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"Come again!" you politely told them, handing them their small bag of fruits. The group of children in front of you smiled gleefully, some with of them with missing teeth, making them look all the more adorable. Immediately diving into the bag to grab the plums and apples, they began to munch on them already. You chuckled to yourself as they scrambled away, disappearing into the crowds to who knew where.

Your Indian friend had an amused look on his face when he walked over to your stall from his. Leaning in the back of the small space, he crossed his arms and let out a yawn. "How are you faring? I'm glad to see a smile finally appear on your face after encountering those children. Did you have a rough morning today?"

Your stepmother and stepsisters weren't any worse than they typically were any other day, but it were the mistakes you made. No one else except you to blame your problems on, to you it felt like it'd be shameful to tell Aziel what truly happened. Averting your [e/c] eyes away from him, you softly muttered out, "You can say that, I guess."

"What do you mean by that, [Y/N]...?"

Brushing his question off, you brought the smile back on your lips, although this time it was a little more forced. "How are Ren and Talia? I feel like I haven't seen them in ages. I would love to come visit again sometime," you told him. He only let out a sigh of disappointment before he chose to go along with you. Thankful for his understanding, relief surged in at the thought of not having to explain. He really was a wonderful fatherly figure... Ren and Talia were lucky to have him.

"They're doing well. They especially miss you and your delicious muffins you would sometimes bring over," he said, his eyes growing fond.

"I will make sure to bake some more muffins the next time I come to visit. Blueberry muffins at that too - I know how much Ren enjoys them," you responded, shoving down the haunting feeling of envy for the millionth time. You hated how that emotion controlled so much of your interactions... you despised how it would come up in the most lighthearted conversations... and you feared that it could lead to the ruin of your relationship with others.

"You're welcome to our home anytime. You're family at this point." The man grinned at you and you nodded in response, feeling slightly better due to his assurance.

"Are you in business at this time?" a voice called out behind you. In surprise, you whirled around and nearly flinched when you saw dim green eyes. It took you a minute to process the young man that stood in front of you, for he lacked a certain item you've grown used to seeing: the top hat. Without it, his wavy brown locks matted with striking blond highlights fell over his forehead. It was so strange to see him without it - in a way, he looked like an entire new person.

You also didn't expect to ever see him again... but here you were, meeting him once more after a few days. "B-Blaise?!" you couldn't help but exclaim a little.

Shock prominent in his own expression, the corner of his lips soon curved upwards. "[Y/N]! I didn't realize that was you from behind. I was just here for the fruits, but how lucky it is for me to run into you again," he greeted, giving you a playful salute using his two fingers.

"You're not wearing your top hat."

He winked at you and reached up to run through his hair with his fingers. "No ma'am, I'm not. How do you like it?"

"It's good I guess," you murmured awkwardly.

Blaise was now looking at something - or rather, someone - behind you. "And who could this be?"

You peered over your shoulder to see Aziel curiously watching the two of you from the background. Feeling your cheeks heat up as if you were a girl getting caught doing something embarrassing in front of her parents, you quickly decided to introduce the two of them to each other. "I apologize for not doing this sooner. Blaise, this is Aziel. Aziel, this is Blaise."

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