Raven leaned his face against Missy’s head as she slept.
Will Antioch keep his word?
Will he return Missy’s voice?
Will he set her free?
He tightened his grip on her shoulder and sighed.
The answer to those questions would be No. No. And No.
It is more than that.
He will do more to her.
Hurt her further.
Destroy her right before my eyes.
I ought to pick her up and carry her away from this place.
Take her home.
Keep her safe from harm.
There is a possibility that he will undo his damages. It isn’t a strong possibility. It’s more like wishful thinking.
Her hand slid from his shoulder down to the middle of his chest. Her fingers dug into his shirt and held tight.
She cried in silence.
His heart sank.
How can I deny her that chance to become free and whole again?
He kissed her head.
If Antioch does anything to deliberately harm you, I will tear him apart. I won’t even honor him with a bite.
Robin entered the room.
He didn’t say anything, which surprised Raven.
He walked over to Raven and sat beside him.
“Are you well, sir?”
Robin smiled. “I saw Isellta. That stupid little fey.”
“Oh? Is all well, then?”
Robin sighed. “I’m here. He’s…either in Henspence or Jackson. But.” His smile grew. “Yeah. Everything’s just ducks and swans.”
Raven frowned. “Ducks and swans, sir?”
“Yep. Ducks and freaking swans.” He leaned his head against Raven’s unoccupied shoulder.
I have no idea what that even means. Is it a non sequitur?
“But I will get him back. Just you wait.”
“Very good, sir.”
Preyuna returned to her room and locked the door. She walked towards her bed only to stop short.
Mark Caten sat on her bed, filing his nails. He gave her a baleful glare. “You made me wait again.”
“I’m sorry. I thought we weren’t doing anything tonight.”
“Where were you?”
“I was taking care of some unfinished business.”
“Let me guess.” He put his nail file down on the comforter. “You were paying a visit to your little boy toy and begging him to take you back.”
She regarded the man before her with cold disdain. “I realize you don’t see me as such, but I am a queen. Queens do not grovel and beg.”
“So, he told you no.”
“That is none of your concern.”
“You are so right about that, Preyuna. My only concern right now is you’re all the way over there and I’m all the way over here.” He smirked. “And you still have your clothes on.”
“I don’t feel like playing your games tonight.”
“What? You think you have a choice in the matter?” He stood and walked over to her.
Her hands tightened into fists. “If you touch me, I’ll—-”
He laughed. “You’ll tear my head off? Slash my throat? Stab me with your eyelash curler? Hahahahaha! You know as well as I do, you forfeit any chance of returning to your magical marijuana kingdom if you kill me.”
“I don’t want to deal with you right now. I want—-”
“You think I care about what you want? Really? See, it’s like this. Every time you say ‘I want’, this is what I hear: Blahblahblahblahblahblahblabbityblahblah bored. So, take your clothes off.”
“I might consider releasing you if you do.”
Horror struck her. Was I doing this same thing to Isellta? No. My motives were good. It wasn’t about lust or whatever drives this man. I want to help Isellta. I want to protect him.
But I pushed him. I manipulated him.
And he doesn’t want me.
But this man. This horrible man.
He wants me.
“Fine. You win this round.”
“Of course I do.”