Episode Three: Her Ladyship: Scene 20

I glanced around the room. One of the waiters wasn’t being very waiterly. Another man was loitering near the door. “Your Ladyship, are those your bodyguards?”

She narrowed her eyes slightly. “No. My bodyguards are at the next table.”

Casting my gaze around the room I saw them – two fit looking young women who were enjoying their own tea and sandwiches. Then I turned back to her. “So, are those two guys anything to worry about?”

“I don’t know.” She finished her sandwich. “Perhaps, then, we should cut this short. You have nothing to fear from me…right now.”

Which meant it might change at any moment, if the woman got more information. It was the best I could really expect from this situation, of course. “Maybe I can get the honor of a warning?”


All hell broke loose. I was almost expecting it. I dived under the table and collided quite forcefully with Kanesha, who had had the same idea.

I wasn’t sure who had fired the shot, but it hit the chandelier in the middle of the room. “Maybe they weren’t hers,” I whispered, but Kanesha was…busy helping Her Ladyship under the table with us.

A second shot was fired.

“Now that I have everyone’s attention.”

I growled. “If we’re being held up I might kill somebody.” I didn’t look to check on the two women Her Ladyship had identified as her bodyguards. I assumed they could look after themselves.

“Yes, this is a holdup. Yes, I realize you’re all thinking ‘oh, really.’ Money and jewelry. You can keep your credit cards.”

I tried not to laugh at that. Pros didn’t steal credit cards. Pros also didn’t do this sort of thing. “Watched too many movies,” I whispered.

Her Ladyship was murmuring in something that emphatically was not English. I knew she was a witch and was rather hoping for a useful spell. Invisibility might be nice right now. Or a mass sleep spell to knock everyone out.

Nah. I was pretty sure that was beyond the realms of possibility. Despite that, the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I glanced at her.

She was still chanting. Okay. Stay still. That didn’t work for long, of course. Somebody pulled the cloth off of the table.

“Money and jewelry,” the man demanded.

Kanesha handed over her necklace, which I knew was worth about ten bucks. He glared at it. “That all you have?”

I tensed. This was when the violence started. When they didn’t think you had anything worth stealing, sometimes they’d take it out of your hide.

He dragged Kanesha out from under the table, looking at her. “Maybe I’ll just take you. You’re pretty.”

At which point? I realized I’d only thought all hell had broken loose.

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