The next morning, Cas woke up to the annoying beeping of his alarm. He made a face and buried his head underneath his pillow to muffle the obnoxious noise. It was nine in the morning, and he hadn’t gotten nearly enough sleep to recover from the hectic events of the night before. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to lay around. With only an hour before his tutor was supposed to arrive, he needed to get up and get ready for the lesson so his father wouldn’t have another reason to be mad at him.
Tiredly, he dragged himself out of bed and shuffled into the bathroom that adjoined his room. The mansion was so huge, he had one all to himself. It was elaborate too, even by high born standards. Every countertop was made of polished granite, and he had both a glass shower and a Jacuzzi tub with a flat screen TV built into the wall. He spent quite a few evenings in the latter, watching sports or movies to unwind after hours of mind-numbing classes on politics, history, warfare, or whatever else his father thought he should know before he was crowned the next king.
Trying to wake up a little more, he took a colder shower than usual that morning and completed the rest of his ritual hygiene before he heard to the kitchen for breakfast. To his excitement, the maid who had cooked the food today had elected to fry bacon and eggs. He filled up his own plate with a hearty helping, needing all the energy he could get before he dove into his first in-depth economics lesson of the series.
Just as he was about to go to the dining room to eat, he realized there was still enough food leftover for one more person. “Has my dad not come down to get his breakfast yet?”
he asked the maid with a concerned frown.
“No, sir,” she shook her head. “I believe His Highness is still in bed.”“Huh,”
Cas mused. “Okay, thanks.”
He turned and headed out of the kitchen with a contemplative expression on his face. Any time his father’s appetite waned, it was time to call Dr. Emett for an evaluation. He probably needed an adjustment in his medication or something. That usually fixed the problem.
Thinking about Dr. Emett, his thoughts also wandered to Iris, and he wondered if she was doing any better today than she had been when he’d last seen her. Maybe she’d woken up and remembered everything. He hoped so. It would be nice to call the doctor and find out that she’d gone home to be with her family while she recovered, especially since she’d told him she didn’t like hospitals.
When he finished his breakfast, Cas made his way into the study, where he usually met his tutors for his lessons. He didn’t have to wait long before an older man with white, wispy hair appeared and the class commenced. Like all his lessons, economics was dull, and he found it hard to pay attention to the statistics and figures the tutor tried to teach him. Instead, he found himself thinking about the night before and about the girl he’d found in the woods. He glanced frequently at the clock as he waited for the lecture to end, so he could make the call to Emett and find out what had become of her.
After six excruciating hours of reading and taking notes, he was finally released from the tutor’s clutches to have an early dinner. He didn’t see his father this time either, and he suspected the king had skipped lunch too. It was definitely time to arrange for the doctor to visit. He requested for one of the maids to go upstairs and check in on Atlas while he made himself comfortable on a plush couch in the living room, kicking his feet up on the coffee table as he settled down to dial the hospital.
After about thirty seconds of listening to the tone, the doctor picked up. “Ah, Caspian, how are you this afternoon?”“I’m fine,”
he answered, picking up a pen from the table and toying with it between his fingers. “My dad stopped eating again though. Could you come by to see him sometime this week?”
“I see,” the doctor sounded thoughtful. “Yes, I can be there tomorrow.”“Great. I’ll tell him you’re coming.”
Cas paused briefly before adding: “By the way, is Iris still there?”
“Unfortunately, no family has contacted us, and she hasn’t regained her memory, so I can’t release her yet.” He could hear Emett sigh into the speaker.“Really?”
Cas frowned, a little surprised that no one had called looking for her yet. Maybe they just hadn’t thought to try the hospital yet. “Well, let me know if anything changes.”
“Of course,” Dr. Emett agreed. “Anything else?”“No, that’s it. Thanks, doctor.”
“You’re quite welcome.”
Hanging up the phone, he tapped the pen absently against his thigh. Iris had to be pretty devastated that no one had shown up to find her yet. Over twelve hours had gone by, and she was still stuck at the hospital. He couldn’t think of anyone who would be happy in that situation.Maybe I can stop by for a little while,
he thought. It was only five. Visiting hours weren’t over yet, and she would probably be glad to talk to anyone at this point.
Deciding it was a good idea, he stuck the end of the pen in his mouth and unlocked his phone again to send a quick text:
Jay, bring back my car already, you jackass. I need it for something.