Sammy went into his office and sat at his desk.
He kept himself busy, responding to all of Barbara’s messages. Then, he finished with the last one.
And he had a moment to think.
And to feel.
He set his elbows on the desk and pressed his hands against his forehead.
Kittens and puppies and whipped cream pies and pumpkin pies and marshmallow pies and sunshine and lollipops and…
Just Barbara. Barbara busy at work. Barbara looking at me. Barbara talking to me. Barbara listening to me. Barbara understanding me. Barbara not being afraid of me and my powerful emotions. Barbara just being there.
And she will still be there.
That won’t change.
So many things will remain the same.
She will remain Barbara, although she will no longer be Ms. Addleston. She will be Mrs. Smith instead.
It’s not the worst name combination.
His White Out bottle exploded into a white blotch.
But she will be Ms. Addleston a while longer.
His phone rang and he returned to his professional mindset. “Sammy Borscht speaking.”
Isellta had waited until Barbara left and Ambrose returned to his room. He stepped out into the hallway and ruffled the water out of his wings.
Water splattered the walls and sopped the floor, but he didn’t care. All that mattered was the water was no longer on him.
He got dressed and listened to the house’s quiet.
There was no one to talk to.
Nothing to do.
And the house was all too quiet.
He teleported beside Robin’s bed.
Robin slept flat on his back with his arms stretched out.
Isellta lightly touched the scar on his face.
Poor Robin. This isn’t the only place she marked.
What could I have done to stop her? She wouldn’t have listened to me. I could have touched her mind, but it wouldn’t have worked. Her mind was too strong, too full of her own self-worth.
Not even Queen Preyuna could touch a mind like that.
Is that why he gets angry at me? Because I didn’t try to stop her?
Didn’t he see the balance of power was tipped only to her advantage? There was nothing I could have done. Nothing…that wouldn’t have meant more pain for him.
Didn’t he see how much I wanted to help him?
And I did. I did help him. I helped him escape.
So, why is he still angry at me?
Why can’t he make sense for a change? Why does he have to be so confusing? Why?
Robin sighed in his sleep. “Isellta.”
He startled and backed away from the bed.
“Isellta. If you’re in here, get out.” He said it in a flat drowse, but it offended the fey all the same.
He teleported into Ambrose’s room.
Ambrose had cocooned himself under the blankets.
Isellta’s wings flittered nervously as he approached the bed.
I should leave him alone.
He doesn’t even like me.
He uncovered Ambrose’s head, only to discover that the vampire was lying face down.
Isellta felt vaguely disappointed and he didn’t know why.
Why did he get so angry at me?
Reprobate. What does that mean? Rep-ro-bate. None of those words mean anything. Not even in fae. It sounds like a bad thing, though.
But why would he call me a bad thing? I did nothing wrong.
Was it because I was naked? Is that it? He didn’t like seeing me naked? Why?
Why must I be surrounded by vampires who don’t make any sense and they don’t try to make any sense?
But there is Raven.
Isellta teleported to outside Raven’s room.
He seems like a decent sort.
He doesn’t seem like the type to be angry about…nothing. Just nothing.
Isellta opened the door and slipped into the room.
Raven’s bed was empty.
“That figures. The only sensible member of this group is gone.”