Tainted Saint, Chapter Sixty-EightMature

Cassandra nervously followed Gabelle down the hallway and through a back entrance. And clearly, Gabelle was as nervous as Cassandra, for she didn't say a word until they reached where Gabelle and Marcos stayed.

"Come in," Gabelle said, and when Cassandra met the woman's eyes, her heart was slightly relieved. There was no condemnation in her eyes, only nerves.

"Thank-you," Cassandra responded, entering the home. Her eyes took in her surroundings. Walls, filled with shelves of books. Sofas, plush and inviting. A coffee table, covered in various papers and pens and inks of all sorts. Yes, wealthy palace officials certainly inhabited this place.

"Do you like to read?" Gabelle asked.

Cassandra reached out and ran her hand along the spines of the books on the shelf nearest her. "I don't have much time for it," she admitted. "I'm afraid I'm not the most well-read woman in all the kingdom."

"Well, you'll just have to take up reading as a hobby, now that you're here," Gabelle said, casting a shy smile in Cassandra's direction. "Come with me. Let's find you something to wear. I recently bought a pale pink dress. It's got the most beautiful neckline and bodice. I think you'd like it." She paused. "I mean...you do like pink, don't you? Not every woman likes pink."

"I like any color," Cassandra said, secretly delighted at the thought of wearing such a delicately feminine gown.

Gabelle smiled. "You'll make Amadeo's heart flutter even more - if that's possible. You've gotten him quite captivated, Cassandra."

"Only Heaven knows why."

Gabelle opened her mouth to say something, then stopped herself. "Do you need anythingt to eat or drink? I can get you anything." At Cassandra's polite declination, she nodded. "Okay, then. I'll be right back with your dress and a few accessories. Are rubies and diamonds alright with you?"

Rubies and diamonds! "Yes, of course! I've never had anything so fine as rubies and diamonds," Cassandra replied, her heart growing excited.

While Gabelle was gone, Cassandra's curiosity overcame her. She checked to make sure nobody was watching, then stepped over to where she could unassumingly stand beside the coffee table. I wonder what's written on those papers. I wonder what castle life is like...

It was then that Cassandra saw her name written on one of the papers.

The End

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