Milady sipped her tea calmly, peering out at the landscape that lay beyond the balcony. Though she was not certain that the sky would clear up in time to take a walk, she was almost certain that the game was going well.
“If you were actually serious about chess,” the man sitting across from her said, “you might spend more time looking at the board and less time gazing at the scenery.”
“Never,” Milady snarled, looking across the table at her opponent. “You will never beat me at chess.”
“I just did,” her opponent said. He adjusted his top hat ever so slightly. “Checkmate.”
Milady’s eyes grew wide with shock. Hardly anyone beat her at chess, especially not a men, and especially extra-especially not men who owned white terriers rather than black poodles.
“Well,” said Milady, “if we’ve finished the game, I suppose you can leave.”
The man gave her a small smile, as if he were gloating. Milady was quite sure he was.
“If you’re going to sit there and make rude remarks,” she said, “then you can leave at once.”
Her opponent didn’t dare to mention that he hadn’t said anything at all. He had seen that glint in her eyes only once before, and it had spelled trouble. But he wasn’t about to leave.
Milady threw the teacup at the man, who seemed to disappear as soon as it was thrown. If you looked closely, just as the hot liquid was splashing on the carpeted floor, you would have seen two birds, one black, and one white, chasing one another against the dark sky.