AN: for more updated chapters, you could try looking on wattpad with the url as: /story/2100808-fate-bound


-If you need something done, something not to be known, there is one person you can find. The Grey.-

(updated/edited: 3/12/12)

It was either make it or break it.

The moment the master of the house stepped out of the mansion, he had only precisely 23 heartbeats to complete his goal. The rest would be up to luck and skills. The thin material of his shirt stuck slightly to his back; the sun was blazing hot enough to cause even him a little sheen of sweat coating his skin. Not a single breeze had passed by him the whole time he balanced atop the wooden fence.

Colt licked his lips, leaning his body slightly in anticipation, readying for the moment the pudgy man took his leave. He spotted the master's haughty expression through the tinted glass panes. A wry smirk ghosted his lips. Oh wait till he comes back at mid noon with the Governor in tow.

A faceless butler held the mansion's door open, and Colt watched as the tip of a polished boot crossed the doorway.


In one fluid motion, he dropped down from his perch on the orchard fence, hefted a crate of apples, and headed straight for the house. He reached the stone steps of the mansion, head kept lowly bowed as the master boarded his carriage, never a pause in his steps. A small smirk was barely suppressed, hidden under his shag of black hair, as he passed both ignorant master and oblivious butler, to the house.

17 heartbeats left.

The runner boy was just rushing back from emptying the soiled waters of the night, banging through the servants' door with his huge buckets. The doors swung wide and Colt timed his stride to go in with the swing, set the crate down in a corner and swept up the stairs to the servant hallways. No one questioned the unknown farmhand passing through; they were all too busy in the hustle and bustle of preparation for the guest. Upon entering the empty hallway, he immediately sought the door fifth on the right, and opened it to find exactly what he'd sought – rows upon rows of dark, stiffly-starched uniforms.

He snatched one of the maroon robes, fastened the brass buttons and rubbed off the remaining "tan" from his face onto the shirt underside, smoothing down his black hair with quick methodical strokes. He was now one of the servants of the House of Glenshire.

And he had precisely 10 beats remaining.

He hurried up the wooden step planks, feet never once making a sound, passing by numerous doors in a blur. At the third bend, he slipped through an unmarked and unremarkable door.

The heavy smell of old wood and must filled his nostrils, making it twitch a little. He stared at the many rows and columns of shelves. The numerous uniform beehive drawers made him think of an undertaker's lab. A slight shudder ran through his body, which he visibly shook off. He had to focus.

Colt scanned down yellowed label after label, hurrying down rows till he reached one particular strip of parchment that read "Ochre". He took the drawer out gently and slowly, with trained patience, plucked the singular white stone, the size of a button, from the base. He felt grateful for once for his abnormally low body temperature. Let it warm to the core and the housemaids will find little gory pieces of Colt Benismon everywhere. He slipped it into the hidden pocket in the hem of his pants and shoved the drawer back in its slot. There, six hundred more gold coins secured.

Just as he turned to the door, there was a rustle of stiff cloth and the creak old door hinges – someone was about to enter.

Time to go.

Without missing a beat, he continued the turn and vaulted up with a one-hand push, muscles moving fluidly with the ease of practice into a low crouch atop the shelf. Not a sound was made as the housemaid bustled into the room in a flurry of lace, with arms full of ornate trays.

He was either two heartbeats off, or the maid was early.

No matter.

Staying low to the shelf top, he slipped off the stiff robe. He padded softly across shelves, towards the east wall opposite the door. There, close to the ceiling, lay a row of long thin rectangular windows. He pulled out a small metal bar from his collar and eased a pane loose. All this while, the maid below remained unaware.

He silently slid out the small opening, nearly taking out his chin on the stone ledge as he dropped sharply, into a clump of crawberry plants. Poking behind their scraggly branches, Colt drew out the crate he had planted there before, taking out a jar of paste he used for his "tan".

Colt heard a faint crunch, of dry twigs being crushed, and sensed a shadow over him. He stilled, and turned his head sharply.

To face a furious disheveled orchard farmhand, who was supposed to be tied up in an old shed, glaring down at him, above the whoosh of an oncoming garden shovel. That was headed right for his head.

Colt let out a curse.