Part Thirty-Five

“Was Stavros' message to you so threatening that you feared to share it with even me?”

Stefan's voice, wafting out of the dark alcove, caused Sabrina to jump. She was so preoccupied with her upcoming task that she did not notice her older brother standing there waiting. “Stefan! You nearly scared me half to death!”

Sabrina's reaction confirmed for Stefan his apprehension that their brother Stavros had leveled a physical threat of some sort against the outspoken young woman. “Tell me exactly what he said!” Perhaps if he knew the wording of their brother's threat, then Stefan might be able to defuse it.

He had done so before. Preempting Stavros' angry and impulsive actions toward his family members required considerable skill and discretion, qualities that Stefan had developed in abundance due to much practice.

“Oh, Stefan,” Sabrina apologized, “I am sorry! I wasn't thinking.” She laid a gentle hand upon his upper arm, feeling the tenseness that his concerns for her had caused. She should have realized that Stefan would have been curious about the reason Stavros saw fit to speak privately to her after breakfast.

“Stavros didn't threaten me,” the young woman explained to her brother. “He wasn't even angry anymore.”

“Then why did he desire a private audience?”

Sabrina decided to bend the truth a bit. “Alexandra was feeling a bit under the weather and needed a few things. Stavros asked me if I would take care of it for her.”

“A few things?”

The pointed look Stefan directed at the plain brown bag she held could not be missed. “Personal items,” Sabrina elaborated, hoping that Stefan would be dissuaded from his curiosity by that stereotypical male aversion to such items. “Female things.”

Stefan gave his sister a small nod. “Then do not allow me to detain you,” he said, and watched her head for the Royal Suite. Things had just become more interesting, Stefan mused. Sabrina was now lying for Stavros.