Fitz stepped out into the hall, closing the door carefully so as not to startle Sophie, and panicked when he heard a loud crashing sound at the same time. Worried that he maybe wasn't so careful, he squinted his eyes at the door, trying to figure out if the sound was him, but looked up to find the culprit when he heard voices at the end of the hall coming near him.

"Dex... please don't be this way-" Juline begged her son, looking distraught as he walked away from her. "I told you, I wanted to come back, I really did-"

Dex swore at her hatefully, and Juline raised her eyebrows like a disapproving mother. Ignoring her, he spat, "I know, but you were busy."

"Protecting you, the triplets, Sophie, and the rest of the kingdom-"

"Too busy to check if we were even alive?" he kept walking, but she followed.

"I heard you were at the palace and I knew you were well-taken care of-"

"With no parents, no one to take care of us," he glared.

Goldfish-mouthed, she tried to defend herself, "No, but you had a roof over your heads, a place to stay, food to eat..."

He cursed again, "Sophie and I were robbed of our childhoods. We lived on the kindness of strangers, worked every day while trying to raise the other kids you abandoned, and grieved your absence. You could've stopped by, let us know you were even alive, but you put some great mission you won't even tell me about before your family."

"That mission is classified!"

"I DON'T CARE!" Dex roared, leaving Juline stunned. "Look, I'm a soldier, I get the importance of a mission, but no matter what, I always put family and the people I care about first."

"Even the princess?" Juline challenged.

"Especially the princess. She's my friend; she's important to me and my family."

"But she's a princess, she probably doesn't think anything of any of you!"

Suddenly, he whipped around and grabbed his mother by the throat and lifted her up into the air. Helplessly, she grabbed at his fingers so she could breathe, but his eyes never broke away from hers. "You don't know her. You don't know me. You don't know any of us. Because you weren't there. And if you were, you'd know that Biana and her family are part of our family because we take care of each other. You don't know us. You're not family, not any more."

When tears started running out of his mother's eyes, Dex set her down. She gasped, grabbing her throat, and whispered desperately as he walked away, "Dex..."

"Don't come near me, Sophie, or the triplets ever again."

Sobbing, Juline called after him in a broken voice, "I'm sorry!"

Dex paused, only turning his head back to say, "You should've stayed dead."

Awkwardly, Fitz stood in the doorway, unsure if he should walk out or go back inside the room as Dex began to walk past him. However, he couldn't make a decision by the time Dex noticed him, and Fitz smiled at the night nervously, "Hey..."

Dex's hard expression softened and he smiled, "Hey, how're you? How's Sophie?"

"Okay. You wanna see her?" Fitz suggested, noticing Dex's shoulders relax when he did.

"Of course," Dex nodded and followed Fitz in, closing the door behind them. Sophie, who was fully dressed in a jade dress with a blue scarf in her hands, looked up, but barely reacted to Fitz and Dex's presence. "That's a nice one, that scarf. I like the pattern on the edges, did Biana do that?"

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