Tainted Saint, Chapter Forty-SevenMature

"And then, they suggested a koi pond might look nice, in addition to the new set of day lilies you ordered a few weeks ago. Surrounded by nothing but a beautiful cobblestone path, of course. They also said that a frog pond would look alright, but I thought you'd prefer koi. And then...Your Highness? Your Highness, are you listening?"

The sound of the decorator's voice registered in Amadeo's brain, and he turned his concentration back on the matter at hand. "Eh, koi? Yes. That is..." He hesitated. Would a lady like frogs or koi? "Yes, koi would be excellent."

"And the idea of the cobblestone path?"

"Also excellent." I hope Cassandra likes it. "Make sure you spare no expense."

The decorator smiled and nodded. "I will make sure we purchase only the finest, Sire."

"And while you're at it, you might want to throw in a wishing well. Either that, or something equally magical. I want this to be perfect." She deserves only the best of everything.

"But of course! It will be perfect, my King." The decorator paused. "Your Highness? May I ask what all this is for?"

Amadeo paused. How to explain himself? He hadn't even told Xandria of his plans to make the guest house into a beautiful home for, of course, the beautiful Cassandra. In fact, he had hardly discussed it with himself...But there was no arguing with a matter of the heart. "It's for a special lady friend who will be staying in the guest house," he finally informed the decorator.

The decorator smiled. "She will be delighted, I'm sure."

Turning to the decorator, Amadeo raised his eyebrows. "I really hope so. She's worth it." Could I have possibly sounded any more like a schoolboy in "love"?

Eyes scanning the guest house where the changes and renovations were to be taking place, Amadeo's heart let out a long sigh. The day he would look out over the expanse of the castle grounds and see his beautiful Cassandra making her home in the guest house...but, no. It wouldn't be as beautiful as when she would take his hand and become his wife.

Take my hand and become my wife. "Where did the phrase 'take my hand in marriage' originate, anyways? A hand is a small matter when the heart is already stolen." Realizing he'd spoken aloud, Amadeo saw amusement sparkle in his companion's eyes. "Ah, nevermind," he muttered. "So you think the changes can be made by the end of the week?"

"In most cases? No. But seeing as you are the King, I can guarantee that everything will be finished shortly. Your lady friend will not arrive until then?"

"I don't know when she'll arrive."

The silence was filled with questions. And soon after the decorator had been ushered off, Amadeo looked back to the guest house. Only one thought occupied his mind.

What if she never arrives?

The End

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