The sound of an unfamiliar voice calling my name made me stop dead in my tracks as I walked down the hallway towards my room. I was shocked when I saw the Queen, Alexandria's mother, making a beeline straight for me.
'Your Majesty,' I said, immediately dropping into a curtsy. The Queen had barely spoken a sentence to me over the time I had been friends with Alexandria and now she was stopping me in the hallway. I didn't think I was her favourite person.
'Alexandria has told me that you are in charge of organising her wedding,' she said bluntly with no pre-amble.
'That is true your Majesty,' I replied, eyes still fixed on the ground.
'Good, because I have been given instructions by my daughter to help you plan everything.'
'I can assure you your Majesty that everything is under control.'
'And I can assure you Mrs Lockborn that I am not going to miss out on helping to plan my daughter's wedding. And considering your past experience with weddings I don't think that you are necessarily the right person for the job.'
'With all due respect your Majesty,' I said, trying very hard to control my temper, 'I am Alexandria's best friend, I know exactly what she wants for her wedding and you can trust me to arrange everything as she would want it.'
'That's as maybe, but I would still like an input into any decisions that are made.'
'As you wish,' I said through gritted teeth.
The Queen swept away from me without another word. I didn't like her. But I was going to have to tolerate her, for Alexandria's sake.
'What's wrong with her?' I asked as I sat beside Alex's bed, one hand clasping hers, the other intertwined with Luke's.
'We don't know. But I'm very sorry that I have to tell you that she's showing minimal signs of any mental output.'
'I don't understand what that means,' I said, not really wanting to know the truth.
'She's still ill Ness,' Luke whispered before the nurse could say anything.
'But she is going to get better,' I said, more as a statement than anything else. 'She has to get better.'
'I'm very sorry,' the nurse said, her face filled with the sympathy I dreaded, 'but in cases like these it's very unlikely that she will ever regain consciousness. We will have to wait to hear from her parents until we decide what to do but it's very likely that we will have to turn off her life support.'
'You can't do that,' I protested, letting go of Alex's hand and advancing on the poor nurse.
'If it's what her parents want then there is nothing I can do about it.'
'But her parents haven't even come to visit her,' I exclaimed. 'How can you make a decision based on two people who you haven't even met?'
'Those are the rules I'm afraid miss,' the nurse said, heading for the door.
'It'll be alright,' Luke said, holding me against him.
'I hope so,' I whispered, burying my head in his chest to hide the tears that were threatening to fall.