He sometimes talked with Biana about how much it hurt to see Juline again. How it hurt worse to know she was alive than it was to think she was dead. She put a mission and her own selfishness before her children, and seeing Dex in so much pain brought out her motherly instincts. Half of her wanted to punch Juline in the face, and the other half wanted to hold Dex while he cried himself to sleep. Sadly, she could only do the latter until one morning after their training session, while Dex was in a bath, Juline stormed in with a half-empty bottle of wine, tipsy at best.

"Wheerre's DEHXxxx?" Juline slurred, pointing the mouth of the bottle at Biana threateningly.

"He doesn't want to see you," Biana squared her shoulders calmly, staring at Juline intently to try and gauge her movements like Dex taught her in their training.

"I'mmm hissss MOTHHHHHER! Of courssse he wantss to ssseee ME!" the drunk woman snapped, glaring harshly at Biana.

"No, no he doesn't."

"LIAR!"

"I'm not lying," Biana kept a cool expression. She was used to dealing with drunk nobles. "He clearly told you he didn't want to see you and that he didn't want you near the triplets. You should have more respect for your sons wishes. You did leave him and Sophie on their own for most of the triplets' lives."

"What do you know about ressspect?"

"Clearly, more than you do. Barging into the room of someone who doesn't want to see you..."

Frustrated, Juline growled, "He'sss MHY SSSON!"

"He's my friend, my teammate," Biana countered. "And I'm not going to let you hurt him anymore."

Juline looked like she was about to blow, and Biana slowly rose to her feet as Juline chugged the rest of her wine. Nothing good could come from chugging half a bottle of wine. When she finished, Juline wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and smashed the end of the bottle on Biana's dresser in one swift movement, causing Biana to flinch.

"And I'm NOT gooing to let you ssstop ME!"

Biana's heart jumped into her throat, adrenaline roaring in her veins, and she knew there was no point in escaping. The next things that happened were a blur. As Juline started to swing the broken bottle, the bathroom door burst open, and Biana grabbed Juline's wrist with one hand, landing a square punch to Juline's nose with the other, a resounding CRACK filling the room. Before Juline could respond, Dex -- only in a bathrobe -- tackled her to the floor, her head smacking against the floor so hard, Biana felt a sympathetic twinge in the back of her own head.

Sputtering blood, Juline looked up at Biana with glassy eyes that she fought to keep from rolling into the back of her head to focus on the princess's baby bump. "You... you're a mother. Like me. You have to understand how I feel."

Biana studied the blood streaming from her knuckles -- a price for the punch -- and didn't meet Juline's eyes. "I am a mother, but I'm sorry, I can't understand how you feel. Because I can't understand how you can abandon your children for six years when you had so many chances to come back for them. And I can't understand how you can keep hurting your children because you're self-centered enough to think you know what's best for them when you don't even know them. How selfish can you be to want your children to listen to you when you left them to struggle so much on their own?"

When Biana dared to look up, she saw Juline's crumpled expression, and the two women then turned their attention to Dex, who looked at Biana in awe.

"Dex..." Juline whispered, eyes rolling back into her head, "I'm sor..." Her eyes fell shut, but her quiet breathing assured Biana she was alright, only knocked out.

Sovereignty and ServitudeWhere stories live. Discover now