Tainted Saint, Chapter FiftyMature

It took Amadeo mere moments for him to reach Cassandra. There was no room for him on the bench beside the girl, and it would be awkward for him to stand, so he did the only thing he deemed appropriate for the situation.

He knelt beside the bench and took Cassandra's hands in his.

"I knew you'd come," Amadeo said, lifting Cassandra's hands to his lips and kissing them gently. "I made this place for you. Do you like it?"

Cassandra ducked her head and casually removed her hands from Amadeo's grasp. "Yes," she said, but her voice was anything but certain.

"Why are you out here, all alone? My attendant said you were in the receiving room. Why did you run away?" Amadeo asked, trying not to let Cassandra's rejection of his touch hurt him too deeply. "Were you afraid?"

"Yes. No. I mean...I don't know..."

Smiling, Amadeo replied, "Well, all that matters is that you're here now. I'm so glad you came. I was hopeful that you would take me up on my offer to visit me." He stood and held out his hand to help Cassandra up, but she stood on her own. "Would you like me to show you around the castle grounds?"

"You don't have to do this, Your Highness."

"I'd like it if you called me 'Amadeo.'"

Shaking her head, Cassandra crossed her arms and put a little more distance between herself and Amadeo. "I'd rather address you by your title," she replied.

Alright, then. We've got some work to do. No time like the present! "Are you hungry or thirsty? It's quite a journey, from Nicu to the castle."

"I'm fine."

"Well, I know I'd like something to drink. Would you care to accompany me to get some water?"

Without responding, Cassandra followed Amadeo into the castle. Walking slowly so as to give Cassandra time to take in the grandeur of the place, Amadeo walked straight into the kitchen to find some water. He knew that the head of the kitchen help would welcome Cassandra with open arms.

What he hadn't counted on was Marcos' outright, verbal disapproval.

The End

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