The first time he saw her was in the casino, sitting near a crowded table with a glass in one hand, leaning over the heads of the gamblers. He heard the shout of the winner and the babble of voices, and saw her luxurious smile that crinkled her perfect nose and made her eyes shine. She looked up from the table and their gazes met, just for an instant. And then the dice rolled, and she looked back to the game, enjoying the gambler’s luck. He found a game of his own, and forgot her for the evening in the thrill of success.
The second time he saw her was in a fashionable restaurant, sitting elegantly at the bar, talking to a group of smartly dressed men who gathered easily around her. The silk threads of her dress caught the light in shimmering patterns that eddied across her curves, and the rubies at her throat and ears sparkled. He followed his companions to a table and listened to their conversation for a few moments, casually looking across to the bar. She turned her head and caught him looking, then winked. The crowd eddied across, hiding his view, and when he next caught sight of her she was accepting a drink with a charming smile from the young barman, who smiled back, smitten. She seemed to sense his gaze, and raised her glass to him before the crowd swirled and hid her. When he next caught sight of the bar, she had vanished.