Isellta’s wings stopped twitching, but he stayed sprawled out on the floor.
I’ve been betrayed.
I thought I could trust her.
I helped him escape.
I received nothing in return but anger and hurt feelings and confusion and a hard slap across the face.
If I were to escape from here, I have nowhere to go. No one to run to.
Not even Olessa.
So, what should I do?
I should just stay here on this floor.
It makes sense.
I have nowhere else to go.
The bedroom door opened.
He didn’t look to see who it was.
He didn’t really care.
Queen Preyuna knelt beside him.
He couldn’t look at her.
He couldn’t speak.
She gently rolled him onto his back and laid her hands along the sides of his face.
He burst into angry, hurting tears. “What more do you want from me? What more can you take from me ? Do you want all of my memories? Is that it? What will you leave for me to remember? Nothing?”
She didn’t reply.
Her irises turned white.
Her pupils widened.
“You’re just like them. Olessa and him. You don’t…” His voice died in his throat as his memories returned in an ocean-like rush.
He sat up. “I don’t understand.”
“I showed him the memories, but I never implanted them. They are your memories, Isellta,” She released her grip on his head. “and yours to keep.”
“Will he know?”
“He’s lost to grief right now. Maybe he’ll figure it out. Maybe he won’t. But do not speak of her to him. Otherwise, he will know the truth.”
The pained expression returned to her face. “We’ll both suffer the consequences.”
“Now that he has her memories, what is he going to do to me? Does he have any use for me?”
“I will find a use for you, Isellta, and convince him of its worth.”
He twisted his hands in his lap. “Can I trust you?”
“I’m the only one you can trust. No matter what I may say or do, you can trust me to keep you safe.”
He bowed his head. “You hurt me.” He watched his twisting hands as if they were a science museum’s interactive exhibit. “I don’t have anyone. I thought I did. I had hoped I did. I don’t. He hates me. I can’t do anything right. I’m useless. I’m unwanted. I’m…I’m…” He let out an exasperated sound. “I don’t even know what the word is in English. Fe la hish rahn. That’s what I am.”
“All of that may or may not be true. I do know this: You are my only friend here.”
His head shot up.
“My only ally. I can trust you. I do trust you.”
His hands went still. “Do you mean it? Is this a trick? Are you going to hurt me again?”
“No. I will not hurt you again.” She spread her hand above her heart and bowed her head. “I am sorry I did.”
He flapped his wings.
Missy curled up in the corner and stared wistfully at the bed.
I wish I could hide under there, but there’s no space.
I hurt him.
Lovely, pretty Raven.
I hurt him.
I hurt him I hope he’s okay I hope he doesn’t hate me I hope he comes back for me.
If he comes back, it will happen all over again. Antioch will take control of me and that would be that.
I wish Raven were here now.
I want to touch his pretty hair and kiss his pretty face and his skin and his chest and he’s just so darned pretty.
I like him so much.
I love him.
And he still likes me even though I can’t speak. That doesn’t matter to him. He loves me.
Raven loves me.
I hope he comes back.
I’ll throw my arms around him and knock him off his feet and I’ll keep on holding him even if he tells me to let him go.
What if he doesn’t came back?
He’s a vampire. So, my fire didn’t kill him.
She remembered how he looked as Robin carried him away.
I hurt him.
Maybe he won’t come back.
She thought about Antioch’s words.
Maybe he shouldn’t come back.