Prologue

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Wellington Estate, Essex, November 1805

He looked out over the desolate cliff side, his collar turned up against the heavy rain that fell from a grey steel sky. The English country side was always miserable this time of year, cold and wet. The sea was the same steel grey as the sky, and less forgiving. It churned and relentlessly smacked the shore.

But he didn't mind the rain. It provided the perfect cover for what he was about to do, for what was about to happen. He had waited a long time for this and wouldn't let the chance slip by.

He'd get everything he ever wanted after this, if that spoiled brat didn't ruin his plans, including the title he deserved.

He flicked the reins, focusing on what he had to do. The cliff side was treacherous in weather like this. If one wasn't careful, one could slip on the cliffs and never see the next day. Anyone could make a mistake.

That was just what he was counting on.

On the very edge of the cliff, where a narrow path led down to the pebbly shore below, a lone rider left their stead at the top and began the careful descend of the path. One slip and the sea would swallow them.

He dismounted as well and followed the lone figure a distance behind. He had to do this right, or he'd face a lifetime in Newgate. He shuddered at the thought of the infamous prison. Best get this right, then.

He began down the same path as the rider, the rider almost directly below him. He bent and selected a good size rock.

He had to time it just right, and watched as the rider's foothold slipped only a bit.

And then...

He dropped his rock.

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Soooo, I had to add a few things and move things around for this to make more sense. This will clear things up later on, for my devote readers, and for new comers, well, you'll find out later, I guess.

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