The memory set Robin’s head reeling. “I’d forgotten.” Maybe I didn’t want to remember. Maybe I forgot it on purpose.
I want to forget it again.
Antioch turned away from him to check the leftover monitors.
Robin bowed his head.
How can I forget it again?
Antioch chuckled. “Well. Well. Your friend has been busy.”
Robin raised his head. “What?”
“He broke down XQ’s door. But XQ is a good girl. Yes. She’s doing exactly what I told her to do.”
Robin marched over to the monitors and shoved Antioch out of the way. He focused on the scene going on in Missy’s room.
He watched how she paced around him.
Darn it. This is just like last time. “Antioch. Call her off.”
“No. Let’s see what happens.”
“No! Call her off. She’s gonna attack him. I know it. I can see it.”
Antioch smiled a blissed out smile. “No. She’s waiting for my command. Then, she will attack and nothing will stop her. Not you. Not your friend. Not even her feelings for him. She will obey only me.”
“Then, call her off.”
“No. This will be a good test of her obedience.”
“No! Don’t you dare!”
Antioch’s smile grew.
Missy looked at him. Silent and emotionless.
“Missy. What did he do to you? Show me.”
She held still.
“Do you even remember me?”
Same complete lack of reaction.
Raven reached for her face, but the thought of his gloves getting singed stopped him. He removed his gloves, folded them neatly, and put them inside his pockets.
She looked down at his bare hands and back up at him.
He sighed. I really don’t want to do this again.
But what else can I do?
Off went his coat.
His suit jacket.
Her expression didn’t change.
Her flames crackled and snapped.
This is going to hurt.
But what else can I do?
He wrapped his bare arms around her fiery neck and pulled her in close. “Missy.” He leaned his face against her. “I love you.”
Antioch chuckled. “What a touching scene.”
“Call her off.”
“Or what? What will you do, Robin Hastings? Bite me? Will you bite your father’s neck?”
Yeah. Yeah. Just rub it in. “No. Not yet.”
“Then, I see no reason to ‘call her off’.” He raised his right hand and pressed his cuff link. “XQ.”
She raised her head.
“Missy. Look at me.”
Waiting for Master’s order.
“You’re a very good girl, XQ. I’m so proud of you.”
He’s proud of her, but what about me? Am I nothing? I’m his son! Why isn’t he proud of me?
“My dear girl.”
Master. I’m waiting.
“Missy.” Raven released her.
Even though there were no burns or cracks on his skin, his chest and arms hurt as if he were burnt raw and peeling.
He swallowed hard and thought happy thoughts about cold showers. “Don’t. Don’t listen to him. Please.” He stroked her face. “Come away with me.”
That’s a whole lot of stupid thinking. He ain’t my dad. He looks like him, sure enough. But he isn’t him.
“Shut up!” There is no way on this God-created land that someone like him would buy a teddy bear for his son. Probably would buy him a bomb-starting kit, if anything at all.
“Do you see that vampire in front of you?”
“Missy. Just look at me.”
“He is a danger.”
“I swear if you don’t shut your freakin’ mouth—-”
“You need to get rid of the danger. Do you understand me, my dear?”
Missy looked at the shirtless vampire.
He is a danger. I understand.
“Good girl. XQ. ATTA—”
“RRRAAAAH!” Robin punched him in the mouth. “I TOLD YOU TO FREAKIN’ SHUT UP!”
Missy tilted her head as she tried to make sense of his order.
But it wasn’t possible.
It didn’t make sense.
So, she sat and ignored the vampire begging and pleading before her.
Must wait for Master’s command.
Robin punched him over and over, punctuating each punch with a different insult, “Liar. Jerk. Slime. Fake. Imposter. Liar. Stupid. Liar. Stupid. Liar. DEADBEAT DAD!”
He pinned Antioch to the floor. “You didn’t need us, but I needed you. So many times in my life I needed you. To comfort me. To correct me. To talk to me. To just…Darn you! Just to be there for me. Why weren’t you ever there for me?”
“I had better things to do.”
“And now I suppose you’ll bite me?”