Tainted Saint, Chapter Fifty-SixMature

"She's a very nice girl."

Amadeo turned to see Gabelle standing in the doorway to his personal chambers. How she had managed to creep in like that, he didn't know, but it didn't matter. "I'm glad you can finally see that."

Gabelle entered warily, as though knowing she had lots to be ashamed for. "Perhaps I judged her wrongly."

"Most people wouldn't understand why a King would fall so hard for a peasant."

"She really likes you, you know."

Heart speeding up a bit, Amadeo smiled. "How could you tell?" he asked, meeting Gabelle's eyes.

"She couldn't keep her eyes off you. She's in awe of you. A little frightened, maybe, but certainly in awe. And everytime you met her eyes, she blushed a little. I saw her almost spill her drink a few times because of you." Gabelle laughed softly.

Amadeo's heart warmed. "She adapted so well to castle life. I think she knows she was made for this."

Smiling, Gabelle nodded. "She did look beautiful, didn't she?"

"She always does."

The two stood in silence for awhile, thinking intently. Finally, Gabelle patted Amadeo's hand. "You did well in choosing her. I just wish I'd recognized that earlier."

Amadeo's heart warmed for a second time. "What does Marcos think?"

"Marcos thinks..." Gabelle's voice trailed off, and she sighed. "Marcos is still very old-fashioned in his thinking. Which I have no right to say, as I agreed with his skepticism only a short while ago." She paused. "Well, he thinks that the people will mock you for falling in love with someone so...tainted." The last word was strained.

"She won't be tainted anymore, if she accepts what I can give her."

"And what can you give her, Amadeo?"

"I can give her what she's been looking for all these years. Love. A heart to adore. A home, a real home - not just a place to stay. I can give her freedom." Amadeo stared blankly at his hands. "I can give her the world." Those hands clenched in fists as he delivered his next words with the utmost conviction. "She doesn't have to be tainted anymore."

The End

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