Sisters of String and Glass, Part 154

Chapter Thirty-Nine – continued

Camille was embarrassed as she felt the rumblings in her stomach. She couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten, but fetching a meal was the last thing she wanted. She was just happy no one had seemed to notice.

It was excruciating waiting for Kyanan, but she finally arrived long moments, minutes, hours after the Pearl King and Queen had left with Adrian to find Ephraim. Whoever that man was, she hoped he received swift punishment. Adrian’s reaction had certainly hinted at some kind of betrayal.

“Camille!” Kyanan cried out, breathless as she skidded into the room. “I came as quickly as I could.”

Camille wanted nothing more than to throw herself into her friend’s arms. Kyanan would know what to do. She was a fae, after all. But the glittering thing cradled in one arm stopped her.

“Is that…a shoe?” Camille asked, her eyes fixed on the glass slipper with a two inch heel.

“This,” Kyanan said grimly, “is how Abigail gets out of the tower.”

“Excuse me? She’s going to use one shoe to walk out of it?”

Kyanan jerked her head towards the door. “Come. I will explain it to you on our way. I took the liberty of requesting a carriage, but you will have to direct the driver. I don’t know where the tower is.”

“But you know there is a tower?”

“It’s knowledge handed down to all fae no matter how much or how little blood. There are only three left in the Glass Kingdom. This shoe is the key to getting Abigail out of the tower.”

Camille shook her head as they approached the castle doors. Two guards hauled them open and she was happy to see a carriage was already waiting. Their dresses fluttering behind them, the two women hurried down the stairs and began to climb in.

“Hold!” came Adrian’s voice.

Camille turned and saw the new King striding towards them, the Pearl King and Queen trailing behind. A thundercloud was on his face, and her heart suddenly lurched.

“Ephraim could not be found,” Adrian said as he drew closer. “We will go to the tower with you and see if he and Madeline and Muriel show up.”

“Just Madeline,” Camille said quickly. “Muriel is locked in Madeline’s rooms in Olidan Manor. The staff are keeping her under guard.”

Adrian only offered a curt nod before waving her into the carriage. They quickly settled themselves in as Camille shouted directions up to the driver.

The interior of the carriage was grim as the five of them rode to the tower. The clack of the wheels and the clomping of the horses’ hooves echoed through the empty streets. With the sun shining and the seas calm, Camille thought the city would be flooded with people checking on their homes and businesses, but it felt and sounded more like one of the ghost towns in the books her grandfather used to bring back. Stories of the Wild West was what he said they were, but she still wasn’t quite sure what a Wild West was.

It was almost eerie how silent the city was. The walls and buildings that hadn’t been fully destroyed by the storms and waves cast cold shadows. Loose doors creaked whenever a breeze blew through. There were some calls and shouts coming from the direction of the wharves, but Olidan Manor and the tower were further away from the pink sands. Here, it was quiet as a tomb, and the silence made Camille’s skin crawl. She wondered when the people would be back.

Finally, the carriage rolled to a stop. Camille peeked out the window and saw the thick forest she’d followed either Muriel or Madeline through.

“Here we are,” she whispered.

Silently, the five of them alighted from the carriage. Adrian nodded for Camille to lead them. Grim faced, she hiked up her skirts and started into the thick underbrush. There were footsteps and cleared branches. Either Ephraim, Muriel, and Madeline had cleared the way so one of them could drag Abigail to the tower or Geoffrey, Helene, and Violet had managed to rustle up staff and fae and had cleared the path. Either way, she was glad there were fewer branches to snag her.

As they drew closer, shouts and the sound of ringing metal met their ears. Camille didn’t even turn to look behind her; she simply hiked her skirts up to her knees and dashed the rest of the way.

It did not sound like anyone was rescuing Abigail, especially since Kyanan had the shoe that would ostensibly free her sister, and Kyanan was running behind her.

No, it sounded like those who were gathering to free Abigail were under attack.

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