Amethyst and Alexcent left Café Carol that night, leaving Pauline and Erina behind.
“It feels weird,” Amethyst admitted.
Alexcent looked at her. “What feels weird?”
She shrugged. “They used to be the ones to leave the café,” she said. “But now it’s their home.”
“Things change,” Alexcent said.
Amethyst hummed. “I was actually thinking,” she paused and chewed her bottom lip. “Well, I want to give the café to Pauline. It’s been getting harder to manage it all the way from the Capital and she’s the only one I can trust to give it to.”
“If that’s what you want, I support your decision,” Alexcent told her. “I know how much that place means to you. It’ll be a nice gesture to give it to Pauline.”
Amethyst nodded. She had only started to pay attention to the direction in which they were walking, so she asked, “Where are we going?”
“There’s a great hotel nearby,” Alexcent said.
“You’re not talking about Empinal Hotel, are you?” Amethyst sighed.
“It’s a great hotel!”
“It’s such a luxury! It’s one of the top five hotels in the Empire!”
“And why is that a problem?” Alexcent smirked. “You already live in the biggest mansion in the Empire.”
Amethyst rolled her eyes. “Well, I guess you’re not wrong.”
She remembered when she first arrived in Hutchmoon. She had seen the Empinal Hotel in all its lavish glory and she had wanted to stay there, but she didn’t have the money to. The thought of finally getting to experience staying there excited her. She had no idea how she would fall asleep that night.
When they got there, Amethyst looked at the hotel ceiling, so tall and heavily embroidered that it felt foreign. There were baby angels painted on it that looked like they could come alive at any moment.
The hotel manager himself showed them to the best suite in the hotel.
“You better write a lot,” Pauline said, hugging Amethyst tightly.
“I will,” Amethyst laughed as her friend only seemed to pull her in tighter. When they finally let go, she smiled. “I’m so glad to have met you.”
Pauline squeezed her arm. “I’m so glad to have you too.”
Then, Amethyst turned to Erina and pulled her into an embrace. “If you ever miss me, just tell your mom and you can come visit,” she said. “Okay?”
Tears began to slide down Erina’s cheeks. “Okay,” she nodded. When Amethyst placed a hand on her head and grinned at her, Erina said, “Auntie, when I grow up, I’m going to marry you. So, you better not marry anyone.”
Alexcent frowned at that even if he knew that Erina was just a child who didn’t understand what marriage really was.
Amethyst just laughed. “If you decide to marry someone in the future, you can find someone so much better than me.”
Then, they all said their final goodbyes and Alexcent and Amethyst made their way to the duke’s mansion. Where everyone would be waiting.
5 years later
Someone was pacing outside Amethyst’s door. When Alexcent heard it, he got out of bed slowly, careful not to wake Amethyst. He untangled himself from her arms and draped the blanket over her. He sat up and stretched, then put his robe on before going to the door.
When he stepped outside, there was a maid standing before him. She bowed when she caught sight of the prince.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
The maid bowed again apologetically. “I’m so sorry to bother you, Master,” she said. “But the young master won’t stop crying and he keeps asking for ma’am.”
Alexcent clicked his tongue. Amethyst needed her rest and he didn’t want to disturb her. “I’ll go,” he said. “No one should wake her up.”
“Oh!” The maid was obviously startled, having expected Amethyst to handle the situation. “Yes, of course, Master.”
As they neared the door to the room, Alexcent could hear Roman and the maids all cooing and trying to calm the child down.
“Young Master, you’ll get sick if you keep crying,” someone said.
“Ma’am is coming soon,” another chimed in. “She’ll get sad if she sees you crying.”
When Alexcent walked in, Roman and the maids all bowed, everyone surprised to see him. He turned and found the child sniffling in Roman’s arms.
His light blond hair shone in the moonlight, his light red eyes reminding Alexcent of his own. He didn’t like the eyes so much. He wanted a child that looked exactly like her.
“He won’t stop crying,” Roman said. “It’s like he had a nightmare.”
Alexcent frowned. “A nightmare?”
“Yes,” Roman answered. “He woke up crying.”
“He’s not sick?” Alexcent asked as he walked towards the child.
“He doesn’t have a fever,” Roman told him. “The doctor came by earlier and said that there wasn’t anything wrong with him.”
Nodding, Alexcent took the child in his arms. In Roman’s arms, he looked quite big, but in Alexcent’s arms he was tiny.
“Bin,” he said his son’s name.
Bin kept crying.
Lifting him up, Alexcent patted his son’s back and hummed to him softly. “It’s okay,” he said. “You’re okay.”
The crying began to stop and, eventually, Bin was just sniffling into his father’s shoulder. Alexcent couldn’t help but wonder if it was because he smelled a bit like Amethyst.
Bin slowly looked up at Alexcent and, through his swollen face, he smiled. Even covered in tears, Alexcent had to admit that he looked quite lovable.
“You’re going to become ugly if you keep crying like that,” Alexcent told him. “Mom won’t like that.”
After she had given birth to Bin, Amethyst had been thrilled when she found that her son looked like Alec. “He’s going to grow up just like you!” she had said.
“Where’s mom?” Bin asked.
Alexcent sighed. “She’s really tired so we have to let her sleep,” he explained. When he realized his son was about to start crying again, he quickly said, “Why don’t you play with dad instead?”
Bin’s eyes grew wide. “With dad? Today?”
Alexcent nodded. “Sure.”
Bin was quite smart, just like Alexcent was when he was younger. If there was one thing that they differed in though, it was magical ability. Bin didn’t have any, which, to Alexcent, was good. It meant that Bin was free from all the troubles that came with having magic.
When Amethyst was pregnant, he had worried what the child would be like. He didn’t want him to be aggressive like he was and he didn’t want the child to bear the responsibility of having to protect someone else. That’s why he wanted him to be just like her.
When he found out the child looked like him, he was terrified. But, when he found that the duke’s mansion was intact, unlike how the side palace was destroyed when he was born, he relaxed.
Other than that, however, the child was exactly like him. He was strong and he was brilliant, he was everything that Alexcent was.
They named him Bin Skad. Alexcent and Amethyst’s first child.
Amethyst had been the one to insist that the child’s name only be one syllable. “You’re going to call him however you like no matter what we name him anyway,” she had said. “So, let’s just make it one syllable so he won’t have to be confused.”
“Well, do you have a name in mind?” Alexcent had asked.
“I actually do: Bin.”
“Yes.” Amethyst had smiled. “Bin.”
What Alexcent didn’t know was that Amethyst had named Bin after her favorite actor, he wouldn’t have let her name him that if he had.
When it came to choosing Bin’s nanny, Amethyst wanted someone she could trust. Lunia was already in charge of taking care of her, so that left one person in the mansion for the task: Roman. And, just like that, Roman began to serve the young duke of the Skad family.
“I’m going to get ready,” Alexcent told Roman. “Make sure he’s prepared too.”
Roman nodded, taking Bin as Alexcent went to his bedroom.