“Dresses are no place for a lady.”

His voice wafted over from the wooden staircase.

She turned, the bustle of her dress catching the ornate railing again. Why this place pushed this level of time-worn Ritz was beyond her.

He wore an old-timey black suit, white collar, and maroon vest, complete with a gold pocket-watch.

“In this time period? It’s exactly where the ladies resided.” She huffed. The dumb corset made it hard to breathe. “Why are you here, anyway?”

His boots echoed in the balcony as he clomped to her side. “Same reason as you: to suffer in the clothing.”

Rolling her eyes, she turned back to her study of the nighttime scene. “You know nothing of suffering.”

A sudden movement beside her jumped her hands and body into defense mode, when she realized it was just his pet. “D’oi-ma cren-jua-pa! Why on Earth did you bring that?” She lowered her hands to her scrunched up waist and worked to steady her breathing.

The teal-eyed cat sat on the railing, unpeturbed by her reaction.

“I didn’t bring him. He followed me.” The man clicked his tongue. “Naughty fellow. Breaking rules everywhere he goes.”

The cat stared into her soul.

She wrinkled her nose. “You’d think it wouldn’t go near the volds. Or you, for that matter.”

“Who am I to impede feline class?”

She glanced to the stars before settling back to the view.

They stood in silence. Voices from downstairs tumbled up through the staircase like drunken mumbles. Chirping crickets sang across the moonlit foliage below.

She didn’t know how long she’d have to wait for a glimpse of the target. But, in this company? She prayed it’d be soon.

I post these little tidbits to share with other writers who enjoy prompts. Feel free to share with a link back.