In the distance, one could just make out the promise of rain. The dark clouds just begin to roll over the horizon, blocking out any sign of the sun, which had previously shined brightly all through the day. A pity too, that such clouds had begun their existence at such a time. I had desired to see the setting sun, and all its array of colors. It doesn't shine much here. Mostly, the sky is filled with dreary clouds, and a drizzle of what my family used to say is God's tears.

I simply have the desire to call it rain.

I exhaled a light breath as I peered down upon the ground, my bonnet just peeking down along with my gaze. I inhaled, but not as deeply as I would have desired to. Corsets are such an atrocious thing. And my maid, Mirada, a burly woman with rosy cheeks and a harsh voice, says a lady must gasp with her breath, along with every word she speaks. A lady must show her pureness and allure through the breath a man can hear she says.

There is also a rude gesture I send her way, nearly every day.

I allowed a light smile to grace my lips

I fiddled with the hem of my gloves, as I crossed the cobbled street, not bothering to look up.

Such a childish mistake, I had realized much too late, when I had fallen to the ground in a pitiful state, the grunts of a man beside me. My dress was in disarray around me and my bonnet had slipped from me. Oh Mirada would have me a new one tonight.

"Are you alright?" Was his immediate response. Though I had no way of knowing if it was a true gentlemanly question, or simply of one who wanted to be on his merry way. Either or, a true lady would have responded immediately. And I had not. I soon cursed myself as I took his neatly gloved hand and allowed him to gently pull me up. When I was steady on my feet again, I brushed off the insignificant traces of dirt upon my gown and braced myself to look up at the gentleman, who I would take the chances to assume would be an ignorant fool, with naught to intrigue me.

"It would seem so." I gasped out, cursing Mirada for pulling the strings of the damning corset so tightly.

Though, maybe I might have braced myself, not for a jester, but for a race of my heart.

Here, in my homeland, everything is dull to me. There is no life here and there is no choice. It just is. The good men are taken, or if they are good men, they simply do not fascinate me. Father often scolded me for not marrying when I was in my prime, which had only been naught but six years ago. He would never make me do something I had no wishes for, but it dismayed him that he had no heir to give his fortunes to. No son. Just his disgrace of a daughter, who loved the pages of a book more than the politics of life.

But oddly enough, as I stared into the eyes of a man who seemed as eccentric as I am, I became utterly entranced, much as I did with the men in my books.

"Pardon me miss, I had not mean to be rude. Please forgive me." I had not expected his voice to be deep with humor.

I cleared my throat, and a very feminine noise poured through my lips. "I must beg your pardon kind sir, my eyes were not viewing the world before me, as they should have been."

He gave a light smile and the slight dip of his head.

A gesture in which I graciously returned. "Now if you'll kindly excuse me..."

I turned away from the person of fascination with a heavy heart and began walking towards the route I had so often traveled, not expecting that he would follow.

"Miss wait!" He cried out and I paused upon the walkway, oddly enough the crowd dispersing around the both of us. "Might I know your name?"

A smile formed. "And what would you do with a name?"

His eyes, which had reminded me so fondly of an ocean I had yet to see out of dreams, lit with a light that I had sworn only glowed on a starry night. " Treasure it o'course."

"You have no desire to change it good sir?"

His smile faltered, and despair coursed through me, as I had been the one to allow it to do so. "Only if you will it."

His answer frightened me, but in the same breath excitement wove its iron grip around the beating muscle within my chest.

"Elisabeth." I said with disdain. "A common name for a common girl I fear. And what might they call you?"

"Coltan." He grinned and I gasped a laugh.

"You lie!"

"By God's Graces I do not!" His laughter tumbled out from his paled lips. "And I shall say miss Elisabeth, you are anything but a common girl."

I gave a chuckle, but I looked down in a fog of embarrassment, feeling the brush of warmth along my cheeks. "And you are anything but a common man, I do fear."

"And why, pray tell, may that be something to fear?" He murmured and I found myself staring into those eyes in which I knew I could not return. His scent, which reminded me of pine and soap, enveloped me.

"I am a hag monsieur, surely not a ravishing lady with a primed womb to sprout your seed in." There were a few gasps of women around me but I didn't flinch. If this was uncivilized than uncivilized I may be. "And a man of your beauty would surely want the latter would he not?"

"Then may I not be a man of beauty in order to be graced with yours." He sighed. " My dearest Elisabeth, if it is not too much to ask, and if so might I beg your pardon, but may I be graced with your presence on this fine evening?"

And there it was. He had turned the tables upon me. I had no choice but to accept.

Not that I wanted to decline to begin with.

I had a right to be entranced to this man, and I had a feeling that settled deep within my bones, that he would be the only man to capture it.

I cast my gaze downwards and slipped my gloved hand into his awaiting arm. "You may, good sir. But do not have me out long, my father would become worried."

"Thank you." He merely said and we began to blend with the crowd. People flowing around us but seeming to disappear the longer his warmth enveloped me, seeping through my dress and into the very pores of my skin. I shivered slightly.

"Cold?" He asked and I shook my head, but made move to be closer. He chuckled.

"So, Coltan, where do you originate."

"I live here actually, on Michelins Manor."

"You are of relation to the Michelins?" I asked. He let out a deep laugh.

"Yes, I am their eldest son. And you?"

"Here as well. Hawthorne Estate."

"Your father is the duke?" He asked blatantly and I nodded in affirmation. "So you are the unattainable beauty my brothers so fondly speak of."

"I know naught of what you speak." I looked away and suddenly we had stopped walking.

"You do." He murmurs quietly, fingers beneath my jaw. I breathed in a shallow breath as he tilted my face to look at me. "Eyes as green as spring moss, skin as fair as new fallen snow, and lips as delicate as a rose petal." His thumb flicked over my bottom lip.

"Your beauty is unmatched my dear Elisabeth, and I find your character is much more so."

"Beauty is simply a shell. I could be a monster beneath."

"A monster I will happily tame." He breathed and I merely watched in fascination as his lips descended onto mine.

And everything clicked.

In one instant I had found my calling. My reason for breathing, for living, for dying. My reason to watch the sunrise and set, to feel the raindrops spill across my skin as it will now.

I did not know this man, only his name and the humor in his laugh, the kindness in his voice, the scent of his skin, and the endlessness of his eyes.

But for now, that was surely enough. Because I was fascinated beyond belief.

And as he kissed me with swollen lips and a racing heart, it had begun to rain.

I pulled away to laugh and place my head upon his shoulder. He laughed into my hair.

"Shall we?" He murmured.

"We shall." I replied, instantly, as a lady should.