Sisters of String and Glass, Part 130

Chapter Thirty-Two – continued

Quickly, Abigail leapt up and rushed to her friend, putting her arms around her.

“Kyanan, what’s the matter?” she asked, a rush of worry filling her chest with an uncomfortable heat. She could feel her face heating as her heart beat faster, fearing jolting through her. “Are you unwell?”

Her chest still heaving as she fought to catch her breath, Kyanan shook her head. She leaned heavily against Abigail, clutching at her arms.

“You need to get to Adrian.”

Fear spiked through her and her hands tightened. “Adrian?” Abigail asked, panic lacing her voice. “What has happened to Adrian?”

Kyanan looked up at the raised volume of Abigail’s voice. Abigail couldn’t say for sure, but she was certain the terror was stark as she felt the blood rush from her cheeks, leaving her face feeling suddenly cold.

Cool, soft hands, wrapped around her and Clarice’s voice rang out softly by her ear, “Calm, Abigail. Kyanan, my dear, is the Crown Prince well?”

Kyanan took a deep, gulping breath as she nodded, seemingly finally catching her breath. Slowly, she pulled herself away and straightened her skirts.

“My apologies,” Kyanan said, not looking at Abigail or Clarice. “My lungs struggle to keep enough oxygen when I run.”

Abigail shook her head. “Why were you running?”

Kyanan finally looked up at her. “Adrian asked me to come and bring you as quickly as possible. His study.”

Abigail blinked. “Why?”

Kyanan shook her head. “I don’t know. But he said it was urgent.”

Clarice gently prodded her towards the door. “Go, Abigail. I’ll see to Kyanan.”

Her mother would have admonished her, but, at that moment, Abigail didn’t care. Kyanan was rarely far from Adrian’s side, and she’d said it was urgent. So Abigail pulled up her skirts, showing her ankles, and dashed out of the room.

Her heart was in her throat, the fear sliding along her veins side by side with her blood. Panic threatened to choke her, but her feet wouldn’t let her down. Whatever it was that had happened was enough for Adrian to send Kyanan away, was enough to make his assistant, who’d always suffered from weak lungs, to sprint halfway through the castle.

Her breath was heavy in her ears and she swore she could hear a whimper in the noise, but she didn’t dare slow down, didn’t even dare to spend a moment to apologize to the people she haphazardly ran into and darted around.

Her hair, done in a neat braid, flew behind her, escaped tendrils floating alongside. She could feel the braid thudding against her spine with every stride, every pound of her feet against the carpeted floors.

At last, she stumbled to a halt in front of Adrian’s door. She reached out a hand to steady herself against the doorway, her chest heaving as she struggled to slow her heart and get air back into her lungs. How Kyanan had done that and still have been able to draw breath, well, it was a good thing she was part fae.

From inside the study, Adrian rushed towards her. Before she could get a look at his face, he was clutching her tightly. There was a tension in his body, one that drove a spike of fear through her.

“Adrian,” she whispered, clutching back at him. “What has happened?”

She could feel the reluctance in his body as he slowly drew away. Her eyes were immediately drawn to his face, and she studied his pale cheeks, his thin lips pressed tightly together, the red rings around his eyes that stared with a hollowness she hadn’t seen before.

“Come with me,” he whispered.

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