Cassandra awoke to the scent of Lilac Sin. Hadrian must be here. But Hadrian wasn't there. It was only Lizzie.
Two realizations hit Cassandra at the same time: one, that the King had come to search for her, and two, that Lizzie was wearing the perfume that Cassandra smelled so often on Hadrian.
Sickness aside, Cassandra scrambled to her feet, uncaring that her bodice was soaked in vomit. All that mattered was understanding the facts. "Who gave you that perfume?" she demanded.
Lizzie's eyes widened, and she shook her head. "I've always had it," she protested.
"No, you haven't! I'd recognize it anywhere! Hadrian gave it to you, didn't he?" Cassandra's heart was beating more quickly than she could speak. Unable to think because of the conflicting emotions in her mind, she grabbed Lizzie's shoulders and shook her friend - no, her enemy. "Hadrian gave it to you, didn't he?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Lizzie whimpered, but the only thing that Cassandra understood was the aroma hanging on the blonde-haired wench. "Please, Cassandra, let go of me! I would never go behind your back like that!"
"I don't believe you!"
Lizzie began to weep. She wrenched herself out of Cassandra's grasp. "Alright, fine! I'll admit that Hadrian has been seeing me! But it's no worse than when you sneaked out with Morris!"
Almost trembling with rage, Cassandra let out a furious moan. "I didn't sneak out with him, Lizzie. I accompanied him to a celebration, because it would have appeared strange, had he shown up alone."
"He didn't ask me, and you still went with him! I had every right to steal Hadrian from you!"
"He had his reasons for not inviting you to go with him, Lizzie! Why don't you ask him yourself?" Cassandra shot back. She opened the door to her apartment. "Leave me!" she barked. "Get out of here! I don't want to see your face ever again! This whole apartment reeks of that putrid stench you're wearing!" Tears were running down Cassandra's face, but she didn't care. "Leave! Now!"
Clearly frightened, Lizzie scurried from the room, not even bothering to argue.
As soon as her former friend had left, Cassandra slammed the door and sank down to the floor. The scent of vomit, mingled with the cloying Lilac Sin, made her want to be sick again, but she fought against the nausea and forced herself to keep her stomach.
It was a few minutes before she remembered what Lizzie had said about King Amadeo.