Ambrose didn’t bother saying “Hi!” to anyone. He headed straight to his room, slammed the door shut, and dropped into bed.
He breathed a sigh.
His body relaxed.
His bedroom door banged open.
“Where is he?”
Oh, great. Robin. Marvy.
Robin tromped over to the bed. He grabbed Ambrose by his shirt front and pulled him up into a sit. “Where’s Isellta?”
Ambrose slowly opened his eyes. “Well. He’s not in my room. Go away.”
“Where is he? You went out there looking for him. Did you find him? Where is he? Why isn’t he here with you? Why did you come back here without him? Why…Why…”
Ambrose grabbed the other vampire’s hands and glared at him.. “I’ve just spent the last three hours mucking about in the snow and the blazing daylight. You think you can do a better, more thorough job looking for your boyfriend, be my guest. Go out there and have lots of fun.”
“Isellta is not my boyfriend.”
“Robin. I’ve been alive for a very long time. Much longer than you have. I know what love looks like.”
Robin freed his hands and backed away. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re wrong. YOU’RE WRONG!” He ran out of the room and slammed the door.
“Idiot. I know I’m right.”
Robin returned to his room and paced like a trapped animal. His fingers compulsively traced the scar over and over.
He’s wrong. He’s so wrong. How could I love Isellta? After what he did. After what he allowed her to do. After what he failed to do.
His fingers halted their frantic journey just below his eye.
If it isn’t love, why am I so worried about him?
If it’s hate, why aren’t I glad he’s gone?
No. I don’t love him.
Ambrose was just bluffing.
He was just trying to get me out of his room.
His day exhaustion was doing all the talking.
Isellta’s image appeared in his mind.
His slender form.
His expressive wings.
Robin looked at the empty rocking chair.
He should be here.
Why isn’t he here?
Tears fell from his good eye.
Why hasn’t he come back to me?
Raven tapped Ambrose’s shoulder.
More shoulder tapping.
Ambrose raised his head and glared at him. “What is your problem? Do I look like I want to talk to you right now? Do I?”
“Hardly, sir. I only have one question.”
“That’s one question too many.”
“Yes, sir. I’m sure it is. Did you find Isellta?”
“Already told Robin.”
“So, you can go away and let me sleep.”
“Very good, sir.” He hesitated. “Is Robin all right?”
“That’s all a matter of opinion.” He settled back down and fell asleep.
Raven knocked on Robin’s door. “Sir? May I come in?”
Raven opened the door and entered the room.
Robin sat on his bed, looking all forlorn.
“Are you all right, sir?”
“You’ve seen me with Isellta, right?”
“You’ve seen how we’ve interacted, right?”
“What do you think?”
“I’m sorry, sir? I don’t understand.”
“Do you think that we’re just friends?”
“Hardly, sir. You’re quite unkind to him.”
“What about…more than friends?”
Raven considered the question. “What are you trying to ask me, sir?”
“Do you think Isellta likes me?”
“Indeed, sir. He is quite fond of you.”
“Indeed, sir. He makes no effort to hide his feelings, which is rather surprising for a fey.”
“And…what about me? Do I…” He shook his head. “Never mind. My day exhaustion is messing my mind. Good day, Raven.”
“Good day, sir.” Raven gave the other vampire a puzzled look before leaving the room.
Raven returned to his own bedroom. He closed the door and performed his usual clothes changing routine.
He was about to remove his slacks when Missy let out a sharp cry.
He rebuttoned his slacks and approached the bed. “Missy?”
She burst into flames.
And so did the bed.
Raven jumped onto the bed and hugged her. “Missy! Missy. It’s okay. You’re safe.”
The flames rippled on his bare arms and chest. It hurt, but he held her tight. “I’m here. It’s all right. You’re all right. Calm down. Calm down.”
The flames siphoned back into her body as she transformed into Missy.
She hugged him and cried into his bare skin.
He gently stroked her hair. “It’s all right. You’re all right. I’m here.”