The Queen

After finishing his letter, Alexander gave the letter to an attendant. He stayed at his desk, however, and considered what he had just done.

Why did I command that Annalise come here? I should have known better! But it truly may be the only way to save Adrian's life...I only hope - I only pray - that it doesn't have the opposite effect.

The sound of shuffling steps met Alexander's ears. Lifting his eyes, Alexander found an attendant about to knock on the open doorway to the chamber. "Come in," the prince grunted, still too far wrapped up in his own concerns to consider why the attendant was there.

"Her Royal Majesty, the Queen, calls for you."

Alexander was instantly annoyed. "At a time like this?" he asked, trying to weed out the anger in his tone. It wasn't the attendant's fault that the queen was so inconsiderate.

"My liege, I am not sure that Her Majesty knows about the current situation with the knight."

Alexander rose. "Very well, then," he muttered. "I'll see to her in a moment's time."

The attendant bowed and left the room.

Of all the insufferable things to do, Mother, this is the worst, Alexander inwardly fumed. Closing the drawers of his desk and setting his paperweight aright, he made his way out of the chamber and to the room in which his mother lay dying. It had better not be anything more for Adrian to do.

The queen was lying in her bed, snapping orders at her lady-in-waiting, when Alexander arrived. The lady-in-waiting appeared to be new; Alexander did not recognize her. He wondered what the old one had done to displease his mother.

Noticing Alexander's gaze, the queen smiled and raised her eyebrows. "I thought you might take a liking to someone of her appearance," she said.

Disgusted, Alexander waved his mother's comment away. "I'm merely wondering why you got rid of the last one. It seems as though you've hired a different lady-in-waiting everytime I see you. You're just as bad as father and his harem."

"And you take after us," the queen said in a sickening voice.

The words, though not entirely untrue, bothered Alexander, and he narrowed his eyes. "You called for me?"

"I did, indeed. It's about the knight, Adrian. I do hope you listen and obey."

The End

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