All Im saying, she frowned, uncrossing and recrossing her legs under the table, is that he shouldve been a man about it. I dont see why he couldnt say it to my face. You just dont do that sort of thing over the phone. Not after eight months! Rook to C8.
He nodded, readjusting his glasses as shed found that he was apt to do when shed made a move he didnt expect. That does seem really cheap, he admitted, peering down at the board like an old man. Did he give you a reason at all? Rook to C1.
She let out a huffy breath and tossed one of her long braids over her shoulder, immediately drawing it back to run her hands over while she thought. Yes. Her hand fluttered over her rook for a moment before she drew it back, eyes darting around the board as she guessed at the succession of moves that would follow that choice. He said
she trailed off, tightening her lips and grabbing a piece. Pawn to A5.
He did not, he teased, sparing a moment to glance up at her over the battle that was taking place at their fingertips. For a moment their eyes met and her face was completely open, vulnerable. Then he looked away, back down at the board to assess his new predicament, and a shadow of disappointment flickered across her features before she banished it. Really, he said gently, hand hovering over the board as he made sure his decision was watertight, What did he say? Queen to D2.
He said I was...distracted, she said tersely, fingers working furiously at her braid as she unraveled it all the way up to her ears before quickly braiding it back together again with nimble fingers, like pulling a zipper up and down. He was enchanted by her hands. He wondered how they would move in his hair. He said it seemed like I wasnt always there. How could he say that? He was never there! Rook to C2.
He cursed under his breath and brushed the slain rook aside, reexamining his situation. Where did he think you were? She was watching the way he chewed on his lip as he thought. Wondering if she would ever know how that felt. Its not like you were ever anything but tolerant and forgiving. He was like a goddamn toddler. He glared at the slowly shrinking armies of black and white that embodied their struggle. Rook to C2.
Setting yourself up, she warned, and he shook his head and folded his hands neatly in front of him, confident in his defense. She shrugged. He was convinced I was cheating on him. Said he could tell I wasnt thinking about him. Kept pushing me. Who is he, who is he? I told him it takes a cheater to have a suspicious heart and he thought I was dodging the question. Rook to C5.
Were you? He asked calmly, looking straight at her and making no move to examine the implications of her move.
Was I what? She asked, meeting his gaze and flipping her braid back over her shoulder.
Thinking about someone else, he explained.
For a moment there was silence and they measured each other, bodies as stiff as animals deciding whether or not the other is a threat.
Maybe, she allowed finally, meeting his eyes levelly. He watched her, wanting her to be meaning what he wanted her to mean, unsure if she meant what she wanted him to think she meant. Because she meant it.
Chris? She prodded, a half-smile catching at the corner of her mouth. He looked up, expectant.
Its your move.