The inn was only a few miles from Mainstone Park, her brother's country house, but it might just as well have been a million miles away. And that was the idea. She smiled, tumbling out of bed, stretching.
She smiled at herself in the mirror and pulled a face, causing her smile to grow even more. It made her feel a lot better. A million miles away from the grim avenger of the passages below a now-ruined castle.
Wrapping herself in a dressing gown, Lady Sylvia left her room, stepping out into a corridor that was still half-dark in the light of the dawn. She padded softly down to the stairs, hoping that someone would be around to make breakfast. Instead, what she saw was the top of a bald man's head. He was speaking to a woman in furs.
"This is close enough," he declared. "Any closer and we may be noticed at the house. We don't want that yet."
"No," the woman spoke in a foreign accent.
"We shall be known only when we are ready," the man expanded. "For now, we shall be only guests here."
The woman nodded, then laughed softly.
"Let the curse of Mainstone claim its victims," she whispered.