Chapter Thirty-Five – continued
Her eyes fell to the papers on top of the tray. The thudding in her chest told her she knew exactly what they were for. If she signed them, she signed away her right to the Olidan title and manor, handing it over to Muriel and Madeline on a silver platter.
She stumbled across the room, towards the door. She swooped down and grabbed the letter opener, her hands trembling as she shoved it into a pocket. Slowly, she backed away from the door and the tray, retreating all the way back into the bedchamber.
With shaking hands, she raised the glass to her mouth. It was full dark now. Surely, Abigail was back in her rooms, relieved of the kitchen and infirmary duties she had taken upon herself.
“Abigail.” Her voice came out as little more than a whisper.
After a moment, her sister’s soft voice called out, “Camille?”
Camille drew in a deep, shaking breath.
“Adrian told you.” Her sister’s voice sounded broken. Heavy. Raspy.
“Told me what?” she asked, her heart pounding.
There was confusion now in Abigail’s voice. “I thought Adrian went to Olidan Manor. He was going to speak to you.”
Camille’s hand tightened around the glass. “Gail, I haven’t seen Adrian all day.” She hesitated. “I’ve been locked into Madeline’s room.”
“What?” Abigail shrieked. “How? What happened?”
Camille shook her head, trying to shake her thoughts into order. She’d been wondering exactly that. “I don’t know.” She drew in a breath. “I’ve been going over some city records. Gail, Muriel is Madeline’s older sister. She’s been in the linked world for the past several years. She only came back because of Madeline, because of some plot Madeline has to get rid of their parents and position herself to marry Adrian.”
There was a sharp intake of breath on her sister’s end, but Camille hurried on. “They trapped me in Madeline’s rooms then. Just pushed me to the floor and left, locking the door.” She glanced in the direction of the door, glaring at it. “Somehow, they switched the lock so it locks from the outside.”
“Camille,” Abigail whispered.
“Don’t worry, Gail, I’ll get out,” she promised, her eyes straying back to the papers. She wouldn’t tell her sister because she wasn’t going to sign them. “You just make sure Madeline doesn’t get into the castle.”
“I won’t,” Abigail said, her voice trembling. “Camille.”
As her sister’s pause drew out, Camille’s hand tightened on the glass. “I’m here, Gail.”
“Adrian was supposed to visit you.” Camille could hear her sister’s voice breaking, could guess exactly what she was going to say. “Father was killed on the seas. We received notice it was in retaliation for the mermaid princess’s murder.” Her voice began to tremble and Camille could barely hear her. “Father took command of another ship, the one the princess died on before he ever boarded. The ship was taken over by her allies, the crew killed, and the ship sent back to us.” Abigail’s voice was barely a whisper now. “He’s gone, Camille. Gone.”
It was the confirmation that did it, hearing it from her sister’s voice. Her sister who had surely seen their father’s body. Dropping the glass, Camille fell back onto the pillows, silvered tears slipping down her cheeks as the moonlight began to beam in through the windows.
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