Isellta admired the mask’s raised design as John Denver’s clear voice sang in his ears. His slender fingers traced the curlicues.
They make sense.
They all make sense.
His wings fluttered happily.
They make so much sense.
The last note was sung and the last guitar note ceased to be. Isellta removed the ear buds and returned them and the phone back to the guard. “Thank you so much.”
“Are all fey like you?”
Isellta looked back down at the mask.
“So easy to please?”
“I am not like other fey and that is my problem. I’m too emotional, too easily hurt. Small things make me happy. Pretty things. Things that make sense.”
“What’s your name?”
Isellta peeked back up at him. “Isellta of the Nor’eastern Fields.”
The guard’s mask concealed his expression. Maybe he was smiling. Maybe he was not. Isellta had no idea.
“I’m Jay. Figured if we’re gonna be spending quality time together like this, we might as well exchange names.”
“Are you going to…Will you expect me to…” His gaze fell again. He stroked the gold curlicues. “Will you be like Queen Preyuna?”
“No. I’m not gonna use you like that. I may work for Mark Caten, but I sure don’t drink his watermelon tea. You can trust me.”
Isellta’s wings flittered. “Queen Preyuna said the same thing. And…” His eyebrows creased up. “She betrayed me. She…pushed me into a situation I didn’t want to be in and…” He twisted his fingers. “She didn’t…I’m nothing.”
“Hey. Why don’t you put your clothes on and we can go for a stroll?”
His hands went still, but his gaze stayed down. “Where to?”
“Anywhere you want to go.”
His wings fluttered as the answer came to him. “Robin.” He raised his head. “Take me to Robin.”
Robin quickly released Antioch. “So what? You gonna move in with me? You gonna be my father now?”
“I can if you want me to. Do you want me to, Robin?”
Robin turned back to the monitors. He scanned the black and white images, but his thoughts were twelve thousand miles away from what he was seeing.
“You don’t have to answer right away. I’m not going to pressure you about it. Just think it over, Robin. Think about what you really want.”
‘Where are you going?”
“Home. Pleasant dreams. Son.”
Robin sat down in the chair as Antioch left the room.
What do I want?
Do I want him in my life?
Or do I want to drop him like a rock falling down the Hoover Dam?
What do I really want?
He leaned forward and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes.
Just as Isellta left his room and walked down the hall.
Jay glanced at Isellta. Poor kid. I just want to package him up and take him home and adopt him or something. Maybe send him home to mother. Poor thing could use some mothering. “Have you had anything to eat today?”
Isellta shook his head.
“Let’s go down to the kitchen and grab a bite to eat.”
“I want to go to Robin.”
“Where is he?”
“Let’s get some food first. I don’t want you to pass out or anything.”
Isellta smiled at him. “You’re very kind.”