Elsie sat in the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut.
I should drive off. Let the idiot find his own way home. He’d probably get sick and have to stay at the hospital. And he’d expect me to feel bad for him.
The passenger door opened. “Elsie.”
“Either get in or stay out. Don’t hover in between.”
Hildreth got in the car and closed the door. “Elsie.”
She turned the key and started the car.
“Let me explain. I don’t know if can, though.”
She pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the road.
“It’s that vampire. There’s just something about him that makes my mind self-destruct.”
“I’m not interested in hearing your sob stories, Mayhew. Just like you weren’t really interested in hearing what I want you to do.”
He turned away from her and looked outside.
Deeply uncomfortable silence fell between them. It stayed in place the whole way back to his house.
She pulled into his driveway.
She did not shut the car off.
He opened the door . Only to slam it shut. “No. Darn it, Elsie. No! I need to talk to you. I need—”
“It’s all about what you need. Forget about what I want. Forget about what I need. No. Your wants and needs far outrank mine.”
“That isn’t true.”
“After all, I never do anything for you, do I? I don’t help you. I don’t support you. I don’t—”
“Elsie.” He unbuckled his seat and turned to fully face her. “You’re right about me. I am an idiot. What I said back at the restaurant, it was completely uncalled for. It was actually a high level jerk thing to say. The worst thing is: I didn’t even mean it. I was just lashing out.”
“And that makes it sooooo much better.”
“No, it doesn’t. I really don’t know why Ambrose gets under my skin like that.”
“That’s why I don’t want you to confront him. He’ll dig his claws into your brain. He’ll say things to provoke you into losing your temper with him and losing all of your common fighting sense. Don’t you understand? Don’t you get it yet? I love you, you big stupid wingnut of an idiot.”
“Elsie.” He reached for her face.
She punched him.
“So, don’t you ever trash talk me like that again.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He leaned into her space. “I am sorry, Elsie.”
His face was so close to her own.
There was only one thing for her to do.
So, she did it.
She kissed him.
Isellta sat on the rocker in Robin’s room and hummed to himself.
The house is too quiet and I have nothing to do.
He got out of the rocker and approached the sleeping vampire.
He hesitated a moment before tapping the unmarked side of Robin’s face. “Robin. Robin. Robin. Robin.”
Hm. That doesn’t seem to be working.
I’ll just have to poke him harder.
Maybe his face isn’t all that sensitive.
He poked his neck. “Robin. Robin. Robin. Robin.”
Maybe he’s just ignoring me. “That doesn’t make sense. If he wants me to leave him alone, what good will ignoring me accomplish?”
It doesn’t make any sense at all.
Why can’t humans make sense?
Is it bad mental wiring?
Maybe it’s a lack of awareness. They simply have no idea how nonsensical they can be.
The fey startled and stumbled backwards.
Robin opened his eyes. “Isellta. Where are you?”
The fey stepped forward. “Here. I am here, Robin.”
He held up his hand.
Isellta came even closer and took his hand.
Robin’s arm relaxed and returned to the bed. “Thank you.”
Isellta did a quick blink. Why is he thanking me for taking his hand?
“I’ve been somethin’ of an ogre to you. I’m sorry. You helped me get out of that place. You brought me a hunter to heal me. Thank you.”
“It’s…” He wanted to say that it was okay.
Is it really okay, though?
He made me feel so small.
That isn’t okay.
That is like Olessa.
He squeezed the vampire’s hand. “Aish ka mi ni aish vee za.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It is Fae for ‘It’s not right, but it’s okay.”