The man finished the champagne in the fragile crystal decanter and set it on he silver tray expertly held aloft by the passing servant. The tuxedoed waiter paused for only a moment for the man to avail himself with another glass and then disappeared deftly into the crowd.

Dorian sipped at his fresh glass of champagne and wondered for a moment why he had even taken it. He did not want it. Everything had suddenly gone sour. Even the world's finest vintage left a brassy taste in his mouth. His piercing green eyes swept across the assembly of celebrities and V.I.P's with tolerable boredom. The crowd was a gathering of the world's richest, most famous, and most influential or a subtle mix of all three.

Greeting them with dignified graciousness and pride was the creator of the lavish event. Tall and lithe of stature, he looked every inch of what he was: A Swiss industrialist of incalculable wealth.

Disobedient green eyes wandered to the person standing beside the man and he wondered for a moment if his eyes were deceiving him. Surely this was not the woman he was looking for. The years apart had not dimmed his memory of her fine features, not that memory mattered much. Her features had barely changed at all, she had aged beautifully with time barely making a scratch on her stunning good looks.

The one shouldered white Dior sheath was a worthy rival to any of the other gowns in the room and the opal and diamond necklace that hung from her slender neck was as exquisite as any of the other jewelry that beckoned the other women in the area. The simplicity of her outfit was almost virtuous by comparison. Her hair came close to being styled too casually for the occasion; it wasn't loose and flowing as he had last remembered it, the dark glossy tresses were swept up into a loose knot at the top of her head and the jeweled hair clasp seemed to have a hard time hold on to the dark curls as a few had escaped their confines to frame her small pixie-like face. With the least bit of encouragement, say a man's caressing hand; the entire mass would come tumbling down around his lucky hands.

Leaving the dregs of the champagne in the glass on a small table and fished for another with which to keep her hands occupied as a photographer stepped in front of him to snap her picture as she laughed at something the industrialist had said to her. The flash hit her full in the eyes and she was momentarily blinded. A dark forest of lashes blinked over pale eyes several times before they came to focus. The photographer had moved on, leaving standing directly in front of her and he impaled her with a ferocious glower. Her gracious smile intended for the photographer froze for a moment, before it totally collapsed and slipped from her face.

Her eyes widened with shock and recognition and her hands fell limply to her side as her mouth formed a tiny rounded 'O'. He had seen that same expression of shock and surprised caution many times before when he had first met her when she was younger and naïve to the horrors to his world.