"You what?" he asked turning from her to the guards "Stop the messenger immediately." he ordered, much louder than necessary and the man ran to do so. The Queen looked at him in confusion.
"I understand you might want to tell them in person but i know how much you once loved her. I couldn't bare to watch you tell her children with your own heart breaking." Queen Kira tried to sooth him, but he looked at her with confusion and disgust. This was a look she had never seen in her direction, disbelief and sorrow filled his eyes.
"Is that how it seems? Once Loved?" he shook his head slowly. "I will always love My Empress. MY Eve." the words cut Kira like a knife, deep into her soul. Her name twisting it to obliterate part of her heart.
"I only said loved because she is gone." Kira whispered as though she had been wronged. He shook his head and sighed.
"Empress Evelyn is holding on. Barely, but she is alive. No one shall mention death again till the lady is back on her feet." The Emperor replied his voice more level now. "I will stay with her tonight."
"Thank the Skies she is well but, Emperor you must not! You could be attacked in the cold palace, what if this is what the attacker wanted? To lure you to that remote place to do away with you?" Queen Kira asked her voice bereft with worry. He shook his head but before he could speak she added "Let me stay with her in your place."
"No. No more of this. I am well protected and yet my granddaughter's face was bruised in my home, also lost twice in my care and kidnapped. My grandson pushed down the steps by some unknown enemy, a beauty killed and no one knows why. Then My Empress, the wonderful mother of two of my children suffers under my watch. I will stay with her tonight, and things are about to change." he replied, his words sounded like they were etched in stone. Kira's heart slowed a bit as she heard this, she could almost hear the blood rushing in her ears.
"How so, My Lord?" she asked and he shook his head. These words were cause for unease. Perhaps tonights assassination attempt would yield darker fruit than just a living Empress.
"I don't know, but my imperial family is starting to look like my father's harem and I am done letting it happen. Go rest, Kira. I am going back to Evie." The Emperor replied turning around and walking back to his rooms.
Eves expression had not changed. Her body was now clean, and dressed in a nightgown he recognized as her favorite. There were years when he would cuddle with her through the night in that soft gown. A sigh escaped his lips as he walked to the bed and sat beside her, his hand gently caressing her damp hair.
"Thank you, Addie, for being so good to her. Neither of you will suffer as you have in recent years ever again." he whispered before looking over at the tired young woman with tears in her troubled eyes. Seeing this he waved her over, and Addie obeyed, slowly approaching the Emperor. He reached out and took her hand, gently caressing the back of her wrist. "she will be okay, Addie. Now go rest. The Empress will not be alone tonight." he assured her before releasing the girl.
Addie walked to the doorway and paused a moment. "If she dies, I will never forgive you for what you have done to her." Addie whispered, her words clear and cold as ice. He nodded as she left, and took Eve's hand holding the delicate fingers to his lips.
After several hours the Emperor finally let go of her hand and shed his robes. He slipped on a simple white robe, loosely tied at the waist, before laying down behind her. His arm slid under her waist as he gathered her to him, mindful of her injury. Her brow relaxed as he placed a tender kiss to her temple. Sleep claimed him soon after.
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