I have finally reached a point in this story where I’m am almost completely off outline. The characters have changed far too much for me to get them on track, so I hope you enjoy the rest of the story as you and I discover what will happen to them together. Hopefully it’ll be fun, or at least interesting. Enjoy!
As the prince had warned them, the Queen stacked six feather filled mattresses atop the bed frame. The miller’s daughter laughed at the sight of it and my sister grinned as she dug beneath the one on the bottom. With secretive smiles passed between them, my sister took the pea and placed it in her pocket, replacing the vegetable with the prince’s metal pea. Fae blessed, it wouldn’t make for a comfortable night’s sleep, but the miller’s daughter knew what to do and my sister helped her atop the high stack, ready for a long, long night.
With Kyanan’s promise to reinforce the castle and drain the water, Abigail sagged against Adrian, who wrapped an arm around her to keep her warm.
“I don’t understand,” Camille said, perplexed as she began to wring out the water from her skirts now that they’d stopped running. “What is she going to do? Shouldn’t we be worried about water getting further in?”
“You don’t know?” Abigail asked, startled. “Kyanan is half-fae. Her mother is fae and her father sent her to court to serve the King. The fae who have come for visits have trained her over the years. She isn’t the most gifted, which is why she served James instead of settling in The Spindle, but her magic is what holds the castle.”
Adrian nodded. “Every year, the fae come to renew the wards and protections around the castle. They hand the ties to Kyanan for her to maintain and strengthen as needed.”
Camille dropped her skirts and planted her hands on her hips. “Why didn’t I know?”
Abigail exchanged a look with Adrian and shrugged. “Court isn’t supposed to know she’s part fae. Can you imagine how they would try to use her, even if she is under the protection of the King and Queen? Adrian knows because she’s his advisor and I know because I caught her playing with fae lights when we were children.” She smiled. “I haven’t seen a fae juggle lights like that since.”
“Come,” Adrian said, pulling away from Abigail and taking her hand. “We need to get to my aunt and uncle.”
Abigail followed after him, lifting her sodden skirts with one hand while her sister trailed behind. She couldn’t hear anything from Camille and a quick glance back told her Camille was deep in thought, a frown creasing her face and her brow furrowed.
“Don’t think too hard on it,” Abigail said. “Her magic is weak compared to a full-blooded fae, so it’s easy to miss.”
“But Kyanan and I are friends,” Camille said, a frustrated whine in her voice that had Abigail’s brows rising.
“Kyanan and I are friends, too,” Abigail pointed out, “but she wouldn’t have told me if I hadn’t caught her.”
Adrian sighed. “Enough about her. We’re leaving the protection of her corridor.”
“Do you really think it was the sea witch?” Abigail asked, smoothly shifting their conversation.
“I don’t have any other explanation,” Adrian said. “We are preparing for war. They must be as well.”
“I wouldn’t call that preparing,” Camille muttered. “That was a full on attack.”
“Yes,” Adrian said grimly. “We’ll have to move fast, assuming that wave didn’t destroy all of our ships. Abigail, I hate to say this, but…”
But she understood. She’d known this going in and had a plan of her own. Adrian wouldn’t want her involved with the war plans and, honestly, she didn’t want to be, either. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t be useful.
She smiled up at him, careful to not trip over her dripping skirts now that she wasn’t watching her steps to prevent such a thing. “Don’t worry about me, Adrian. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Besides, I assume much of court will disband now that the city is being attacked, so I’ll be safe from their clutches.”
Adrian glanced down at her, concern painted across his face, but they had reached the doors of the throne room.
The doors were thrown open, serving as a gateway into chaos. Nobles and servants mingled as the distress in voices rose. It was impossible to pick out individual words, much less tell who, exactly, was shouting. Skirts were lifted as water swirled around ankles, though it didn’t help much as nearly everyone was soaked at least halfway through.
At the other end of the room, the King and Queen were on their thrones, in intense conversation with stewards of both the castle and the city. It was to them that Adrian dragged Abigail, Camille pushing her way through behind them. With panic all around them, no one noticed it was the Crown Prince shoving them aside.
“Adrian!” the King shouted, rising to his feet as he caught sight of them. “I assume you’ve taken care of this?”
Adrian gave a curt nod as he and Abigail approached. The Queen quickly rose and folded Abigail into a hug, finally tugging her free of Adrian’s grip, the cool air over her wrist making her mourn the loss of his warmth.
“My dear,” the Queen said softly into her ear as the King pulled Adrian aside. “Are you well? Injured?”
“Just wet,” Abigail replied with a bright smile. “Adrian saved me from being showered with glass. The windows burst,” she quickly said as the Queen’s brows lowered. “But it’s being seen to.”
“Of course,” the Queen said with a slight nod of understanding. She glanced behind Abigail to her sister. “And you, Camille?”
“Also rescued by Adrian. Just a little soggy.”
The Queen nodded and turned back to Abigail, who lowered her head slightly and folded her hands before her. “Aunt,” she said softly, “my father, stepmother, and stepsister.”
“I’ll see to them,” Camille said quickly, drawing both Abigail’s and the Queen’s attention. She dipped a curtsy, mindful of the court around them even though they were likely too self-absorbed in their own woes to even pay attention to their King and Queen. “The manor has been fortified by fae magic, but, if the windows here can shatter, well, I ought to make sure they are well.”
“Of course,” the Queen said, inclining her head. “Abigail, dear, you will stay?”
Abigail glanced at Adrian, who was speaking softly with the King, but who also had an eye on her. “Yes, Aunt.” She offered a small, wry smile. “I don’t think Adrian will let me out of his sight.”
A small smile bowed the Queen’s lips. “No, I doubt he will, but, if you will be Queen one day, he will need to learn to do so.”
Abigail felt her sister step up beside her. Camille placed one hand on her shoulder to draw her attention and the other to her chest, where the small piece of sea glass bulged slightly beneath her sodden gown. Abigail knew what her sister was telling her, what she didn’t want to say aloud, so she only offered a nod and a look imploring her sister to be safe. Then, with a final curtsy to the Queen, Camille turned and wound her way back through the throng.
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5 thoughts on “Sisters of String and Glass, Part 107”
I take it the glass is a bad thing?
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It’s Camille and Abigail’s method of communication, so it’s a really good way to keep them connected when they’re apart.
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Yay, I’m excited to read more of this. Sometimes the best stuff comes out when there’s no outline…at least it does for me =)
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My fingers are crossed the same happens to me! I’m kind of nervous about what will happen and how long it’ll take to get there, but it’s really become an adventure to write. And I like the bemusement I get when something comes out on the screen.
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