.

"Well, I don't know about that. He's a murderer, how smart can he be?" Jezenya mumbled. A set of knocks sounded through the office door, causing her to turn in her seat. Hyperion called for the person to enter and in walked a young man dressed in well-fitted black suit, including a high-collared shirt, a silver-gray waistcoat, and a long overcoat. His bright red hair was partially covered by a tall top hat and he leaned on a shining black cane as he stood in the doorway.

"Driscoll is looking for you, Master Jericho." He informed.

"Now, you see? That old man is supposedly looking for you, but look who happened to be smart enough to come to your office!" Jezenya gave Hyperion a smug look, "Father, Link is always going to be better than Driscoll." She said.

Hyperion gestured to the red-haired man, "Link is also, of course, a young lord much like myself in my day. And maybe I do treat him like an apprentice. But he hardly needs me giving him anymore work if he's going to get married any time soon."

Jezenya stood, then paused, realizing the abrupt movement. "Link, you're getting married?" She asked. A tone of surprise slipped into her voice, catching Link's attention.

"No, not that I'm aware of." He assured her, "I don't know where your father got that idea. I certainly haven't made any arrangements to get married. I haven't bought a ring, or anything of that nature."

Jezenya felt herself smile, "Good. Because I've never thought that you were the marrying type. I can't imagine you going home to some plain housewife." She said.

"Why do you assume that she'd be plain if I did get married?" Link asked her, taking a few leisurely steps towards the woman. "You don't think I could do better than that?"

Jezenya shrugged, "You could, but why would you bother? A man like you, if you were a married man, might need a normal wife. You're up here," She placed her hand a little above her head, "If she were up there with you, then it might all fall apart. And you're a lord, you don't have the time to deal with that. So, you would do better to settle for a woman that is here," She lowered her hand so it was about even with the bottom of her chin. "A plain woman would know her place. She'd cause you no troubles. She'd love you simply because she would be your wife. She'd be the wife of a wealthy lord. What more could she possibly want?"

"So, you're saying that I wouldn't marry for true love?" Link questioned. Jezenya simply shook her head. "Interesting." He commented, "You seem to know me so well."

Hyperion cleared his throat, "Well, that's all lovely. But maybe you two could get married instead?" He suggested.

Jezenya turned, and crossed her arms over her chest, "Don't be silly. I'm not the type to be married. Now, father. My sister and I are going to borrow one of the maids to go shopping. Suppose we might be out late." She told him.

Hyperion shook his head, and tapped the newspaper. "Its too dangerous, especially if you plan to stay out late. Go tomorrow." He nodded to Link, "I believe Lord Dom here has planned to go into town then."

Link stood a little straighter, "That is correct. I'd be glad to escort the ladies for as long as they'd like on the morrow." He said.

Jezenya's eyes narrowed as she looked between the two men. "I'd like to think that I'm too old for a nanny. Valarie would think the same." But as neither man relented, "But I suppose it would be worth it if Lord Link Dom brought a friend. Yes?"

A moment passed as Link considered the suggestion. "I... I'll see what I can do, Lady Jericho." He promised.

"Good! We'll see you then!" The skirt of her dress brushed against Link's leg as she walked past. The two men watched as she left them, more of a hop in her step than usual.

"Well, there's some progress for you. You got a date." Hyperion commented, his expression unnervingly straight.

Link's blue eyes glared at the older man, as he pulled some folded papers from the inner pocket of his overcoat and slammed them onto the desk. "I didn't want a date, Jericho. You know that."

Hyperion only smirked his reply as he readied his fountain pen.