Without a word, Alexander left the scene as he started on his walk back to the castle. Adrian watched his friend go, worry making its way to his face as the words of the footman rang through his mind.
'I have a message from the town of Kléo.'
That could only mean one thing. Tia.
"You're not too bad," Zahra said, distracting Adrian for a short second as his gaze swerved back to meet the smiling one of the lady who was present by his side. If he was going to worry over his friend, he shouldn't do it while he had company. Adrian had to be the perfect gentleman, a part of his nature that pushed him to be that way. But his insecurities took over for the shortest of seconds as an expression fleeted across his face.
Zahra's smile faltered, looking over at the direction of the pathway the Prince had taken. It didn't take her much to put two and two together. She'd only been here a short while but the companionship she'd seen between Adrian and Alexander was a special one. They were of different classes but that didn't seperate them in any way in the bonds of the friendship they held together.
"Go." One word.
A look of uncertainty crossed Adrian's face as he leaned in the direction of the castle, but the other part desired to stay in the company of the lady. But Zahra's understanding smile, if not curious, gave him a release. With a grateful nod, he set off towards the castle, wondering what was in store.
Addressed to: Prince Alexander of Avana
From: Tia Daniels
Dear Alexander Hale,
You are cordially invited to Tia Daniels and Ronald Burkins' wedding.
It shall be held on the twenty-first day of the month of February and we look forward to your -
He couldn't read a word more. Crushing the parchment in his gaze, he cast his gaze away from the words. Their depths had sunk into him, the meaning shaking him to the very core. Tia couldn't be getting married. It was too early. Yet, looking down at the balled up paper in his hand, he knew he was only lying to himself.
The door of the throneroom creaked open and Adrian looked in, searching the room for inhabitants before settling on Alexander. He didn't have to ask to know how his friend was feeling. It was written across his face, pain shining through in his light gray eyes.
Yet the Prince found the strength to say his next words, an order that couldn't be broken. Looking straight into Adrian's eyes in a piercing glare, he whispered, "Give me the key to the wine cellar."