Ambrose sighed and rubbed his neck. “Wood in its natural state doesn’t bother me too much. I can pick up a downed branch without any issues. But shaped, unvarnished wood hits my panic button.”
“My body recognizes it as hunter wood. Stake wood. Even if it isn’t shaped like a stake, my body sees it as such and automatically reacts. I also have a mortal fear of splinters.” He shuddered. “They’re like miniature stakes. I hate them.”
Isellta’s thoughts returned to Robin. “Is Robin still hurting?”
Ambrose took a sip of his water. “Oh, yes! Finally! Hot water, just the way I like it.”
“Ambrose. Is Robin still hurting? Is that why he’s so angry at me? But…that doesn’t make sense. So, I made a mistake. So, I was wrong not to help him. Why is he still mad at me? He’s free.”
“See? Told you so.”
“You don’t get it. You probably never will.”
“So, what do I do? What should I do?”
He took another sip of water. “If I were you, I’d back off. Give Robin his space.”
“I tried that and he searched the whole town for me. But now he’s mad at me. He wanted me to come to the pub with him and then he didn’t.”
In a flash, he saw Robin mouthing that girl. He saw how Robin’s hands touched her.
His wings tried to flitter, but the fey was sitting on their ends.
The waitress brought in a fork for Isellta and left without saying Hi or Bye.
“All the same, give him his space. All of that trauma is still fresh in his mind. That scar across his eye serves as one reminder of what he went through. It will always be a reminder. And so will you. Just back away. Let him come to you.”
Isellta saw Robin’s mouth go down to that girl’s neck. “He won’t come to me. He doesn’t need me. I have nothing to offer him.” He stuck his fork into the ramen and twirled it. “I don’t know if he wants anything from me. He doesn’t make sense.”
I don’t make sense.
What do I want from him?
He put the whole clump of ramen in his mouth.
Appreciation, of course. But what else? What do I really want?
I don’t know.
Robin finished the rest of his tangerine drink. He tried to keep his thoughts away from the life he knew.
How things used to be.
But his thoughts went there anyway.
“You are so talented. You should go pro.”
He set his drink on the table.
“Go to Hollywood. With that face and your talent, you could go far.”
His fingers traced the jagged line down his face. “I never even made it out of Ohio.”
Now, what am I good for? It’s bad enough that I’m a vampire. At least, that’s something I could have worked through.
I’m a vampire with a scarred up face. I’d be stuck playing monster roles. Evil villain roles.
He sighed. Evil vampire roles.
That ain’t what I want.
But so what?
Who cares what I want?
I ain’t even sure what I want anymore. I just…
He looked down at the dead body.
“I am such a fan! I’ve never seen anyone play Hamlet the way you do. Hey! Could you please come over here? I want you to meet someone.”
“Why we goin’ down this hallway? It’s dark.”
“Yes. It’s perfect.”
“What? What’re you doing? Oh. Oh! Please don’t. Please. Please. Please.”
“I can’t help it. I’m so hungry and you smell so GOOD!”
He flinched at the memory of her fangs biting strong, biting deep. “That’s it. I’m done here.”
He scooted out of the booth and walked over to the bar.
He paid for his drink and left.