“You have me at a disadvantage,” said GarGar. “You know my name, but I don’t know yours. You are new to Court, yes?”
“Yes,” said Adriana. “I call myself Madame Adriana.”
GarGar looked intently into Adriana’s face which bore much less makeup than was usually worn at Court. Her brown tresses celebrated the fact that she was wearing no wig either. “So you are the infamous Madame Adriana!”
Adriana laughed at this. “Infamous? To what do I owe that?”
It was GarGar’s turn to laugh. “I suppose ‘mysterious’ would be a better word. Nobody seems to know anything about you. How were you able to gain entré into the Court? Somebody at Court must know you, yes?”
Adriana was loathe to tell GarGar that she found her position through her acquaintanceship with the Master of the Horse, who’d been her lover several years prior. How those two met is another story for another day.
“Perhaps you would care to join us in the game room later. We’re going to be playing ping-pong.”
“Ping-pong?” Repeated Adriana. “Sounds intriguing. Can anyone play?”
“Oh, no!” Said GarGar with emphasis. “The Queen shall be there. Invitation only. And I’m inviting you!”
They both began paddling back to the pier where they could moor their little skiffs.
“Well, will you come?” Asked GarGar.
“Oh, about two hours from hence. In the game room. See you there!” GarGar hopped out of his skiff, but didn’t bother to offer Adriana a hand. He simply turned on his heels and went bounding up the hill back to the palace.