Alexander entered the sickroom and sat down heavily beside his friend's bed. "How is he?" he inquired wearily of the doctor.
"Still the same," the doctor replied, busy at the counter.
"You'd better get well," Alexander muttered to his unconscious friend. He leaned his head back against the chair's head and closed his eyes. What - oh, what - had he done? Things always went wrong when Adrian was gone.
Tears filled Alexander's eyes. He blinked them away and took a deep breath.
The light of the candle beside Adrian's bed flickered.
Flashbacks paraded in front of Alexander's mind. Visions of everything Adrian had done for him, to protect him, to constantly help him, caused Alexander to realize how lost he would be if his friend should pass from that life to the next.
"Tell me again how much hope we have for his life," Alexander commanded of the doctor.
"Little, Your Highness," the doctor said softly. He shook his head. "My guess is that the knight had been dealing with symptoms of illness for quite some time, but suppressed them as best he could."
Yes, Adrian would do that.
"When he finally stopped fighting the symptoms, that was when he allowed the illness to truly take hold. I've seen it happen before." The doctor's voice was strained.
Alexander closed his eyes and tried to bring his emotions under control. In a voice so small that the doctor would not be able to hear, the prince whispered, "You've got to get better. The kingdom is lost without you."