Tainted Saint, Chapter Twenty-OneMature

People were going to think it very odd that Amadeo was attending Marcos' and Gabelle's anniversary party without a companion.

Still, though, Amadeo could not bring himself to tear his mind away from the broken-eyed woman. Why, he didn't even know her name! All he knew was that she was beautiful, and she was broken, and she needed him. Desperately.

Sighing, the King glanced at his reflection in the mirror. Normally, he didn't place too much importance on his appearance, but now, he felt strangely compelled to make sure he looked alright.

The chilling sense that the girl was going to turn up sometime in the near future wouldn't leave Amadeo alone.

Someone rapped at the door.

"Come in," Amadeo called, never having been one for a personal attendant. Some considered it strange that he had no manservant to dress him, bring him his food, and answer his door, but Amadeo didn't care. He could easily take care of himself.

The door opened, and in walked Marcos, looking handsome as ever. "What do you think, Your Highness?" he asked, handing Amadeo a small black box.

Opening the box, Amadeo blinked at the brightness of what was inside. "A diamond necklace," he mused. Teasingly, he met his friend's eyes. "What's this for?"

"It's for Gabelle," Marcos explained. "Do you think it's elaborate enough?"

Amadeo handed the box back to Marcos. "Of course."

Marcos heaved a sigh. "Tell me that she isn't on your mind again, Amadeo." When Amadeo made no response, Marcos sighed again. "She's eating up your mind, Sire." Changing the subject, Marcos inquired cheerfully, "Who is accompanying you to the celebration tonight?"

"I am," Amadeo replied, rubbing the back of his neck. He laughed self-consciously.

"You know what I think about that," Marcos muttered, rolling his eyes. "Really, Your Highness. You could've asked any woman in the kingdom, and she'd have accepted." He paused and coughed nervously. "I mean, anyone but...you know." He patted Amadeo's shoulder. "Don't take it personally."

Amadeo smiled. "Thank-you, Marcos. Now, leave me so that I can practice the opening speech for the celebration. I want to be prepared so that I don't embarrass you and the lady."

Eyes filled with relief, Marcos nodded. "That sounds more like you," he said. Reaching out, he patted Amadeo's shoulder one more time. "I can't wait to hear what you've got."

That sounds more like you. "But who am I becoming?" Amadeo whispered, once Marcos had left the room. "Who am I turning into?"

The End

284 comments about this story Feed