Chapter Thirty-Seven – continued
Adrian squeezed his eyes shut. He would never forget the last look Gray had taken, would never forget the heartbreak in Coryn’s eyes.
It was the sound of running footsteps that snapped him out of his grief, albeit temporarily. He had no sooner lifted his head than Kyanan skidded into his study, one hand clasped to her chest as her braids flew around her face. She took a gulp of air as her eyes met his. It wasn’t the first time she’d exhausted her lungs getting to him, but it was the first she’d looked at him with a wildness in her eyes.
He was around the desk and clutching her to help her to the nearest chair in seconds. His hands didn’t leave her arms as she heaved in deep breaths, fighting to speak at the same time.
“Calm down first, Ky,” he said gently. “It can wait; your lungs can’t.”
Frantically, she shook her head, one hand waving madly.
“Gail,” she whispered hoarsely.
Fear spiked through him. He hadn’t sent Kyanan to her as he required her assistance with preparing for two royal funerals. He’d hoped to leave Abigail in peace for a few more hours before he asked her what she thought of becoming Queen in the very near future.
Adrian’s hands tightened around her upper arms. “What about her?” he asked, fear creeping up his throat, threatening to choke him.
“Gone,” Kyanan rasped out, her wild eyes meeting his.
“What do you mean, gone?” he demanded.
He could see tears pricking her eyes as she shook her head. “She’s gone, Adrian. She’s not in her rooms, and the maids don’t know what happened.”
He gaped at her as she finally caught her breath. His lips moved, but no sounds came out.
Kyanan quickly leaned forward and grasped his shoulders. “I asked for the maid who last attended her. Adrian, her guards were found stabbed to death outside her doors.”
Adrian shot to his feet and flew to the door, shouting, “Send her to Gail’s rooms!”
There were startled cries and yelled questions as he bumped his way down the halls and up the stairs. Some of the advisors attempted to stop him for inane things, but he brushed them off with barely a look.
He wasn’t sure which was louder in his ears: his breath or his heartbeat. Fear surged through his chest, powering on his legs as he bounded up the last staircase. The halls in the royal quarters were quiet, with just a few passing maids and the steward of the quarters.
He was gasping for breath by the time he made it to Abigail’s rooms. The door was open and the bodies of her guards were already being tended to. The woman from the infirmary, Lacile, if he recalled correctly, was efficiently seeing to the removal of the bodies, her lips pinched white when she wasn’t issuing orders.
“Your Majesty,” she said, dipping a curtsey as she caught sight of him.
“How did they die?” he demanded.
The woman gestured to the bodies. “Stab wounds. Straight through the heart.” She shook her head. “Palace guards do not have adequate protection, Your Majesty.”
“They’ve never needed it before,” Adrian said sharply. “Do you know what happened to Abigail?”
Lacile hesitated, as though trying to process the name. Then she quickly shook her head, her lower lip quivering. “No,” she whispered, her eyes on the bodies as they were being wrapped up. “Lady Olidan was gone by the time I was called here.” She lifted her eyes to him, fear stark in them. “Do you think something happened to her?”
Instead of answering her, he looked away and stepped over the bodies and into the rooms. He looked around, but nothing looked amiss.
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