Dear Gentle Readers,
It is with greatest satisfaction that this author has the pleasure of reporting on Lady Hamersley’s ball last eve. A smashing success, not only for the number of guests and the quality of the victuals, but also for the presence of a Most Elusive Bachelor, the Nighthawk himself, Sir Jasper Lynch. One wonders what Lady Hamersley had to offer to lure the mysterious rogue blue blood to her soiree, for the ball was shockingly devoid of bodies, which here-to-date seem to be the only thing to capture the Nighthawk’s attention. For her Dear Reader’s sake, this reporter wasted no time in pursuing an interview, direct from the lips of the man himself.
Sir, such a delight to see you. What brings you to Lady Hamersley’s?
Sir Jasper *looking impatient*: I’ve heard the blud wein is of significant quality.
Indeed, but with the blood draining factories suffering such a major setback recently (for those readers far removed from good society, four of the factories were burned rather deliberately last month by a faction of malcontents calling themselves Humanists), blud wein is becoming rather scarce. Might I ask if there have been any advances in the case?
Sir Jasper: The Nighthawks are doing what we can to track the perpetrators. Unfortunately, the scene was nearly obliterated by the fires and by every da—d busybody wishing to gawk. The Humanists managed to use the confusion to vanish back into the populace, though we are following up several leads.
Ah yes, the Humanist Movement that’s on everybody’s lips, tell me, what are the Nighthawks doing about the situation? It is rumoured that the Prince Consort is not pleased about the recent bombing attempt at the Ivory Tower that followed in the wake of the draining factories. London’s Citizens are beginning to wonder if nowhere is safe. It seems the Humanists, particularly their leader Mercury, appear to be one step ahead of the game, hmm?
Sir Jasper: If by London’s Citizens, you refer to the good folk of the Echelon, then perhaps they would be wise to take caution. The Humanists don’t appear to be targeting the poorer classes, like the humans or the mechs. As to the investigation, it is ongoing, however I assure you that I am going to personally deliver Mercury to the Prince Consort. In chains.
And I assure you, Sir Jasper, such an emphatic statement eases my heart. This Author is well aware of your track record with miscreants. Let society note that Sir Jasper has never once failed to bring down his prey. Though… perhaps I can deduce that you are hunting other prey tonight? After all, it seems every blue blood of consequence must be in need of a good thrall.
Sir Jasper *staring rather coldly down his nose*: I consider myself wedded to the job. I have no intentions of taking a consort or a blood thrall.
But surely, a man of your status—
Sir Jasper: I have no status. I’m a rogue, not a blue blood of the Echelon. I’m fully cognizant of my place.
(Yes, well, we’re all aware of the circumstances behind Sir Jasper’s fall from grace. This Author notes that Sir Jasper’s uncle, the Duke of Bleight is not in attendance tonight. Coincidence perhaps?) So if you’re not in the market for a thrall, then can one conclude that perhaps you’re seeking a certain, dashing revolutionary? Could it be? Could the humanist movement have started in the Echelon’s very midst?
Sir Jasper *somewhat stiffly*: Dashing?
The cape. The mask. Everybody’s talking about Mercury, good sir, and of how some of them wouldn’t be averse to coming across such a gentleman.
Sir Jasper: Good grief….
Although, with that disguise, one wouldn’t know if Mercury were indeed male or female. Goodness, you could be chasing your tail after a woman! What would you do then?
Sir Jasper *through gritted teeth*: I would capture her and hand her to the Prince Consort. In chains. Petticoats notwithstanding. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have matters to attend to…
Of course. (Watches as the Nighthawk gives a brief nod of dismissal and then stalks away through the ballroom). I daresay such nonsense is pure speculation, but wouldn’t it be fun if such a mysterious figure were indeed a woman? Indeed, this Author almost wouldn’t mind finding a mask and cape of her own, if one were certain to capture the eye of the very dutiful Master of the Nighthawks. I’m sure most of my Dear Readers would agree.
Without further ado,
Lady Macklemore, reporting for the Society Papers of the London Standard
30 September 1879
MY LADY QUICKSILVER BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES OCTOBER 2013
“I WILL COME FOR YOU…”
He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her?
It’s his duty to turn her in—she’s a notorious spy and traitor. But after one stolen moment, he can’t forget the feel of her in his arms, the taste of her, or the sharp sting of betrayal as she slipped off into the night. Little does Mercury know, no one hunts better than the Nighthawk. And his greatest revenge will be to leave her begging for his touch…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.
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