Sisters of String and Glass, Part 87

Chapter Nineteen – continued

“Lawrence,” King Gray heralded, relief in his voice and shoulders. “Thank you for coming so quickly.”

“A missing prince and handmaiden,” Lawrence said shortly, punctuated with a sharp nod. “Kidnapping or runaway?”

“Uncertain,” King Gray cut in quickly, casting a glare at the other king.

“The handmaiden would not flee her duties,” Lawrence said.

The mermaid princess graced Lawrence with a small, cold smile. “True, my Lord. I am pleased you will understand that.”

“I’ve spent countless years in your palace, Princess. I am familiar with the First Handmaiden.” The princess inclined her head at his words as Lawrence turned back to the kings. “And the Crown Prince knows his duty.”

“Also true,” King Gray said fiercely.

“But no signs of a kidnapping?”

“None,” Queen Coryn said quietly. “We have searched the castle and the grounds. Two horses are missing as well.”

Lawrence nodded once before his shoulders sagged just slightly. “Then, my fair monarchs, we know what this means.”

“Is there nothing you can do?” King Gray burst out. “You’ve spent years negotiating marriage and peace between our kingdoms. Our sailors are dying out there.”

“And my people are being pursued and killed,” King Alon spat back.

“You have another heir, do you not, King Gray?” Lawrence asked.

Adrian’s breath caught in his throat and Andalissa’s hand tightened on his arm. His hands began to feel cold and everything else was as still has a statue. His heart beat wildly, though, and his tongue begged him to scream against the idea, but he couldn’t bring himself to move.

“No,” the Prince cut in quickly. “My son is spoken for.” He turned to Lawrence and bowed slightly. “My apologies, but Adrian and Abigail have already declared their intent to court.”

“Hmm,” Lawrence said thoughtfully. “I have not yet seen my daughter since the ball, but I did leave home in a hurry. I have no reservations, Your Highness. The Duke Murant is indeed spoken for.”

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