All of us stare at
“Um… is he okay?” I look to Faith and expect her to be as shocked as I am. But her face is pink behind her freckles. She’s smiling! A laugh jumps from her, loud and abrupt. The other girl join her. Did I miss something?
Mercy lifts one of Prince Ferguson’s hands and lets it drop back onto the satiny couch. The prince snorts once and rolls to his side, his jaw slack and his breathing deep.
“Is he sleeping?”
My question only makes the princesses laugh harder. Then I notice the goblet. It must have fallen from his hand when he passed out. The tiny bit of remaining liquid slips onto the couch, darkening the pink fabric. I look up at Faith in horror. “You drugged him?”
Faith’s smile widens. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She gives us all a wink. “He just couldn’t keep his eyes open.”
Felicity shifts from one foot to the other. Her fist clenches a bunch of yellow fabric from her dress. “Should one of us stay behind?” He voice is small and barely rises above the talking from the other girls. “I don’t mind keeping an eye on him.”
The twins both roll their eyes. “We gave him more than enough,” says Chastity. “Trust me; he’ll be out all night.”
Faith runs back to the garden door and waves for us to follow her. “Let’s not waste any more time!”
Charity, Chastity, and Mercy hurry after Faith while Felicity follows a bit more slowly. Meanwhile, I’m left with an unconscious guy I don’t like, who’s snoring because he’s been drugged. And now they want to play more dress-up?
My brain tingles like I’ve forgotten something. The king had said something important at dinner. That if the prince couldn’t deliver, he’d be executed! I stare at the now-drooling
As much as I dislike this guy, I can’t let the poor idiot die.
by the shoulder. His snores get louder.
Your Highness…or whatever. You need to wake up.”
The girls’ laughter still bounces around in the garden. How long will they stay in there?
I tap the prince’s hand. Then I slap his hand. Nothing. I consider going out and getting help, but then someone might tell the king that
sleeping on the job.
I see only one more option. Throwing my shoulders back, I take a deep breath and remind myself not to enjoy this. I slap
across the face. Hard.
He grunts, wrinkles his brow, and turns onto his other side so I can’t reach his face again. Well, I’m out of ideas. Then I see the goblet. I grab the jewel-encrusted cup and run into the garden. There’s an entire pond pull of water to dump on the poor sap. Who can sleep through that?
But I don’t make it to the pond. I don’t make it because I’m too shocked to move. The far wall—the entire wall—of the garden room is gone.