Sisters of String and Glass, Part 101

Chapter Twenty-Two – continued

“Then, Adrian, let’s get this war finished so you have time to court me,” she said with as impish a smile as she had ever given.

He grinned. “We’ll do our best.” His smile faded and he turned serious. “But I expect you to stay here, to stay safe. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Don’t worry, Adrian. I’ll keep safe.”

He frowned. It wasn’t quite the promise to stay locked up as far away from the battle as possible, but a soft knock at the open door drew his attention.

“Your Highness,” Kyanan, ever efficient and courteous, said. “Lady Olidan, it’s a pleasure to see you again.”

Abigail turned in his arms, a soft smile on her lips. Surely she remembered when Kyanan had arrived at court. A young girl of twelve just a couple of years older than Abigail, the two had shared a special bond in that they were practically afraid of the court. They’d sought each other out at balls and receptions and dinners.

“Kyanan,” Abigail said, reproach in her voice. “It may have been a few years since we last had the pleasure to be in each other’s company, but I’m still Abigail.”

Kyanan tilted her head. “Not for long, I believe.”

Adrian cleared his throat as he noticed the subtle, self-conscious shift in Abigail’s stance. “Yes, Kyanan?”

That snapped the young woman back into her duty. “Your meeting, Your Highness, will begin shortly. If you don’t mind me being a little late, I can see Lady Olidan to the gates.”

“No need. She’ll be staying here. Please take her to guest chambers and see to it that she has everything she needs. I won’t expect you for the meeting.”

Kyanan bowed. “Of course, Your Highness. Lady Olidan?”

Abigail paused a moment to smile at him over her shoulder before she followed Kyanan out, gently reminding her old friend to call her Abigail.

He didn’t really want her to go, but the meeting with the city leaders wasn’t something she needed to attend. He could see how troubled she had been describing what she saw in the city. Hearing about the details wasn’t going to be any better.

With a sigh, he pushed himself away from the desk and out of the office. He wasn’t keen on going, either, but his uncle was depending on him.

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