Isellta flittered out his wings.
This is ridiculous.
This is worse than ridiculous.
This is broken human logic – wandering the streets hoping to incidentally run into the person I want to run into.
Well. I say forget it. If Robin or Raven wish to find me, they’ll have to conduct their own searches.
I quit on both of them.
Sots. The whole lot of them.
Sots without any wits, intelligence, logic, or any sense of sense.
The fey turned around and happily fluttered his wings. “Robin.”
“Huntin’s bad tonight. Come with me to the pub. Maybe I’ll get lucky there.”
“Okay!” Isellta stopped and thought about it. “But you left me this night without even saying hello or goodbye to me.”
“So? That a problem?”
“A problem…No. It isn’t like you tried to kill me. Still. It would have been nice to hear it.”
He shrugged. “I never know where you are. So, why bother?”
“Because…it would be nice. I saved you, Robin. I…I healed you. You can’t even say hello or goodbye?”
Robin scoffed. “So, what? You my wife or somethin’? Poor, unappreciated Isellta. Never mind what I physically went through while you did nothin’.”
Isellta blinked in confusion. “Nothing? I—”
“Oh, that’s right. I forget. You helped her hurt me. You let her torture me.”
The fey gaped. “I…
“Don’t even bother tryin’ to explain it.” He stepped into Isellta’s personal space. “How can you explain it? Huh? Easy, I suppose. All you gotta say is ‘Oops. I’m a fey’ and that would explain ev’rythin’.”
“Where is all of this coming from? Have I done something wrong?”
“You could have teleported me out of there. That’s what you did wrong.”
“Robin. Stop being an overly emotional human and speak to me. You were so nice earlier and now you’re yelling at me. Why?”
“Two words, fey. Bad. Dream. You comin’ with me to the pub or not?”
“Why can’t you make sense for a change? I don’t…I don’t understand you. I keep trying, but I can’t. I can’t. You don’t make sense, Robin. You don’t make sense.”
“Then, I guess that’s no. Fine. I didn’t want your company anyway.” He turned around and left.
Isellta’s wings flattened against his back.
Raven led Missy to the door. He held on to the tablecloth’s knot as if it were a matter of national security.
“I don’t get what the big deal is. I’ve already seen you in your underwear.”
“That is far from the point. I am your butler, Miss Farlington. It is improper and unseemly for you to stand about and watch me get dressed.”
“You are a young lady of quality, of family, and I…” He frowned as he realized what he was saying. “I beg your pardon, miss.”
“Do you routinely get almost naked in front of impressionable young women?”
“I would rather not discuss it.”
“Why not? Sounds like there’s a whole big interesting story tucked in there.”
He opened the door for her. “Please step out into the hall.”
“If you promise to tell me about being a butler to this Miss Farlington.”
“I would rather not. Those are my own private memories. I keep them only for myself and share them only with myself.”
“That sounds depressing.”
“It was not my intent.”
“Memories should be shared. Especially if they’re good memories.”
Are there good memories of her inside my mind? He smiled. Yes. There is one.
There is at least one.
“I will consider it if you let me dress in private.”
“Okay. I’ll let you ‘dress in private’, if you stop considering it and just jump ahead to making a promise about it.”
“Miss, I…” He noticed the stubbornness creeping across her face’s horizon. “Very well. I will tell you. I promise.”
“Good!” She walked out into the hall and closed the door.
Raven removed the Varsity jacket and hung it on the coat rack. He examined it for any tears or ripped seams or dropped hems or missing snaps. Finding none, he took off the tablecloth and examined it.
He felt deeply disheartened.
He hadn’t realized until that point just how many old stains were ingrained into the plastic and the flannel. Some stains he could recognize. Others were unspeakable mysteries.
They could be anything.
His face turned pale.
They could be mold.
He considered returning to the locker room to scald the potential mold germs off his lower half. The only thing that stopped him was the thought of getting wet all over again.
And the lack of truly clean towels to dry off with.
I’ll wait till I get home.
Raven folded the tablecloth into the neatest possible square. He glanced around for somewhere to put it.
Nothing but desks and the coat rack.
It pained him to do so, but he set the tablecloth on one of the desks.
It sat there on the desk, looking misplaced.
He couldn’t stand it.
He quickly put his slacks on, picked up the tablecloth, and carried it to the door.
I can feel the stains sliding onto my skin.
I need to wash my hands.
I need to—
Raven opened the door and thrust the squared up tablecloth to Missy. “This must be returned to its rightful home. Please do so.”
“It’s kind of grotty looking. Does it even matter where I—”
“Yes. It matters. Put it back where it belongs.”
She shrugged and carried the tablecloth to points unknown.
He gently closed the door and resumed getting dressed.