“Sire! Wake up! Now!”
The urgency in his voice penetrated to the depth of Henry’s psyche. Even before he was fully awake, he knew it was Casal Imbert all over again. His enemies had caught him sleeping again. “I’m not leaving this room unless I’m fully dressed!” He shouted at Baldwin.
“Here!” was the knight’s answer as he handed Henry a fresh shirt. Henry tore his night shirt off over his head and tossed it across the room. Andreas had braies for him, and he stepped into them while registering the ringing of bells throughout his city.
“Where are they?” he asked Baldwin breathlessly. “Are they inside the city yet?”
“I don’t know, sire. I was awoken by the bells myself and came to you at once.”
“How did this happen again? How? Where were your father and Karpas and—”
“They are mustering our men.” The voice was low and calming.
Henry turned toward it and frowned into the darkness. “Who’s there? How did you get inside my chamber?”
“It’s me, my lord king, Sir Balian. My father sent me.”
“How far away is the enemy?”
“They’re still high up on their mountain, sleeping peacefully.”
“But, the bells . . .” King Henry gestured and looked helplessly from one brother to the other.
“My father had them rung to get everyone out of their comfortable and dispersed quarters. We will camp on the plain, north of Nicosia—and there will be sentries with passwords controlling the perimeter. I was sent to tell you that, as this is not a real alarm, you may stay here if you prefer.”
Henry was half-dressed now. He looked at the comfortable bed, at Sir Baldwin, whose scars from Casal Imbert were all too obvious to see since he was wearing nothing but his braies, and then at Sir Balian, who was in full armor.
“My place is with my knights, turcopoles, and infantry. Help me into my armor so your brother can dress himself.”
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