“Goodnight, Thea Sabrina. Goodnight, Princess.”
With Andresj's arrival at his suite of rooms, the little party of retiring dinner guests was down to two. Sabrina silently led her brother's wife through the twisting, turning passageways of Wyndemere. The beautiful doctor was fairly certain that Alexandra had not been in those particular hallways before. Their almost mazelike construction made up the private entrance to the Cassadine family wing. Servants were not allowed the use of the passageways except in time of extreme crisis or disaster, thereby affording Cassadine family members some semblance of privacy in the rambling estate.
“These hallways connect the suites in the family wing together,” Sabrina informed Alexandra. “They are a kind of private back entrance for us to use. The servants aren't allowed here.” She stopped and tried to catch Alexandra's eye. “Not even Stavros can change that.”
Alexandra's single word response was about all Sabrina expected to get from her new sister-in-law. The doctor ruefully acknowledged that she was more than partially to blame for Alexandra's cool attitude toward her.
The two women reached the hallway that marked the entrance to the Prince's suite. “Alexandra…” Sabrina stretched out a slender hand and delayed the other woman's progress. “I want to apologize for my outburst the other day. I shouldn't have put the responsibility of my brother's actions on your shoulders. I know from experience that Stavros can be cruel.”
It was as if she had not spoken. Sabrina was dismayed that the tiny progress they'd made in gaining Alexandra's trust was erased by her unthinking accusations. “Alexandra?”
Alexandra turned around to face Sabrina. Her face was a neutral mask. “Thank you for your apology,” Alexandra replied evenly. Her words had all the warmth of an icicle. It reminded Sabrina of the exchanges between her and Helena – polite and seemingly cordial on the surface. “Now, if you will excuse me, ” Alexandra attempted to remove her arm from beneath Sabrina's touch, “I have to go and prepare myself for more of your brother's…attention.”
Sabrina winced. She did not want to consider exactly what that could entail. “I know that it might not seem like it, but I really want to help you. We all do, if you will just let us.”
Alexandra seemed to seriously consider Sabrina's offer. The quiet-spoken Princess gently gnawed the inside of her lower lip. She looked extremely young and vulnerable at that moment.
“Whatever you are worried about-” Sabrina wished the words back into her mouth when she saw how they turned Alexandra's expression off like a light switch. “Alexandra…”
“Goodnight.” The Princess stepped inside the suite she shared with Stavros and firmly closed the door.