Tainted Saint, Chapter FifteenMature

Amadeo dismounted his horse without a word to anyone. Greatly distressed, he didn't give instructions to the stableboy. He simply left his horse behind. He could have spoken if he'd wanted to - but he didn't.

Marcos hurried to his King's side. "Sire - " he began.

Whirling around to face his friend, Amadeo finally spoke, though his voice shook with tears and anger. "Did you see what he did to her?"

"I saw everything, Your Highness," Marcos replied, his tone suddenly softer and more sympathetic. "I'm...very sorry."

Amadeo searched his friend's eyes. "But did you see, Marcos? Wasn't she beautiful? Don't you see now why I had to go find her again?" Voice breaking, Amadeo stopped and waited for Marcos' response.

Marcos said nothing.

"I don't expect you to understand," Amadeo continued. "I don't expect you to see what I saw in her. But he saw what I saw in her, and he wants to make sure she doesn't."

"Sire..." Marcos started, then stopped.

"Speak your mind."

Chuckling both nervously and mirthlessly, Marcos opened his mouth, but the words took awhile in coming. Finally, he said, "You're not making sense."

"Which part? The part about her, or the part about him?" Sensing Marcos' confusion, Amadeo shook his head and waved the matter away. "Never mind," he said, seeing that there was no way he could convince his friend of the matter. "Go talk to Gabelle or something."

"I'm sorry, Your Highness," Marcos said quietly. "But for what it's worth, I think it's good that she rejected you. Perhaps now, you'll be able to set your sights on someone else."

"Perhaps." Unlikely.

"It's late. You ought to get some sleep. Things always look better in the morning, eh?" Marcos pointed out in a voice that tried too hard to be chipper.

"I'll see you tomorrow."

Marcos reached out and firmly patted his King's shoulder. "Sounds good." He nodded, though there was still concern lacing his eyes. "I hope you can get some sleep."

"You, too."

But when Amadeo slept, he dreamed of those broken eyes...

The End

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