The Queen in Check
She tilted her head, looking at him with quizzical eyes that both together spoke more loudly than the words she dared not utter aloud!
He smiled at her concerns, his ’Gandalf” look again emerging as he spoke.
“No worries lass, it is nothing much different than what you attempted here this evening!”
“I needed to see how you would react because something is in the wind! I can sense it, and I do not believe you are that something, but I needed to be sure!”
“I was betting that my feelings lay from that scoundrel Steven! Betting that he would show up this evening based on a snippet of conversation I overheard my wife discussing while on the phone in our villa with Fabian, as they were arranging a meeting!”
“She came to me afterward and said she had to leave for a few days to go to the shore and meet up with an old friend, the bloody cheek of that woman!”
He spat out the words like it was something he had found revolting…
“My wife went to meet her lover at the seashore, they think I’m still at the villa. But I came back to trap Steven!”
She stared, realizing she could not have avoided being caught in a situation like this that had been totally out of her control. Just an unlucky roll of the dice, and an incredibly unfortunate one at that!
Still, with a, now sad, smile, he continued….
“Packing I made arrangements to fly back here as soon as she left the villa!”
“As I said, I was hoping to catch Steven in the act, and force my wife into a divorce if I withdrew charges against her beloved nephew!”
“Which brings me to my point!”
He poured more cognac and took a swig, rolling the liquid around in his mouth as he sought after the proper way to word his next sentence…
He looked at her inquiringly…
“I should return to the villa tomorrow…”
“So, if you would not mind playing a new game from scratch, here is my proposal.”
His grey eyes look into hers with a ’Gandalf ’ like hopeful plead…
“Are you interested in hearing it?”
She nodded sharply, confidently, what did she have to lose?
He sighed, relieved and pulling a notepad and pen from his tweed jackets pocket, began writing …
“ I know I could try to do this myself, but I am now far too complacent, too old, to play the game I enjoyed in my youth!”
“This is the address of Steven’s flat. I have never been there, but I assume he has a safe somewhere that may hold papers, correspondence, pawn tickets and such.
I would suggest using your talents to case the place and then break-in, locate the safe and claim its contents.”
He looked up at her from his notepad, she nodded her agreement to join in on the plot.
“You have two days; this must be done before my wife and I return from the villa. Once you have the papers, break back into this house, which I assume should be no problem?”
He grinned a bit at that, and she found herself smiling along with him, feeling relaxed for the first time in what now seemed forever since she had entered the study!
“Place what you find in my study safe, the one you were eyeballing earlier…. I will leave an envelope inside written…
He thought for a moment….
“Written ‘for your eyes only, my Kingsman’! If what I find there when I return is usable, then the contents of that envelope will allow you to be amply awarded... But let me warn you, it will also require work on your end for that reward!”
She leans back and nods her accord.
He rises, walking over to her, carrying the goblet, he offers her his hand.
She takes it and is helped up.
He is treating her like some debutante, and not the ruddy burglar she is! A true gentleman indeed she thinks, the silver lining to this dark cloud!
Leading her through the study, he lets her walk down the stairs ahead of him, back through the room that leads onto the back porch.
They walk out together into the darkness the still envelops the outside grounds of the Manor House….
They stop on the patio, just before it ends.
She hears him speak behind her…
“On your way then miss, and…?”
“And good luck!”
He smiles broadly, and she can see relief, and a glimmer of hope, in his grey eyes…
She turns, walks with a purpose back to the hedge and opens the gate she had jumped over…
Looking back she see that he is still on the porch, smoking a cigar, but he is facing away from her, looking in thought over the back yard, towards the moors.
She turns and disappears into the woods…
A faint glow over the moors gives away the new day coming…..
Heralding a new chapter in the winds of adventure!
The King’s men