“How long ago did you abduct him?”
How long have I been blaming Wallen for something he didn’t do?
The man looks up at the ceiling, thinking. “A month ago, maybe a little more. About the same time you and your pet got cozy in her family’s estate.”
I resist the urge to strike him.
“Hold him,” I say to the guard. “We’ll need his help to locate Wallen. Then we’ll deal with him.”
Alice slowly stands, though she’s wobbly. I take her arm to steady her. Once I’m sure she’s all right, I go to Sabine.
I kneel in front of my sister, at a loss for words.
“Stop,” she says raggedly. “This was not your fault, so don’t you dare apologize.”
“Thank you for protecting us.” I frown at her hand. Because the tool was copper, she’ll bear the scar for the rest of her life. “You are—”
“Brave and strong.” She leans against Regina’s shoulder. “You’ve told me.”
I try to smile, but it’s painful. “I was going to say a fool, but you’re those things as well.”
“I would have been able to defeat her if I hadn’t tried to lie,” she says bitterly.
Drake joins us, and for just a few minutes, we draw strength from each other.
Alice hangs back, giving us time, smiling as quiet tears roll down her cheeks.
Looking truly terrified, Sabine whispers, “Do you think she’ll wake up?”
“I hope not,” Regina says darkly.
Until Mother draws her last breath, we will live in fear of the queen.
“Help me up, Drake,” Sabine says.
Drake immediately steps in, looking a little overwhelmed. She smiles at him, crying again. “I just said your name—right to your face.”
“Sabine…” He looks like he’s about to lose his composure.
“I feel just awful.” She cries freely now. “But I’m so happy.”
Drake pats her shoulder and gives her a tight smile.
“Take Sabine to her room,” I say to Regina. “She needs rest to heal.”
Regina nods, and the two of them begin down the hall.
I turn to Drake, exhaling deeply. He studies me with a guarded expression, not yet sure what to do with himself. Laughing a little, I clasp his shoulder. “All these years, I’ve wanted so badly to talk to you. Now that I can, I don’t know what to say.”
He laughs, trying not to show weakness even though he looks close to his breaking point.
Alice steps up next to me, and I immediately pull her to my side.
“Thank you,” Drake says to her solemnly. “You’ve saved us.”
Looking dead on her feet, she answers, “I didn’t actually do anything.”