It was a perfectly beautiful day.
The grass waved gently in the breeze, and the leaves of the trees swayed to the rhythm of the day. Butterflies flitted from flower to flower, whispering secrets from petal to petal. Birds chirruped cheerfully, as though believing it was their duty to fill the sky with their song. The white fluff of clouds drifted across the bright blue sky. As far as nature was concerned, all was well.
But in the center of the courtyard, not all was well. In fact, it seemed as though everything was going wrong.
And all because a "little street rat" had returned to her nest.
One lone figure knelt in the courtyard, weeping as though his very soul had been torn to shreds.
Amadeo had been alerted of Cassandra's absence when her attendant announced that the broken-eyed girl was nowhere to be found. Amadeo had immediately dismissed himself from the breakfast table, atop which sat a most glorious breakfast, especially for Cassandra, and had entered Cassandra's little home himself.
The attendant had been right. All the beautiful clothing of the evening before had been laid carefully on the bed, all except for the underclothes.
Amadeo had wept at the implications of this.
No pat on the back, no uttered consolation, no offer to help could erase the pain in Amadeo's soul. The beautiful jewel, whom he had so relentlessly pursued, was simply gone.
But it was not merely for his own loss that the King wept. No, his tears ran far more deeply than selfish disappointment or grief. Yes, his tears were in part for what he had lost, but they were also for the one he loved. His tender heart broke in thinking of the hellhole to which Cassandra had run.
"Cassandra," Amadeo whispered heartbrokenly, though he knew his words would not fall on the ears for which they were intended. "Cassandra, how could you leave like this? Don't you know what you're doing to yourself?" His voice faltered. "What you're doing to me?" Several attendants looked at Amadeo strangely, as though they were concerned for their King's mental state. But Amadeo paid them no mind. "I chose you, Cassandra. You! It's you I love!" The tears began to flow again. "Why don't you believe me?"
The birds continued to sing their song. The breeze continued to dance. As far as nature was concerned, all was still well.
"Why don't you believe me?"