Tainted Saint, Chapter Seventy-NineMature

Her virtue - or rather, what was left of it - had, once again, been dashed.

Hadrian cast Cassandra aside, not bothering to meet her eyes. So, then, he had gotten what he had wanted. And he was going to leave, without so much as a look back.

"I'm sorry," Cassandra said, her chin quivering. She decided that she must apologize for not being enough. If she was enough, then Hadrian would not be so quick to discard her! "I'm sorry for not being everything you wanted."

Hadrian still did not seem to consider Cassandra worthy of eye contact. "I miss the old Cassandra," he said, his eyes narrowed. "The one who was eager to meet my demands, instead of this unfaithful wench who can't keep the King from clouding her mind."

"It's not like my way of living keeps me faithful to you."

"There's a difference between prostitution and what this King is doing to you!" Hadrian spat, and he tilted Cassandra's face so that they were practically nose-to-nose.

"There is a tremendous difference! Amadeo hasn't even kissed me, Hadrian! And you're saying that that's worse than selling my body?"

"Better to sell your body than to sell your soul."

"You're saying I'm selling my soul to the King? Hadrian, you're ridiculous. As if I would do anything but pretend to love him!" Cassandra's voice broke, and she knew how ungrateful and unfaithful and...and...and despicable she was being. So she had come to this, then - denying love for the only one who truly loved her, in order to ensure that she could stay true to the one who was only interested in her body.

"Cassandra." And the voice did not belong to Hadrian.

The King was there.

Cassandra hugged her knees to her chest and wept.

The End

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