A partnership with the devil.

Yes, it may as well be that for himself or for Miranda, he wasn't sure anymore. Her customary red lipped smile widened, ever so slightly touched with that tinge of madness that infected her whole being. Well, in truth it made her an easy target.

He was under no illusions though – for someone with as shrewd an intellect as the Barma woman despite her insanity, he knew she could sense his weaknesses. His wish to reverse the wrongs of the Baskerville's, to erase that dreaded Child of Misfortune idea. To bring Lacie back from the Hell she'd been sent to.

Miranda did not care about that. And really their desires were all too simple and all the more dangerous for it. They both desired a person, those most attractive of the Baskerville siblings. Jack had wondered about that sometimes. What was it that made Oswald and Lacie so very special? Those hypnotic eyes of theirs, the dark hair... no, none of it seemed altogether so remarkable. Jack had slept with numerous people bearing similar traits and peculiarities.

But no one he knew was ever quite like those two. And that's why he knew with a sinking heart that he would agree to Miranda's terms for their alliance. That's why he would make use of this woman, of everyone around him if need be. He laughed to himself. The Baskerville siblings... did they ever even realise that they would be this important? That people, lives, cities would be destroyed because they existed?

And Miranda had laughed in that low pitched way of hers when he'd put that very question to her. She'd trailed fingers on his arm, up his neck, brushed his face but with no trace of seduction or warmth. Jack could always recognise the difference.

"Dear boy," She smiled a scarlet scar on her wan face. She always had that pale look of being trapped in her dungeon for too long. "Is it not their ignorance that damns them and makes them so beautiful to us?"

Jack had smiled, succumbed to her touch. But in truth, her opinion mattered little to him and privately he disagreed. No, surely just the act of holding the Baskerville name must be a heavy burden just as the Vessalius name was to him. And with that burden, the definite unbearable knowledge that they could not live without things being destroyed around them. To cause so much chaos in their pathway through life gave an aura of bloody violence much like the red rain Lacie had once danced in.

And then he had loved her from that instant, just as he had loved her brother later, knowing their paths as his, were to be tainted and carved in blood.