Authors Note: I have fell madly in love with these characters all over again and have finally had the idea for some fic. Based pre-novel since the book version is all I'm really familiar with. I have 12 chapters planned for this, all of which are slightly over 500 words each.

Disclaimer: Don't own anything to do with the characters or book.

It was her voice that first caught his attention. The way it softly lowered when she was trying to be serious and how whenever she laughed it sounded as if she was from a different region straight afterwards but recovered it before anyone else noticed.

Of course he knew who she was, her reputation was almost as well known as his own, yet they had never came into contact before this night. Their mutual friends were always mentioning her name in conversation, unbeknown to them the Vicomte loved to keep tabs on that particular woman because the stories about her were fascinating. She was even more impressive in the flesh with her long dark hair tied up and a few loose tendrils framing her face, a black and red dress accentuating her curves while contrasting against her pale skin.

He tried to hide a smirk as he watched her attempt to wind the conversation she was in down to a stop, her eyes were darting everywhere seeking some reason to escape from the clutches of the second most beautiful woman in the room - Marquise de Merteuil clearly outshone all the others in every aspect. Their lines of vision finally met and he motioned her over; she pretended to recognise him and made her way across the room.

"I would ask for the name of my knight in shining armour but the truth is I know exactly who you are and I guess you know my name?"

"Is there any chance of me not knowing you when we live in the same circles?"

She raised an eyebrow in amusement, "So you prefer to answer a question with another question, that must reveal something about you but I can't put my finger on what, yet."

"You're quite a piece of work yourself if you don't mind me saying."

Swirling around the wine that was in a glass in her hand she looked closely at him, working out if he was as sharp and charming as he made out to be. He didn't break eye contact as the silence continued and they felt something - not 'electricity' per say, a simple connection - pass between them. They knew that they had found their new sparring partner or play-toy ot whatever they would like the other to be.

She suddenly wished they had met when she wasn't beginning to lose her way with men because they now wanted to be seen with younger females. The male facing her was clearly the same age as her, if not a little older, yet he was more handsome than the majority of her evening partners and all she could think of was how to get him to see her in the same way and whisk her off to some private place.

When he was this near to her he could see the tell-tale signs that showed she had lived through a few too many tough times and they made her so much more real and attractive. He could see how she doubted her own looks and wanted to reassure her but couldn't get the words out of his mouth. Instead he slowly raised his hand and ran a finger across her gloved knuckles and turned away.

"I hope I can rescue you again Marquise."