Tainted Saint, Chapter Thirty-EightMature

Cassandra couldn't believe the words had come from her mouth, but she had to set King Amadeo straight. There was no future between the two of them.

A parade of emotions crossed the King's face. Finally, he simply asked, "Why?"

"Because there is no reason you should be here. Look at you, Your Highness. You're a King. I'm a prostitute. Our classes shouldn't be associating with one another. I appreciate your kindness, but - "

"Would you at least join me for a noontime meal?"

"I just told you to leave!"

"Do you really want me to leave, though?" the King persisted, taking a step closer.

Cassandra automatically took a step back. "You know I do," she said. It was meant to sound assured and confident, but instead, the utterance came out as a wavering whisper.

"I think I know what you want, Cassandra," the King said, and his voice suddenly changed from its normal tone to one that was filled with...with...no, it couldn't be love. Could it? Well, could it?

Lizzie, who had remained tired up until that point, spoke up. "She doesn't want to come with you," she said to King Amadeo, hands on her hips. "You should just give up. When Cassandra doesn't want to do something, believe me - she doesn't want to do it."

Annoyed with Lizzie's personal jab, Cassandra lifted her chin. "You don't know what you're talking about," she responded to Lizzie.

"Don't pretend, Cassandra," Lizzie scowled. "Just don't pretend."

"Pretend what?" Cassandra asked, growing further angry. She turned to the King. "Lizzie's wrong. I would, in fact, enjoy spending the noontime meal with you." Nevermind that she had agreed out of spite to Lizzie.

Clearly knowing what was going on but being kind enough not to comment on it, the King nodded, something akin to joy glowing in his eyes. "That sounds perfect," he said, and his smile was almost contagious enough to encourage Cassandra's lips. But not quite.

"I'll meet you at the eleventh hour," Cassandra said, taking charge of the plans. If she was going to go anywhere with the King, she wanted to make sure that she was in control.

"I'll look forward to it," the King replied.

Shrugging so as to appear as apathetic as possible, Cassandra turned and left the scene. Only after she had closed the door behind herself did she let out a rather girlish squeal, one of both excitement and nerves.

I'm eating lunch with the King! I'm eating lunch with the King! Oh, goodness, what is a girl to wear?

The End

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