Sybil's fate has been cast in glass for hundreds of years. For centuries, her world has been defined within the contours of an antique mirror. Even so, her dreams haven't changed. She longs for a chance to break free, to live her girlish fantasy of sweet future and warm caresses.
Jamie Perriford is a self-made man, acquiescing to family tradition. He visits Perriford Castle with a rolling of eyes and a satirical twist of his lips. Never was a man so put upon by family, by irrelevant traditions, by pursuit from determined heiresses. Jamie has need of neither a wife, nor interference from the past.
When Jamie encounters Sybil, he is as warmed by her form and unique perspective, as he is by her rather dusty and naive charms. When he takes her in his arms, he realizes that although Destiny may have brought them here, it was A Kiss for Luck that has wooed and won her. If he can only hold fast, he may be lucky enough never to let her go.
Cursed. It had been a long time since she'd felt the limits of her confinement so strongly. The resonance of steps and movements, the sounds that rebounded into her small space before dissipating into nothingness, had kept her from believing she, too, was nothing. Now that he'd entered the attic, and was searching intently, his resonance made her shiver.
There is something here…
In the man. In his movements. Determination…destiny? Sybil didn't know, but for the first time in what seemed like eons, she had hope. A rescuer was at hand.
If only… She watched, heart in mouth, eyes nearly as glazed as the glass which bound her. Would he recognize her plight? Would he see? Her world was but a reflection of his, the whole of it refracted in darts and speckles of cerulean light. No glimpses of glory, solely a room which remained unchanged until the glass was shifted.
The man jumped at his own reflected movements, and she glimpsed the trace of foolish amusement as he recognized his mistake. Ah, the giant, brawny breadth of him…
And if he were here with me, there'd be no room left for pacing. For her agitated steps, carrying on for an eternity.
Of course, the only visitor to the attic in years would be one such as he. This man wasn't about to kiss his own reflection. She was stuck, and so was he, but his was a pose of admiration at his own grandeur. He peered at himself, wriggling his eyebrows, then baring his teeth.
Yes, you are ferocious. Yes, you are beguiling and ever so handsome.
Now, he was using her narrow confinements to pick his teeth.
Sybil shifted away in disgust. Not this one. It wouldn't be this one. The man who rescued her would need to be much more narcissistic than this. She sighed. At this point, she would even settle for some conceited cow of a female smooching the glass. It was why Sybil was here, after all—admiration of her own female form.
And if I hadn't played such a fool's game, of enticing and spurning suitors, I wouldn't be here.
I'd be dust in the ground, long dead. At the moment, it seemed almost preferable to non-life trapped behind glass—a reflection of someone else's fate, while her own sat in stasis.
The brute tore on, back to searching the attic. Looking for refinement, no doubt. In search of prisoners, more likely, though what war, what passing violence, made no difference to her. It's all the same when you're trapped in timelessness.
But it appeared he wasn't merely boorish—he was clumsy. With an unwary movement, the mirror toppled, and Sybil toppled with it. She landed on boxes and frames, rolled over birdcages and a dressmaker's dummy, her perspective as warped as the skeins which tangled her in their lengths. And in the background came the resonant, seemingly ceaseless, horrific shattering clatter of broken glass…
Her world, her tiny confines, were nearly gone, narrowed to the reflected image of an apple-sized piece of glass.
It's over. Hope, freedom, gone forever.
It was confirmed in the next instant. The brute leaned over, jutted his jaw to admire its strength in a scattered shatter, then cleverly picked up the nearly square shard in which he'd been portrayed so admirably and shoved it casually into a drawstring pouch tied to his belt.
Her world went horribly, irrevocably, black.