Selfless Love

Prologue

Lizzy could not tell you exactly when her heart broke. There was no single moment she could pinpoint. It was, rather, a slow process – a little piece here, a little piece there, as she gradually became aware that her beloved Ciel did not return her feelings.

He used to care for her. She was sure of it. Maybe still did. Just not in the way she wished so much that he would. It was that damn butler's fault. Ever since he came on the scene Ciel had been different. More…remote. Yes, he still cared for her. But now he loved her as a friend, or maybe a younger sister. His true passions were reserved for Sebastian. And she was certain the butler returned his feelings.

It was the little things that gave it away. The way Ciel would search for the slightest excuse to order the butler about. The way that Ciel's eyes would follow him as he carried out his duties. The way the butler's fingers lingered for a split second longer than necessary when adjusting the young Earl's clothing.

It hurt her heart to see these things. Hurt her almost more than she could bear. But true love meant putting your beloved's happiness ahead of your own. Or so it said in the fairy-tales she was so fond of reading. So she locked her pain deep within her heart, planted a smile on her face and played the part of bubbly, air-headed fiancé.

What irritated her most about the situation was the way Ciel seemed oblivious to his own feelings. Her beloved Earl possessed street smarts and political savvy. He was diligent and savvy in service to his Queen. Yet he was utterly clueless when it came to matters of the heart.

Yes, she wanted Ciel to want her...to love her with all his heart, the way that she loved him. But his happiness was important to her and his happiness lay with that wretched butler. So, after one particularly gruelling afternoon of watching those two tiptoe around each other, she began to formulate a plan.