The floor, he thinks as gravity deposits him on the fashionable blue and off-white diamond-pattern marble tiles, is very cold and hard. But his eyes close long before his face plants itself in the marble and cracks the bridge of his nose, leaving a broken septum and a small smear of orange-red blood near River’s feet.
Her eyes are narrow on herself, accusing as she bends to wrap an arm around him, turning him over into a haze of folded cream and pale skin. His breaths come quick and shallow against her cheek, slight little puffs of air like whiffs of surf from any given sea set far beneath watchful cliffs.
She never sees the blue-eyed man in the long coat who’d been staring at her husband’s face from across the room retract himself from the shadow of the fishbowled crowd and down the marble stairs. Never sees his shoulders sink like millstones around his neck as he falls with each step backward into anger, then screams around on his heavy, sinking heel and runs.