Two lives, fated to interact in some violent way! That was the prediction that Richard Shawcross had been raised believing. He had learned that he, and an unknown lady from a French Family would encounter each other in a violent situation, in her twentieth year. That encounter would be the means of them saving each other; but from what, had not been disclosed. Memory of that prophecy had long since faded into the past when he had briefly returned for just the one night, carrying dispatches from the Continent and fighting Napoleon. That same night, on his way home, he had blundered upon a robbery. Three men were striving to rob an older gentleman and his passenger; a young lady, until he had ridden out of the fog with his saber drawn and had summarily dealt with them. After the carriage and its passengers had gone, their rescuer discovered a coin, threaded on a green ribbon, on the ground. The young lady had lost it. The coin matched one about his own neck, and exactly matched another that his older sister had also been given at his birth. They were all part of that same prophecy from many years earlier. Some parts of the prophecy seemed to have happened earlier than they should have done, but now, for the first time, he had proof that it all had meaning. He was not to know it, but that brief meeting, on that one occasion, was to provide the means to ensure that the fate predicted for them both would indeed come to pass, as it should, and almost to the day predicted, but still some two years off into the future. Two years later, Richard encounters inexpected difficullties. He finds that he has bitten off far more than he can chew when he kidnaps a young lady from her bed in the dead of night, and rides off with her. When he confronts her with the reality of her circumstance and what is to be her fate at his hands, she responds in a way that he cannot deal with. This was not the person he had expected to be faced with, but someone else altogether. This is a soft-spoken and genteel young lady, capable of turning him against himself. He begins to recognize that his many assumptions about her, turn out to have been very wrong, and he must rapidly re-evaluate what his options are to save her from the situation that he has presented her with. However, time is running out for him, and the matter is taken from his hands, when a knife wound she had earlier inflicted upon him, overcomes him, and strands them both in an impossible situation; she, knowing little of what has happened to bring this about, and he, lying unconscious on the floor and likely to die without her assistance. Fate brought them this far, and fate takes over to see it move forward in an unexpected way, but no less violent. It had all been predicted to unfold in such a way some twenty and more years earlier.