Tainted Saint, Chapter ThirteenMature

Might as well be vulnerable.

"Because I saw you last week, and I can't get your eyes off my mind."

Amadeo didn't know what exactly he'd expected the woman to do. Perhaps laugh, or perhaps faint. But what she did was the very last thing he could've predicted.

She burst into tears and ran away, leaving a crowd of very perplexed people in her wake.

Surprised beyond measure, Amadeo froze, unsure as to whether he should chase her or let her run. It was Marcos' words that prompted him to action.

"Well, what are you doing? You didn't come all this way to watch her escape."

Within moments, Amadeo had caught up to the escapee. Lightly touching the woman's arm, as he wasn't sure how well she would respond to a firmer touch, he called out, "I came all this way to find you! Can't I have a moment of your time?"

The poor, frightened girl turned, eyes wild. "Let me go!" she wept, although Amadeo hadn't been holding onto her in the first place.

It was then that Amadeo looked to the girl's side and saw a dark, angry man with enormous eyebrows glaring at him. And somehow, he understood.

This dark, angry man thought he had some claim to the prostitute.

"Please, let me go," the woman whimpered again, those piercing eyes still filled with tears. "You have the wrong girl. You know you have the wrong girl." Her voice was pleading.

"Yeah, let her go," the other man said, reaching out and pulling the girl closer to him.

The girl winced at his touch.

"You think I'll give up so easily?" Amadeo asked. I came all this way to see you, whoever you are. I'm not simply going to turn around and go back.

"She's mine."

With a shaky, teary voice, the woman confirmed the man's words. "Yes, I'm his," she said. And then, more to herself than to anyone else, she added, "This is what I want." She closed her eyes and shuddered as the man traced her from her jaw to her hip. "This is what I want."

Hurt not only because of his loss but because of her obvious lostness, Amadeo tried to meet the broken eyes, but he couldn't. Nodding, he let out a sigh. "If it's what you want," he said. "But I'm not sure it's what you want."

The brute grasped the beautiful urchin's wrist and pulled her forcefully away from Amadeo. "It is," he growled. "Get out of here!"

Amadeo mounted his horse again - not because he felt threatened by his cruel opponent, but because he knew that arguing further would only drive the woman further away from him. But as the crowd began to disperse, the object of the King's affections turned and met Amadeo's eyes, chin quivering with fear.

"I'll be back," Amadeo whispered, and though he knew the girl couldn't hear him, he knew she somehow understood.

The End

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