Making Time

Justinia was irritated over just how busy Alec always seemed to be. Even when she'd been younger he was always here or there doing this and that. But now she was thirteen and more then old enough to help him. Or at least to be in the same room while he worked.

Maybe the reason he worked so much was to get away from her…

A pang struck at her chest and she did her best to dispel the thought but it was too late. It was stuck. The rest of her day was spent wandering around, having tea with her sister-in-law, and occasionally showing up Fauna—which always seemed to put her in a better mood—but by the time dinner rolled around Alec was still missing.

She ate dinner on her own that night, since it was the king and queen's anniversary, and she had to force herself not to fill Alec's void by conversing with her self. After all, it wouldn't look good to foreign dignitaries if the servants went around with rumors of how the imperial princess spent time talking to herself.

Lost in her thoughts, Justinia ended up eating much slower then usual and yet when Alec actually arrived—sweating a bit and completely out of breath—she was already finished.

"You're late, Alec." Justinia said, an all too common edge in her voice. "Again."

"I'm sorry Euti," Alec said as he bowed; an apologetic smile on his lips. "The meeting ran long and on the way over I was forced to stop a courtyard brawl."

"I'm sure." She said frostily as she stood. "Enjoy your meal darling."

"Euti—." Alec started but she didn't even pause as she brushed past him and out of the room. "Euti, wait!"

Justinia practically raced down the hall in an attempt to escape him. She knew it was rather juvenile, but she really wanted him to be the one left alone for a change. Maybe then he would come to appreciate her more. Sadly her plan was thwarted because of Alec's long legs as he managed to catch up with her far sooner then she would have liked.

"Euti!" Alec said, catching her arm and pulling her to a stop. "I told you to stop."

"Sorry. I didn't realize you'd actually notice I was gone."

Alec looked surprised but Justinia did her best to avoid his face as she took back her arm and straitened her dress.

"Is there anything you needed, Prince Alexid?"

"What's gotten into you?" Alec asked, his brow furrowed in concern and annoyance. "You're acting like a child."

"I am a child," Justinia said. "Or so you keep telling me."

"Euti please. I'm really beginning to feel concerned."

His pleading tone and earnest face finally broke down Justinia's resolve. She sighed as she turned towards him, though her eyes were kept focused on her fingers.

"…I was looking forward to dinner tonight." She finally confessed. "You promised me you'd be there."

"Euti…" Alec lowered himself to his knees and gently lifted her chin so she was looking at him rather then the floor. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize."

Justinia shrugged. "It's fine. I know you're busy Alec. It's just…I feel like I never see you anymore. We're more strangers then husband and wife and yet the only time I actually see you is when we're in bed together. And that's only if I manage to stay up until you come in."

"I suppose I have been working harder then usual," Alec agreed. "But I promise that it's for a good reason."

"Really?" She said her voice sarcastic. "Well then, good sir. Enlighten me."

"Our anniversary is next month." He said. "I was hoping to be ahead on my duties so we could take some time off to visit Castoria. I thought you might like to see your family."

Justinia looked rather surprised and more then a bit embarrassed. "So then…you weren't avoiding me?"

"Of course not!" Alec said. "My time with you is the only time I have to truly relax." He looked a bit sheepish before he continued. "I thought I was being rather noble, giving up my solace like that, but I suppose I should have taken your feelings into account as well."

"It's fine!" Justinia said, beaming as she took his hand. "If you're making time for us then we'll have plenty of time to make up. Right?"

Alec chuckled and ruffled her hair. "I suppose so. You're not angry any more?"

"Of course I am!" Justinia said and Alec started back in surprise.

"But you just said—."

"What are you doing here, talking to me, when you should be working? Those duties won't do themselves and I'd really like to spend my anniversary with my family this year."

Alec laughed, brushing off his knees as he stood. "As her imperial highness commands. If you need me after dinner I'll be in my office."

Justinia watched him leave for only a moment before she couldn't stand it any more. "Alec!"

He turned to eye her curiously. "Yes?"

"I…haven't had dessert yet. May I join you while you eat?"

Alec smiled and held out his hand. "I'd be honored Euti."

"Looks like we'll have to find time to see each other for the next few weeks." Justinia said as she took it, but Alec shook his head.

"We'll make time." He said as he led her to the dining room. "I promise."

End Making Time

Kaliea: This idea has been floating around in my head for a while and I thought, 'hey, there's a category for this now so why not write it?' and so here it is. Let me know what you think, ne? And until next time, ja ne!