*A/N: This chapter has been revised from its original publication*
Word had spread like wildfire throughout the castle once Kara had given birth. No one had any answers, and half the time Stellan wasn’t around to talk about it anyways. The girls grew both confused and upset. They spent more time together than ever, taking tea in the morning and eating dinner together at night. Lyric taught London how to play the piano while Raina worked on every bonsai tree she could find. All they knew was that Kara was given a private room while they were put together in one large one.
Upstairs, Simcess and Stellan peered into the bassinet. A little boy slept quietly, letting out little snores intermittently.
“What did she name him?” Stellan asked.
Simcess inhaled deeply. “Stellan, suppose this is your baby. What are you going to do about it?”
Stellan ran a hand through his tousled locks. “Raise it, I guess. That’s the right thing to do.”
“But you’re a prince,” Simcess countered. “There’s no way Salem could be your heir unless you marry Kara right away.”
“He can’t be heir, but he could still be my son. I don’t have to marry Kara to accept both of them in my family.”
Simcess shook her head. “You know that’s not feasible. Would you want to grow up being the bastard child of a prince?”
“Hold your tongue!” He snapped, huffing out a breath of air. “That child deserves to be treated as well as any other. I don’t care whether he was born to a married couple or a vampire and a fairy! It makes no difference.”
“But how will the other kingdoms see it?”
Stellan ran a hand down his mouth and chin. “We don’t even know if this child is mine. Must we start worrying about politics right away?”
“Did you woohoo?” Simcess asked bluntly
Stellan went silent and averted his gaze from his friend.
“Oh my plum, you did!” Simcess blurted out, throwing her hands over her mouth to stifle a gasp.
“Okay, okay. We did,” Stellan admitted. “It’s not like we planned on it-”
“I’m sure you didn’t plan on there being a baby in the palace either!”
Stellan sighed. “We didn’t plan it, but when we talked about it the day after, we realized that neither of us regretted it. It happened, and we moved on.”
“This is such a mess.” Simcess said, storming out. “Fix it!”
Downstairs, the four girls were discussing the baby as well.
“You don’t think it’s actually Stellan’s, do you?” Ming asked.
“Of course not! Stellan would never do such a thing. He’s kind, sweet. He cares.” London smiled.
“It very well could be his,” Raina shrugged.
“Don’t say such slander!” Lyric shouted. Her lower lip had been quivering all afternoon, threatening to spill her tears.
“I’m just thinking logically.” Raina explained. “With all the hormones running around…And I did spend some time in the Redemption Room. Kara had run of the place.”
Raina was cut off by footsteps thundering in the hall. All the girls turned to look at the owner of such heavy steps.
They weren’t expecting them to belong to Alexandria.
“Alex!” London shouted. “Come sit!”
“No offence, but what are you doing here?” Ming asked. “Shouldn’t you be in the Redemption Room?”
“Simcess came to get me. I had no clue Kara was pregnant. She said it wouldn’t be fair to eliminate me just because Kara couldn’t be sent home, so she let me out!”
The girls all cheered and embraced, letting the first good news in weeks settle around them.
Stellan wasn’t quite as happy. He snaked his way up the stairs to the imposing door he knew housed the one person he wanted to yell at.
“Luke!” He thundered, storming into the room without knocking.
When Luke was nowhere in sight within his chamber, Stellan stalked to the door leading to his balcony. He could see the mixologist artfully crafting a cocktail. If there was one thing Stellan was certain of, it was that where there’s a salty llama, there’s also a Luke Lockwood.
“Luke!” He shouted again, finding his friend lazing shirtless in the sun like a snake warming itself on a rock.
“Relax, Stelly boy.” Luke tipped his head back, soaking up the sun. “You’ll scream the castle down.”
“Did you woohoo with Kara?” Stellan asked bluntly.
“Whoa! What are you accusing me of?”
“I want to know if you’re Salem’s father.”
“Look, Stellan – I’m a guy that likes to have fun. You think I’d willingly be a father just like that?”
“Not willingly, no.”
Luke rolled his eyes at the insult. “It’s not mine. Man up and take care of it.”
“Salem is not an it.” Stellan growled. “He is a baby who needs his father.”
“Then go be there for him.” Luke smirked.
Meanwhile, the girls continued to pass the time in a way they only knew how – hobbies. Alex painted, Raina trimmed a bonsai tree, Lyric fiddled with her violin, and Ming did her best to avoid the screeching sound by talking with London.
As night fell on another uneventful day for the girls, they retired to their joint room.
“I never thought I’d say this…” Alex said, leaning back into the plush chair. “I’m bored.”
“That makes five of us,” Raina retorted.
“Chin up, guys!” London smiled. “We can find ways to pass the time!”
“I could play you all a concerto,” Lyric offered, reaching behind her to grab the instrument.
As Ming underwent another hour of torture, Stellan found himself standing over the bassinet again. Reaching gently, he scooped Salem into his arms.
“I don’t know if you’re my son,” Stellan whispered to the boy. “But if you are, I promise to take care of you, and love you with all my heart. I would be lucky to have a baby as adorable as you run around this palace on unsteady legs.” He chuckled lightly. “You can stumble down the stairs just as I once did. I can teach you how to fish, and play chess. We’ll read books together, too. I don’t know if I want to be with your mother just yet, but I hope you know I would always love you. You’ll be treated as any son should be – with respect, fairness, and love.”
Eventually, Salem aged up to a toddler.
But who is the father?
Why don’t you take a guess?