Where is he?
The thought ran freely through Teela's mind as she stood inside Adam's empty room late at night.
The Royal family didn't have personal night-time guards. Their desire for privacy outweighed their concerns for personal safety, and much of that could be attributed to their trust in the palace security.
Yet Teela had awoke with a sense of panic and her first thought had been something had happened to Adam. She'd come into his room heedless of protocol anxious about his well-being. And now Adam's bed was empty.
Teela was aware that underneath his playful ways, Adam took life far more seriously than he let on. She had known him too long to believe that he was off gallivanting with women at all hours of the night. The boy who had been her friend would not have grown into such a casual man. She was sure of that. Almost.
Adam's bed was empty, and Teela was now in danger of being viewed as his lover. What would people think if she was seen leaving his bedroom dressed in her sleepwear? Although her fears for his well-being would have never allowed her to worry about her reputation – now she wondered if she'd been too hasty rushing in here. What if he was just out?
She expelled a hard sigh.
Adam. I swear to you, I'm going to kill you.
Of course... she couldn't even be angry. Adam was her best friend, but he was also her Prince and that made their relationship odd. It was becoming increasingly evident to Teela that Adam and she had grown apart and in that time of growing apart she was losing the man who had always been a comforting fixture in her life.
The cold hard fact was Captain of the Guard Teela and King Adam could not cavort as they did as children or even now, sometimes, when they felt playful and shoved each other in jest over gentle back and forth mockery.
No. King Adam would have a wife. He would sit on a throne with his Queen and perform his duties with dignity and grace just like his parents did now. He would call her Captain in a detached and formal way, and she would call him 'Sire' or 'Your Majesty'.
His non-presence was just a harbinger of darker and lonelier days to come. The truth was, she had no actual right to demand to know where he'd been. Nonetheless she felt bound by love and duty to raise the alarm and let people know that the Prince was missing. Because what if that was the truth? What if he really was in danger? Hadn't she heard those words in her head as she woke up?
She moved to the door deciding that being caught leaving his room was a far better thing than delaying raising the alarm. She would deal with any repercussions to her reputation later.
She felt his arrival before she heard it. A sense he was near, and then a rustling near the window that had been open a mere crack. The windows were designed to be nearly impossible to open from the outside and easy to open from within, but the hands that gripped the window opened it with ease.
She rushed away from the door and crouched behind a chair in the dark room holding her breath and waiting in worried anticipation for the intruder to enter, poised to fly at him and catch whoever it was by surprise.
Shock engulfed her as she realized the intruder was actually Adam. She had no idea how he had managed to open his window from the outside but now was not the time to question a faulty window. Instead she had bigger problems to deal with. Did she tell the King and Queen that their son went out in the night for reasons unknown to anyone? Was he meeting someone or was it something even more upsetting - was he endangering himself as a sleepwalker? And how exactly would she leave this room undetected now- she would first need to wait for him to fall asleep and then she would have to sneak out without being caught by him or any other observer.
As she pondered her next move, she saw a flash of steel and saw him put a sword in a compartment she hadn't even known he had.