It broke my heart to be so separated from my sister. As the years went on, my hope of hearing her voice diminished. I longed to know what had happened to her, what her life on the other side of the portal was like. I wondered if she was just as frantic with worry as I was. I wondered if she still wore the sea glass, or if she had given up.
Abigail saw them emerge from the forest before the gathered Olidan staff and fae did. While the staff who had raised her mingled with the fae and debated theories and ways for Abigail to escape from the tower, consulting old books and scrolls and sparking numerous arguments, she studied the forest, her forehead pressed into thin air.
She saw the branches sway before she saw the people who moved them. It was unnatural, clearly not due to the wind that didn’t exist. And it was just in one area. Her heart surged, hoping to see Camille and Adrian at any moment.
But her heart plummeted all the way to the bottom of the tower when people emerged from the woods. Madeline came first, a naked sword in her hand, followed by Ephraim, who bore a glittering dagger.
She screamed and banged on the barrier of solid air, knowing it was futile. No one would hear her, but maybe one of them would catch the movement and see her warning before it was too late.
But the people and fae trying to rescue her were too busy arguing, too busy shaking scrolls and books in the air, to notice, much to her utter frustration. If they were captured, who knew what would happen to them, what that wretched woman would do.
And then a man, a servant new to Olidan Manor, was run through by Madeline and the sounds of his death caught their attention. Well, that and the tip of the sword that had the woman he was arguing with screaming her head off.
Abigail watched, her heart in her throat, as Geoffrey approached, drawing a sword of his own. She recognized it as her father’s, the one that had hung proudly in his study. It had been a gift to him from Geoffrey himself, when Geoffrey had left his life as a soldier to become steward to Olidan Manor and the man who would stand guard over Lawrence and Genevieve’s daughters.
“Geoffrey, no,” Abigail whispered, her trembling hands rising to her mouth. She squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to see his death.
But the ringing of metal hitting metal had her eyes popping back open. She pressed her palms to empty air, watching with growing panic and fear as Madeline engaged Geoffrey in sword fight. Where Madeline had learned to handle a sword, she had no idea. Then again, she didn’t really know anything about her stepsister.
She screamed as more men poured into the clearing, about a dozen of them bearing swords and daggers. The blood drained from the face and hands as they surrounded those attempting to rescue her, Madeline’s sword pointed, unwavering, at Geoffrey, who only grimly tightened his hand around his sword.
“This is foolhardy,” Madeline said, her voice loud and clear. “There is nothing here for you. I have claimed this tower as my own and you are trespassing on my property.”
“This tower belongs to no one,” Helene called back. “It is a fae tower with no entrance or exit. What could you possibly want with it?”
“That’s my own business. Now, you will release the Countess Olidan from Olidan Manor and return her to me.” Madeline tilted her head up. “Very soon, I will be your Queen and all of you will be executed.”
“Not likely,” a voice shouted just before more figures, familiar figures, burst from the forest.
Abigail’s heart jumped as Camille and Adrian spilled out into the clearing, followed by the Pearl King and Queen. And was that Kyanan…holding a glass shoe?
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