Tainted Saint, Chapter Twenty-NineMature

There was a small, warm glow coming from the corner of the room. Cassandra's eyes fluttered open, and she let out a groggy yawn. And then, she knew where she was.

Hadrian's dirty little apartment.

Scanning the room, Cassandra discovered that she was alone. Groaning inwardly, she took note of the room's general disarray. The desk was littered with papers. A bottle of ink had been tipped over and had liberally dumped its contents all over the floor beneath, spattering the desk drawers with black splotches. Dirty clothes were heaped in the corner; Hadrian expected Cassandra to wash his laundry, no doubt. Ants roamed the room, finding crumbs in nearly any given area. Hadrian was a complete slob.

The door opened, and Cassandra closed her eyes so that she would appear asleep. But it was too late. Hadrian bent down and gave Cassandra's face a mild slap. "I know you're awake," he growled. "Don't pretend. When you feel better, I've got some cleaning up for you to do."

Head beginning to ache all over again from the light blow, Cassandra tried to sit up and act as healthy as possible. "So you brought me here, just to clean?" she asked, sullen.

"You're a woman, aren't you? Women are only good for three things: cooking, cleaning, and..." Hadrian's voice trailed off, and he cast an evil look in Cassandra's direction.

"Go on," Cassandra muttered. "Say what you were going to say. I've come to expect it from you."

Hadrian shrugged. "I'm starting to wonder if you're worthy of my love, after all."

"Call it what you may, Hadrian, but what you do is not love."

Clearly angered, Hadrian whirled around and shook Cassandra's weak, feverish frame. It was then that a whiff of perfume drifted from his body to Cassandra's nose, and she shrank back. Once or twice was alright, but what if Hadrian had been cheating on her on a regular basis? "You smell like another woman," she whispered.

Hadrian shook Cassandra even more violently. "I am not strictly yours," he scowled. "You ought to be thankful. You're too sick for much good, anyways."

"But I thought you said your heart belonged to me!" Cassandra said, allowing one solitary tear to snake down her cheek.

"Stop your blubbering!" Hadrian said, hitting Cassandra's face so forcefully that Cassandra knew she would have to wear extra cosmetics when she began her work again. "I have every right to taste of everything Nicu has to offer - including its - "

Cassandra cut in. "You have no right," she said, daring to stand up for herself.

"It's not like you're faithful to me, Cassandra."

But Cassandra was not finished. Though she felt like falling asleep or crying out from her headache or throwing up - she was far from well - she still had things to say. "I must make a living, Hadrian. You're the only man I've chosen to love. To love. Does that word mean anything to you?" She inhaled. "That disgusting lilac perfume probably answers my question."

"Do you know what the perfume's called, Cassandra. It's called 'Lilac Sin.' I was thinking of buying you some. It's quite pleasing, really."

And then, Hadrian left. 

King Amadeo would have stayed...

The End

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