“You cannot cheat Fate, you know.”
The sudden statement broke the heavy blanket of silence that had been wrapped around the room. It was a bare little space-the only furniture was a small table and two chairs. Both were currently occupied.
“Can I not?”
Two pairs of eyes met and locked. One bright scarlet, one with mismatched irises of black and green.
“You cannot. Play, Lady.”
The scarlet eyes dipped as their owner gave a terse nod, then dropped to scan the game board laid out on the small table. A perfect map of the world, down to the last detail, overlaid with squares. Currently, there were no pieces on the board.
The one addressed as the Lady reached down to a bag by her side and drew out two pieces. She set them down on the board with a couple of light clicks.
Her opponent leant forwards to examine them.
“A young girl with seven fingers and a runty baby dragon?”
The Lady nodded, a faint smile curving her lips. Her challenger leaned back and smirked a little. The faint light illuminating the room made his lip stud gleam.
He reached down and brought out his own two playing pieces, setting them down opposite the Lady’s with panache. The Lady studied them.
“A blood-red griffon and a vampire man,” she stated, her voice expressionless. “Exactly what I had expected from you.”
The man nodded, and flicked a lock of black hair from his heavily made-up eyes.
“You can make the first move,” he offered, generously. Then his expression sharpened.
“Show me what you’re made of, Lady.”
The Lady Luck smiled almost affectionately at him.
“Very well, Fate,” she said, and picked up the dice.
Many miles away, four stories were about to begin.