Malcolm's life had become nothing more than mundane repetition, a series of routine tasks from sunrise to sunset. Existence no longer required thought or effort. Life and death were inevitable birthrights, but love was a matter of luck. Hope had suffered extinction in his heart Somewhere in the desolate remains of a seemingly harmless man erupted a strong breeze-perhaps blown in by fate-and it smelled of her. It brought with it an obsession that would prove to be deadly. She was nothing more than an absent memory, an unattainable dream Malcolm had convinced himself he could never acquire, to protect himself from believing he deserved happiness. They had crossed paths before, back when Malcolm was far too young to comprehend what he believed to be love at first sight. He had loved her before beauty graced the eye, before he ever spoke a name so sweet. On the night the Diamond perished, there were two others present. One of them was consumed with an infatuation that stole her life. She was deemed "the Diamond," a title not self-proclaimed but very much deserved. Her name was LaSydia "the Diamond" LaVan, a woman whose worth had been measured by many-the equivalent of a rare, precious stone.

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