A/C : Inspired by Lightfields and Marchlands. Enjoy and please review your opinions!

Chapter 1 – This is just the beginning

There was something different in the wind that day.

She could feel it.

But she didn't mention it.


It all happened so fast. Things were fine and normal...and then they found her.

To everyone's surprise, he was in despair more than anyone. He had screamed when he saw her bloody body, limp against the cold concrete.

He had even cried.

Everyone had just said she had fallen from the balcony. It was high up, granted, and it did look like she had fallen.

An accident, they called it.

But there was something odd about it.

Something seemed off.


"Amy! I need your help with something!"

Gingerly, Amy stepped into the grand bedroom. An ivory bat was standing opposite a mirror, wearing a beautiful long pink dress which reached the floor. It came off her shoulders, slightly, to reveal her beautiful clear skin.

"Mistress Rouge?" Amy curtsied to her mistress. It was just something she had always done. Amy was a sucker for manners.

Rouge laughed, "Amy! I've told you before! You don't need to be so formal with me! And please...call me Rouge!"

Amy blushed, "Okay...Rouge..."

The bat shot her a warm smile, before gesturing at the dress, "Thank you. Now, do you think this is appropriate for this evening?"

"You look beautiful, mistress Rouge. I mean...Rouge,"

"Thank you," Rouge began to sort out her hair, twirling it up into a bun and holding it in place, "Could you clip this together for me?"

Doing as she was told, the pink hedgehog grabbed two hair pins from the side and slid them into Rouge's white hair – making it sturdy and unable to flop into a mess. Rouge let go of her hair and admired herself in the mirror.

"Thank you. This party is unbelievably stupid. But, I must do as I am told. Women still don't have equal rights, if you ask me," Rouge moaned, twirling around the room.

Amy didn't say anything. From her perspective, Rouge was lucky. She was rich, secure and had everything she could wish for. Amy, meanwhile, had nothing. She had to work just to keep her family alive. And she couldn't even stay with her family.

But, then again, being a maid wasn't that bad.

And people thought you were lucky if you even got a glimpse of Timelock House. Let alone becoming a maid there.

So, all in all, life wasn't too terrible.



"I can't believe we landed a place like this..."

A silver hedgehog smiled at his wife, "Believe it, Blaze. We got landed with a place like this,"

The couple was standing outside the house – staring at it. It was huge: a massive brown brickwork mansion which stretched out across the driveway. It was situated a little while away from the city, but not too far, so the surroundings were nice and quiet. The house had a gravel path which led down to the iron metal gates – which opened up onto the road. There were trees dotted around the house, decoratively.

"This is the perfect place for us to have our family," The female lavender cat wrapped an arm around her husband, patting her 28-weeks-pregnant-bump, "I just can't get over how big it is for such a cheap price, Silver!"

Silver shrugged, "I'm not sure. The owner claimed that a few of the other owners had been scared off,"

"Scared off? How?"

"He didn't say," Silver laughed, "But I don't believe that. Maybe the decor scared them off?"

Blaze laughed along with him, "In that case, I think you're going to be doing some serious decorating!"

"Thanks. I'll look forward to that," Silver turned back to the red Austin Mini Cooper which was parked in the driveway, "I know you can't lift much – but could you bring the littler, lighter things? Like the ornaments?"

"Of course," Blaze tucked a black box under her arm and pulled the house keys from her handbag, "What was the name of this house again?"

Silver grunted as he lifted a heavy TV onto his shoulders, and turned to face the house again, "Urgh...Timelock, I think,"

"Well," Blaze smiled, "I think Timelock House is going to be the start of something very different,"

And how right they were.


"Remind me again...why are we staying here?"

An orange twin tailed fox rolled his eyes, "We need to stay here for a while because the workshop is being repaired. I've told you this about...eight times, Sonic!"

The cobalt hedgehog shrugged, "Yeah well, I was looking at the house. It's kinda interesting, don't cha think?"

"I'm not sure..." The fox shivered, "It gives me the creeps,"

Sonic zoomed over to the young male and placed an arm around his shoulders, "Don't worry, Tails. We'll be gone in a few weeks. And in the mean time, we can check this place out. It's really old. I bet it has some cool mystery or history tied to it!"

"Just because you're a hero," Tails chuckled, "Doesn't mean everything has to be interesting or different!"

"I'm well travelled," Sonic smirked, "Which means I know a creepy house when I see one! And this place is making my weird-alarm go crazy!"

"Weird alarm?"

"Yep. I bet this place is haunted or something!"

Tails gulped, "I hope not. And besides, the owner didn't say anything about it being haunted,"

"Ever heard of a thing called lying, Tails?"

"Ha ha," Tails pouted, sourly, "All I'm saying is, there is no reason for us to think that this place is haunted,"

"Fine," Sonic glanced around the room. They were standing in, what appeared to be, a living room. However, it was twice the size of your average one. Almost as if it was meant to be a ballroom or something.

"I guess we should start unpacking our stuff," Tails suggested, wandering out into the hall to reach the front door, "All the stuff is in the Blue Typhoon. Even though you refused to fly in it,"

"What can I say? I love to run!"

Tails chuckled again, "Well, since this is a massive house, you'll get lots of chances to run around. Now, come and help me unload your stuff!"

"You mean your stuff," Sonic tapped his foot against the floor and folded his arms, "You're the one who insisted on bringing ALL your inventions,"

"They're important!"

"Look, bud," Sonic raced over to the open door, "You need to get out the house more and get a bit more of a social life,"

"Oh, shut up!" Tails smiled, running after his blue friend to the plane.

Even though this place gave him the creeps.


Leaving Rouge to sort herself out, Amy rushed downstairs to help with the preparations for this evening. She hadn't been told what the celebration was – but she wanted to help out in any way she could.

"Amy!" A faint voice called to her as she entered the living room. It had been converted into a ball room for this party and the other servants were rushing around – placing vases and decorations on the elegant tables dotted around the room.

The rabbit who had called Amy skipped over to her, with a glass vase in her delicate hands, "You're here! Great! You can help me to sort out this vase. I need to go and collect some flowers from the fields outside the city. Would you like to come?"

Amy smiled. This was her best friend. Cream the rabbit. She was a few years younger than Amy – around the age of 14. She was wearing the same grey maid's dress as Amy, with a white pinafore at the front, because she was of the same status as Amy. The two had become close friends after meeting.

"I'd love to come!" Amy giggled, brushing a loose hair behind her ears, "I'll grab some flower cutters so we can pick them easily!"

Cream smiled back, "I'll meet you outside the house!"

And with that, she rushed off.

Wanting to get away and just spend an afternoon in the flower fields with Cream, Amy ran as fast as she could down to the shed in the back garden. It was musty and dirty, but Amy ignored the cobwebs and spiders before finding the cutters. They were rusting slightly, but she didn't think that would matter too much.

She was just about to leave the house when she slammed into a passing hedgehog.

"Oh my!" She blushed, helping up the fallen figure, "I wasn't looking where I was going! I am so sorry! I just didn't..."

"It's okay, Amy," The hedgehog smirked, "I was lost in my own world too,"

It was him. The master of the house.

But he was mainly known as a heart throb by the maids of the house.

It was no secret. Everyone that Amy had met thought that he was gorgeous. He was everything that a girl would want in a man – kind, interesting, funny, handsome, mysterious.

Although, the shallow girls liked him because he was rich.

Amy hated to admit it, but she was an admirer in a long line of girls. She had developed feelings for him over the time she had worked here. But she liked him for him. Not his money. He was just incredible to talk to. Even for a moment.

Not that Amy had ever tried.

But she was no different. No one would dare try and flirt with him – since he was married.

To Rouge the bat.

"I am sorry, sir," Amy hung her head low, feeling stupid. However, she was more shocked when he placed a hand under her chin and raised her head.

"Don't worry," He shot her a heart melting smile, which made Amy's legs go weak. The simple feeling of his hand on her face was mind blowing. His heat was spreading through her body and it was just like the stories. She felt like sparks were flying, "And please. Call me Shadow. Rouge has informed me of your manners – and they are very admirable. But you do not need to be so formal with us. You can call us by our first names, Amy,"

Amy gave a brisk nod, feeling a slight amount of disappointment when Shadow placed his hand back down by his side, "R-Rouge spoke of me?"

"Yes," Shadow grinned, "She's taken a liking to you. Just don't let her get too bossy. You know what she's like,"

Amy stifled a laugh – not wanting to be horrible about Rouge. She was nice; just a tad vain.

"I won't," The pink hedgehog smiled, brightly, "And I must go now, sir. Goodbye Shadow,"

"I trust that you will be back in time for this evening?" The ebony hedgehog watched, intently, as Amy dashed for the entrance.

"I will!" She called, before disappearing out of the door.

Shadow sighed to himself. That hedgehog really was something quite special. Was it bad that he felt a kind of longing towards her?

That was the first time they had properly spoken.

The ebony hedgehog felt pleased that he had finally made himself known to the beautiful pink goddess.

Amy had been working here for around a month now. And from the first day she had arrived, Shadow had thought she was special. He had kept an eye on her from afar – and it was only now that he had made conversation with her. She was just as amazing and pretty as she had hoped.

He wanted to tell her. He wanted her to love him back. But he couldn't.

Because of this stupid marriage.

And the ironic thing? No one except Rouge, Shadow and their parents knew that it wasn't even a wanted marriage.

It had been arranged.

Without Shadow's consent.