Missy released him. “There’s blood on your face.”
“Does it bother you, miss?”
“No. I’ve seen worse.” She stared at the middle of his chest.
She can see into my soul. It was a strange thought, but he couldn’t help thinking it. “I’m sorry, miss. I’m filthy.” He stood. “I need to take a shower.”
Missy looked up at him. “And then what?”
He took a breath and exhaled. “I will go home.”
“Do you still want me to go home with you?”
But if I leave her alone, she will disappear. I know it. I am certain of it. She will return to The Institute.
They will destroy everything good about her.
Missy will cease to be.
Even XQ will be gone.
I cannot let that happen to her.
I will not let them extinguish her flame.
“Yes. Yes, Missy. Come home with me.”
Isellta flapped his wings in big, happy gestures as he walked beside Robin.
Robin, of course, didn’t notice. He was too busy talking about the plot of some Stargate SG-1 episode that he really liked. It involved a time loop that only two of the characters were aware of.
Robin’s good eye was bright – full of life, full of sparkle. He moved his hands in broad gestures, in swoops, in swirls, in gesticulated exclamation points.
Isellta couldn’t resist smiling. I don’t even know how we got onto this subject. Did I ask him something? Did he volunteer this information? Or is this something he’s been wanting to tell me?
Does it matter?
He isn’t mad at me. He isn’t frowning. He isn’t yelling.
That’s all that matters.
“And that is how it ends.”
How it ends… “How will we end, Robin?”
Isellta lowered his wings to his back. “You and I. How will we end?”
“You and I? What are you talkin’ about?”
Is he being dense on purpose? “After tonight and then the next tonight and then the next one.”
Robin slowed to a halt.
Isellta stopped. “Will you still want me to stay with you? Will you tell me to leave and never come back? Will you miss me when I’m gone?”
“Sounds like you expect a bunch of negative answers.”
Robin shrugged. “Things change. People change. Nothin’ stays the same. I might throw you out the door. You might walk out of it. I don’t know.” He turned his head to look at him with his good eye. “I don’t know what you want from me. A relationship? Love? I don’t know. I ain’t ready or willing to give you either.”
Love? Is that what I want? No. If Ambrose Smith is right about love being messed up and confusing and nonsensical, then no. I don’t want to lose my sense. “I only want to be your companion. Your friend. Can I be that?”
“Friend?” Robin’s expression hardened. “You’re askin’ for too much.” He resumed walking.
Isellta stood still, lost in hurting thoughts.
“Isellta! You comin’ with me or not?”
Why? What does he want from me?
The fey followed the vampire.