Urine, rotting food, and unkempt bodies simply weren't the most pleasant thing to smell, especially when one's stomach was already overturned with distress.
Still, Cassandra had grown up in tenements such as these. She was somewhat used to the scent of the place. Why, then, did it bother her so that day?
Because I caught a glimpse of what it would be like to live somewhere other than this.
The cloying scent of roses and cheap perfumes assailed Cassandra's nostrils as she opened the door to her apartment. Nauseated not so much by the scent as by the lifestyle the scent represented, Cassandra quietly removed her cloak and laid it across the chair that sat by her bed. Sweating, she walked over to the vanity and splashed cold water on her face.
Why had Cassandra even worn the cloak, in the first place? It was such a blisteringly hot day...
You knew the King was coming. You wanted to look your best.
For some reason, it had felt important to Cassandra that she look presentable, just in case the King should happen to lay eyes upon her. Uncomfortable with herself and her motives, Cassandra stared in the cracked mirror above the vanity and let out a long sigh. "Get over yourself, Cassandra," she whispered.
But those world-weary eyes only stared right back.
He was beautiful, wasn't he? Those violet eyes...they looked right at you, Cassandra. Don't pretend they didn't. He really was beautiful.
There was a knock at the door. Forcing herself to leave her disturbing thoughts behind, Cassandra dried off her face with a somewhat soiled hand towel and wiped her hands on her skirt. Enough dillydallying. There was money to be earned.
Opening the door, Cassandra was met by a man with terrible body odor. Breathing through her mouth so as to keep from gagging, Cassandra opened the door a little wider.
He smelled terrible, but he was bread for her table.