"Nic, my friend, you think Fate's a witch? Just wait until you meet her sister Destiny." (Connor Holden, Earl of Featherstone)
Every story has a beginning often driven by fate.
It is the year of our Lord 1493, and King Henry VII has been seated on the English throne for eight years. He did not get there by chance alone. Nor has he stayed there with ease. He has his favorites, generously rewarding those who serve him well. Sir Nic McKinnon is at the top of that list.
For his faithful devotion, Nic finds himself graciously rewarded. That reward is the hand in marriage to the seventh Duchess of Seabridge. The only issue is Nic isn't interested in the bounty, and taking a wife is certainly not in his plans. However, he understands that seeming ungrateful to Henry for his gift or disobeying a king's command is never wise. Nic reluctantly agrees to marry. Living with his duchess was not one of Henry's stipulations.
To that end, Nic's plan is to marry the young duchess, and then leave her to her own designs. That is until he finds that she is in danger, so much so that she is fleeing for her very life. Nic is sworn to protect the king's subjects who cannot protect themselves, but more than that, no one threatens what belongs to a McKinnon. She belongs to him by the king's decree. The question now is not whether he marry her and leave her behind - the question is much clearer: Can he keep her alive?
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