Isellta thought calm, sensible thoughts, but his wings kept flittering in nervous patterns.
Bulldog snarled at him. “Stop that, ya dumb fey!”
“I can’t help it. It’s an involuntary action.”
“Just like me tearing your blinking wings off would be an involuntary action.”
Mark Caten hung up his phone. “Well? What’s this?”
“We found this fey in your Funorium.” said Bulldog.
“Idiot! It isn’t my Funorium. It is the Mark Caten Funorium! Get the name right.”
“Yeah, whate’er.” said Squirrel Man. “Is this the feys you was lookin’ for?”
“I don’t know! They all look the same to me. Get over here, fey.”
Isellta’s wings flittered one more time as he approached Mark Caten. “My name is Isellta of the Nor’eastern Fields. Olessa Caten—”
Mark Caten sat up a little straighter.
“—was my master. I obeyed her, no matter what she told me to do.”
“Interesting. You’re mine now.”
Another wing flitter. “What?”
“I will make sure that your ability to teleport is permanently disabled.”
Panic grabbed a hold of him. “What?”
“Can’t have you bolting on me, now can I?”
“That won’t be necessa—”
Mark Caten laughed. “Won’t be necessary? Hahahaha! You have no idea how many fey I’ve lost because they popped out on me. You belonged to Olessa. You belong to me now. You will never leave me.”
Robin, help me.
Come find me.
“Take him to my fey disablers.”
“Can I get them to chop off his wings?” asked Bulldog.
Mark Caten shrugged. “Doesn’t matter to me.”
They grabbed his arms and pulled him away.
Robin raised his head. “Isellta?” He struggled up to his feet. “Is…Isel…Isellta? Where are you? Where are…” His head drooped and he fell.
Strong arms caught him and lifted him in the air.
He tried to open his eyes, but unconsciousness slammed them shut.
Maybe it was a few minutes later.
Maybe it was a couple of hours.
Maybe, just maybe, it was several days.
It felt like all of the above when Robin finally opened his eyes.
He looked up at the sky.
Only to discover that it wasn’t the sky anymore. It was the ceiling.
Where am I?
He sat up.
Ah. I’m back at Raven’s place.
He glanced eagerly at the rocking chair.
Raven was sleeping in it.
Robin scowled. No. “No!” He scrambled out of bed, grabbed Raven by his shirt front, and threw him out of the rocker. “This is Isellta’s chair! You hear me?”
Raven opened his eyes. “I’m sorry, but what just happened?”
“Isellta is supposed sit here. He’s supposed to sit right here. He’s supposed to be rocking and singing to himself and he’s supposed to be here.” He stomped his foot on the floor. “Why isn’t he here?”
A sob caught in his throat. “Why am I here and he isn’t?”
Raven stood and smoothed out his ruffled up clothes. “I’m afraid I don’t know, sir. We searched for Isellta and for you. We found only you.”
Robin stood there, clenching and unclenching his hands. “You didn’t search hard enough. You didn’t call him. You didn’t even try.”
“I understand you’re upset.”
“Go out there and look again. He’s out there somewhere. I know it. I know it.”
“Sir. Please. We searched everywhere for him.”
“Well, it wasn’t good enough. FIND HIM!”
“Isellta has no scent for us to follow. If he wishes not to be found, he can go invisible. If he wishes to get far away from here, he can teleport.”
“You’re making excuses. I want him found. Do you hear me? I want him found!”
“I am sorry, sir. I don’t know where else we can look.”
The pupil in his good eye widened. Robin stumbled back to the bed. “You’re…you’re giving up on him.”
“Mr. Smith is out there right now, doing another scan of the city. We will see what he has to say.”
Robin tried to sit on the bed, but he missed the mattress by a couple of inches. He fell hard on the carpeted floor. “You’re willing to give up on him. What if he’s hurt?”
“Fey are incapable of being killed or hurt, sir. It’s common knowledge.”
Robin looked up at him. “They say the same thing about vampires. And look at me.” He bashed his fist on the bed’s metal frame. “Darn you, Raven! Look at me.”
Raven walked over to him.
Robin leaned his head back against the bed. “You don’t understand. This is my fault.”
Raven knelt beside him.
“This is my fault. I chased him away.”
Raven laid his gloved hand on the other vampire’s arm. “If Isellta is in this city, Ambrose Smith will find him.”
“What if he isn’t?”
Raven had no answer.