Grace heads to the bedroom to dress for the evening. Damien knows her tastes as well as anyone. He has provided for her every whim quite lavishly as always. There is yet another beautiful dress in her dressing room waiting its debut. She knows it is out of love. Their history is long and complicated. Grace was Damien's savior, at times his muse and still at others, the very bane of his existence. Grace has great affection for Damien yet it is not quite the love that Damien relishes on her. Grace muses to herself that she could fall for Damien if it weren't for the fact that her heart so clearly belongs to another.
Grace acknowledges that she and Damien each play a complicated role in a unforgiving game. It is a game that Grace never wanted to play yet fate had another plan. Her brother pulled her into this world and left her to play alone. She was not the only one pulled into his vortex. Sophie did not escape the pull of the black hole that became William's death. Damien, he became caught in Grace's vortex. This life chooses you.
Damien's fascination with a young heiress pulled him into this world with no escape. His way out of it is tied to his way in... it is tied to Grace. He has tired of this game. Damien is no longer a young man and has tired of the danger and thrill. He wants nothing more that to leave it those who relish the thrill. His desires have become far more mundane. Damien has come to desire peace in his world. Damien loves Grace but the love has become more of a treasured companion than that felt for a lover.
Damien waits for the Grace to descend the staircase so that they may leave in a timely fashion for the gala. His wait was worth the while. Grace looks just as he imagined she would in the navy blue gown that was selected for her. Damien takes her hand as Grace approaches the final steps. "I have something to go with this for the evening." A butler presents a velvet box with a beautiful diamond necklace at the wave of Damien's hand. Damien removes the necklace from the box and proceeds to put around Grace's neck with a gentle kiss to her cheek.
Grace admires the necklace for a brief moment in the mirror, running her fingers over the jewels. The necklace is a reminder of the other side of her life. The side of her life that is so very foreign. "Damien, you did not have to do this." Damien comes into view in the mirror. "Of course I did, I do have a reputation to protect, Grace." Damien winks as he hands Grace the matching earrings. Damien offers his arm to escort Grace to the waiting vehicle.
Sophie watches the room for their entrance. She knows Damien will make one given the circumstances.
As she waits, Sophie takes a moment to appreciate the elegance of the surroundings. She has missed the trappings of this life. The hotel is elegant and refined, the tropical air and the scent of the sea takes her back. Grace knew she would see the photo. Grace knows what that necklace means. What Sophie doesn't know is how Grace came into possession of that necklace. Few would know where to look and even fewer would know how to retrieve it yet there it was upon Grace's neck in the photo.
Damien makes the expected entrance with Grace on his arm. Grace is again elegantly dressed with jewels around her neck that would even tempt Parker. Sophie keeps her distance to observe Grace and Damien. She knows that Grace only shared part of the intended message. The Star was to get Sophie's undivided attention and Sophie acknowledges that Grace has completely captivated her. The grifter in Sophie runs through every possible con that Grace could be running but she knows better than to believe this to be a con. Damien is the most feared man in their circles. She cannot figure the connection between the pair. The way that Damien looks at Grace is what throws Sophie. She cannot figure out their connection and the relationship between someone she thought she knew so very well and a man that is evil in its purest form.
Eliot circles closer to Sophie noticing her obvious source of distraction. "You know I know you nicked the Star." Sophie gives Eliot a sly look in response to his cleverness. "My darling Eliot, I have no idea what you are talking about." Eliot retrieves two glasses of champagne. He matches Sophie's coy look. "A queen's gambit I see." His voice is quite so that only Sophie can hear.
"Make your move, Eliot." Sophie accepts the glass from Eliot's hand. "Tell me about William." Eliot stares straight ahead as not to draw attention to their conversation. "Eliot." Sophie wants to tell Eliot. She knows that she can trust Eliot, he is family but this... this she is not prepared for. This is the most painful part of her past. It is the part of her past that almost broke her. Sophie is not sure she has enough steel in her spine to take another round.
Eliot can hear it in Sophie's voice. It is a similar tone to the change that happens in Gracie's voice when confronted with this particular topic. It is the unmistakable sound of love and loss. Eliot touches Sophie's arm in a way to convey his meaning and his understanding. Eliot understands love and loss.
"Sophie, you can tell me. You can trust me to understand. I am not Nate." Eliot returns his gaze towards Grace as she moves about the room at Damien's side.
Sophie knows she can trust Eliot with the burdens of her soul. She wants to tell him. It is just that the words won't come. They are simple too painful. Speaking of William at a moment like this is like running razors through her soul. Gracie's calling card surfaced the raw wounds. Sophie knows that Gracie is close to Eliot but she wonders if Grace shared that part of her life with Eliot.
Timing placed Eliot into Gracie's life after William's death which comforts Sophie. For the briefest of moments not so long ago, the horrifying thought that Eliot could have been responsible for William's death had cross Sophie's mind. The bits and pieces of the timeline and Gracie's affection for Eliot drove that thought from Sophie's mind.
Eilot's gaze shifts between Sophie and Grace. Never in his wildest dreams would he have ever fathomed the two sides of his world being linked in the way that they are now. His life with Damien has a direct tie to his life with Nathan Ford. As these thoughts traverse the depths of Eliot's mind, the Italian comes into view across the room. Eliot knows the Italian is the key. Eliot knows instinctively that the Italian must have played a role in William's death. Eliot is beginning to think it is not Sophie opting for a Queen's Gambit. Eliot is beginning to understand that is is Grace who is controlling the board in this particular game and that scares the hell out of him.