Greetings, Stranger ~ Play the Game

In answer to the Daily prompt Greetings Stranger :

She was sitting at the back of the room nursing her drink warming her frozen fingers. Well frozen was probably an exaggeration, something she was prone to according to her father, but she wasn’t used to such mild temperatures. And even home she’d drink her khava scalding hot, just as she was right now. In fairness she hadn’t expected the innkeeper to prepare it exactly as she asked. She was after all demanding when it came to her drink; her father’s fortune and fate was tied to the drink she held in her hands.
“Excuse me.” She raised her head; she’d been observing but she hadn’t seen the stranger approach. Well… she was the stranger here in fact, only just arrived a few days before. Still the man stood in front of her, his blue-grey eyes sparkling with such intensity she wondered if he might not be one they called ‘touched’ at home for lack of a kinder word. “I couldn’t help but notice you.”

She almost laughed, just almost. That was an obvious statement. She was after all the only dark haired, dark skinned patron and the only woman at that. Surrounded by men most of them with blond hair and blue eyes like most men of the North, her father would have laughed. He would have told her she was taking stupid risks like when she played games. But this was a game: she could only play with the cards she’d been given. However in this case, she knew it was a new play in a longer game. And this time she had forced the dealer to shuffle the cards; it wasn’t necessarily a better set of cards but at least it was one she’d wanted.
The man in front of her was almost six feet tall with large shoulders; she could discern the taut muscles underneath his shirt. If he was ‘touched’ she might have issues escaping him. And yet… she cocked her head; he might be a Jack.
“How may I help you?”
“Can I ask your name?” He murmured as if he didn’t want anyone to hear. He might be the Jack to her Queen. He had made his opening: it was her turn to play. She smiled.
“My name is Diya.” She was about to ask him for his own name but something in his expression stopped her. His eyes hadn’t lost any of their intensity but he whispered as if until her heard her name the meaning of life had eluded him.
“I’ve been looking for you.”

For a second there she knew fear: if the man had been hired to find her she was in trouble. She had played daringly and he might prove to be the King to her Queen in the end. Or if she had been a dice player she would have said that she rolled the dice and got snake eyes. Still she kept a smile on her face.
As if she’d invited him – and maybe she had – he sat opposite her, his own khava in hands. His play now; what card would he play?
“I have. And though you don’t know it you’ve been looking for me too.” He smiled then. Oh definitely not ‘touched’, very clever indeed. Somehow she knew she should have expected it would be a trump card.
“Have I now?” She sipped from her drink. He smiled.
“Maybe not me, but rather the possibility I offer.” Ah… “I’d rather not discuss it here. Maybe we can go some other place. I prepare my own khava; or rather I have a young girl from the South who prepares it as it must. But you’d know that; it’s your inheritance.”
“So you are a King…” She said. He looked taken aback.
“You lead the game… at least this one.”
“I don’t understand.”
“No… no you wouldn’t.” She smiled again. “Shall we?”
“You don’t want to know my name?”
“Do I need it?” She knew what he she needed to. He was the king of this play. She was fine with that.



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