Do you believe in ghosts? I don’t think I was ever given the option. My names is Fiona Grey and my constant companion is my late fiancé, Milton Davis. While it’s nice never to be alone, it’s hard to never be alone.
Milton and I had grown up together, you see and I used to think of him as another brother. But when the scandal around my birth reach the ears of New York Society’s first 400, even my grandparent’s high social standing couldn’t protect me. Some would say I took the first train West and hid out in with the social upstarts in San Francisco. Milton’s family also had ties in California, thanks to mining ventures, and he accompanied us. In truth, it was his steadfastness that won my heart, but his gambling broke it. My beloved fiancé died two years ago in a coach race, trying to win the favors of a beautiful actress.
The tarnish of yet another scandal stained even my black mourning clothes.
But unlike most Victorian Misses, I am not a shrinking violet with nothing but thoughts of fashion plates, social intrigues and husband hunting in my head. My mother made certain each of her three daughters knew how to function in the world outside of Society.
And while my mother has the gift of the knowing, I don’t think she foresaw how I would become a woman of business so she and my father could tend my sister who has Consumption (Some would say this was proof of our lowly birth). 1890’s business is no place for a lady, let alone a woman. But my parents were such employers that the fellows they did business with tolerated my presence. After a time, I even think that they might have begun to see me as passably capable.
It was while my parents were seeking a cure for my sister’s affliction that the telegram arrived. My uncle needed my mother’s help in talking to the dead. No good ever came from talking to the dead. For one, they seem stuck in the past. Milton is endlessly regaling me with his feats of daring. Alas, I was there during most of these adventures and remember the events differently. I have rebuffed any urge to correct his faulty memories as it only results in him keeping me awake at all hours of the night.
Why don’t the dead need just a little sleep?
Instead of forwarding my uncle’s request to my parents, I undertook the journey to London. I do have plenty of experience with the spirits of the departed and can converse as well with them as with a fancy nob at a ball. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse the moment I landed. My aunt and uncle’s ship went down and many presume them dead. My aunt’s toadying relations have moved into her townhouse and are terrorizing the staff. As if these problems weren’t enough, I’m an American Heiress in London during the Season.
I thought being twenty-one and so firmly on the shelf that I’m collecting dust would protect me. Instead everyone assumes I’m husband hunting and my aunt’s impoverished relatives are determined that I marry that mushroom, Piers. To make matters worse, Milton has decided I need a husband and is taken it upon himself to find me one.
I would rather join Milton on the other side.
Fortunately, I have a solution at hand. I only need to convince the Earl of Kinglea to cooperate.
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