The crowd’s assorted sounds blurred.
All Robin could hear was the sound of his own breathing.
Isellta broke away from him and smiled.
Robin couldn’t resist that guileless smile. He dove at him and kissed him with a passion. His hands traveled from the fey’s face to his shoulders to his arms to his chest to his back and up under his wings. He growled possessively.
I want to take him all in.
Isellta broke away again and laughed. The fey transformed back into her true shape. “That was some kiss. Thanks for a good laugh.” She stood and winked at him. “See you around.”
Robin sat in a state of shock. He barely noticed her leaving.
I thought it was him.
I kissed him.
I wanted to do a whole lot more than kiss him.
His mouth dropped open.
The customer sitting on the bar stool behind Robin harrumphed. “Gotta watch out for them fey. Manipulative wenches and that’s just the females. Them males are even worse. They know how to play us humans like fancy pianos.”
Robin’s thoughts turned to Isellta. Play? “What? What the heck you talkin’ about?”
“Fey don’t got feelings. No love. No hate. Just a whole lot of empty inside. So, what they like to do is mess with us feeling sorts. Just to see what it all looks like.”
“And them’s cheaters about it too. See, most mind-reading extraordinaries gotta touch you ta enter your mind. Not fey, though. Them can bang into your head and get privy to your innermost desires without even laying a thumb on you. And as soon as they do, they get playing their mind games.”
He claimed Robin’s drink and swirled it. The sugared heads clonked against the glass. “Turning themselves into that special person you desire and magicking you into believing it’s really them.” He took a large swallow. “Yeah. Even if they transform right dab in front of you, the magicking will still get you believing their lies.”
Robin’s shoulders slumped in defeat.
Have you been lyin’ to me all along?
Worse than lyin’. Playin’ me. Playin’ me and laughin’ at me behind my back. Is that how it is?
“They all like that?”
He chomped on the sugared cherub heads. “Yep. The whole skeevy lot.”
Robin stood. “Stupid. There are exceptions to every rule. EVERY rule. Isellta’s the exception. I know he is. I know him. I know how he looks at me. I know how he feels about me. I know. DARN YOUR STUPID RANCID ALCOHOLIC BREATH! I KNOW!”
The customer took another swallow.
What if Isellta himself is a lie? What if that stupid, cute face of his ain’t real? It’s just a disguise. What if his real form is that woman I chased into that alley?
The customer finished the drink and slapped the counter to get the bartender’s attention. “Hey! Get me another one of these. It’s gooooood.”
Robin walked outside in a daze.
How would I know?
How can you tell a fey’s fake face from their real one? Are there seams? Holes? Incorrect eye alignment? What the heck what?
If it’s a lie…
If it’s been nothin’ but a lie…
If ev’rythin’ that he’s said and done has been a lie….No. That line of thinkin’ is stupid. Why the heck would he stay with me? No normal fey would tolerate my level of nonsense. Why would he unless he felt somethin’ for me?
I need to see him again.
I need to know what’s real.
I need to hold him.
I need to kiss him.
The real him.
I need you.