The Knight Returns

The words that flowed from Annalise's lips took Alexander by immense surprise, and he found himself holding his breath so that he could catch them.

"Adrian. It's me. I'm here now." Such simple words...and yet the emotions behind them were so profound...

Staring at Annalise in wonderment, Alexander's mind was diverted for a moment. So the snarky, self-centered woman still had a soft side to her! The thought was rattling. It obscured the ideas that Alexander had begun to develop about who the lady had become.

The whole world seemed to hold its breath. Would Annalise's arrival make any difference? Or had Alexander made a mistake in sending for Annalise...and sending Zahra away? Only time would tell.

Hopefully, time would be merciful to the Knight.

Hopefully, it wasn't already too late.

For a long moment, nothing happened. Alexander felt all the hopes he'd been daring to build come crashing down. No! No! "This can't be happening," Alexander absently muttered under his breath. He swore and looked away. "This can't be happening." After all this hope, and you're slipping away from us, Adrian? Where's the fighter in you? Did the disease destroy it?

And then, something in the air changed. The look on Annalise's face told Alexander what he so desperately wanted to know.

"Is he awake?" Alexander demanded. Rushing to the other side of Adrian's bed, he took his friend's hand and waited with baited breath. Oh, what if the gamble had been worth it? What if Adrian was going to be...oh, did Alexander dare to hope?

Turning to Annalise and opening his mouth to speak, Alexander saw something in the lady's eyes that shocked him.

Tears of joy were swimming in Annalise's emotion-riddled eyes. It was in that moment that Alexander reluctantly acknowledged what he must do.

Standing, the Prince strode from the room and shut the door behind him, leaving the Lady and the Knight alone.

The End

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