"I'm going to the bathroom to read."
Those were the words Elvis Presley said to his fiancee, Ginger Alden, early in the morning of August 16, 1977, at his Memphis mansion, Graceland.
They were the last words he ever spoke.
The King of Rock'n'Roll couldn't sleep and didn't want to disturb his beauty queen lover.
"OK, but don't fall asleep," she responded before closing her eyes again, leaving his reading light on.
Hours later, at 2pm, she woke and noticed Presley hadn't returned to bed. She knocked on the bathroom door, calling his name, and then opened it.
"That's when I saw him there."
In her upcoming memoir, Ginger and Elvis, due out in a Berkley hardcover edition on September 2, Alden recounts the details of her short-lived romance with Presley, the Daily Mail reported.
In it, she reveals how she found the singer slumped over on the bathroom floor. When she bent down to touch him, his skin was cold.
"I slapped him a few times and it was like he breathed once when I turned his head," she said.
Alden tried opening an eye.
"It was just blood-red, but I couldn't move him.
"I didn't want to think he was dead. God wouldn't want to take him so soon."
She pressed the intercom that rang in the kitchen and called for help.
Despite rapid first aid from Presley's old army mate, Joe Esposito, the 42-year-old died from an overdose of medications.
According to a review by Kirkus, the book details the king's demise, and reflects, chronologically, on the couple's relationship and Presley's multifaceted personality.
The beauty queen caught Presley's eye at a fairground. She was 20 at the time - and as many years younger than him.
He proposed to her on January 26, 1977, in his bathroom, the very place he later died.