The gray-eyed man appeared in the doorway of the pantry, gazing down the aisles of shelves and barrels. Stephania shrunk back a little more into her hiding spot, not even daring to breathe. In the other room, she could still hear the cooks arguing, just feet away from the confrontation about to unfold with no way to reach them. Her eyes fell to her axe, still gripped tightly in her hand - it was her last option at this point. Unless...
She snapped to her feet, and with an elbow to the shelf, pans and spoons rattled to the ground. Gray-eyes was headed her way. Worse still, she hadn't thought up of the next step of her plan. She delved deeper into the shelves; with a quick glance backwards, she could see that he had her in his sight, and he was headed her way again. Quietly, as if separated from the world itself, he stepped over the mess, towards the gap between two barrels Stephania had wedged herself into. He was right there in seconds, standing over her, their eyes locked together.
"Hello?" said a voice from behind them. One of the cooks was staring at the scene, a serving spoon still sticky with dough in his hand. "What's going on in here?" he asked, studying the scene. Grey-eyes gave Stephania a quick, sharp kick, and she rose to her feet.
"Forgive us, sir, we were merely lost. Could you direct us back to the main hall?"
The cook stared them down for a while, then pointed back the way they came. "Get out before you make an even bigger mess. Already too much trouble out there for one day, without you revelers kicking through my pantry," he muttered, shaking his head. Gray-eyes smiled, then pulled Stephania away with him. They headed out of the pantry, then took turns down stairs, going deeper into the castle. Stephania thought of mentioning that fact, but with the look in his eyes as he led her along, she kept her concerns to herself. At least, until her axe was removed from her hands, she was put in a cell in the dungeons, and there were iron bars between the two of them.
"Please tell me, what have you done? What are you doing? Why am I here? Could you-" But the man had turned away and wandered out of sight. Overwhelmed, she plopped down against the wall, waiting for something to happen. Someone had to know she was here, or that something was going on - what had she done? She had seen a man at the party, and nothing more; she tried to help someone, but was blocked and even attacked in the attempt. The dire predictions in the invitation had come true.