“Tsk. Look at that. One piece left.” Hildreth grinned at her. “Now, what are you going to do about that, Vansing?”
“I’m going to eat it, of course.”
“Or we could split it.”
“Nope. I want the whole thing.”
“Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Stingy Elsie.”
She started to reach for it.
“Ah!” He grabbed her hand.
She reached with her other hand.
He grabbed that one too.
She made one very quick move and suddenly he was lying flat on his back, staring at the ceiling.
“Ohh, so you want to get physical about it?”
She took a bite of the last slice. “Been there. Done that.”
“Ha!” He stood quickly and snatched the piece from her.
Before he could take a bite, she snatched it back.
And took another bite. “Mm. This is some pizza.”
“Oh, no. There’s a vampire behind you.”
She gave him her best “Really?” look.
He grinned and heisted the pizza for the win. “Yes!” He took a large bite. “Mm-mm-mmmm. Victory is sweet and tastes like pepperoni.”
She laughed. “I let you off easy.”
“Hmm. Maybe.” He went to take the last bite.
She grabbed it from him. “Maybe.” And she put that last bit of pizza in her mouth.
“Ohh, I call foul.”
She chewed and swallowed. “And what are you going to do about it?”
“This.” He curled his hand around the back of her neck and kissed her.
Isellta awoke from a bad dream filled with scribbles. There was no way to make sense of them. There was no pattern and no way to straighten the scribbles into a pattern.
He stretched his arms and legs as far across the bed as he could. “Mmm.”
He opened his eyes and startled.
Nothing looked familiar.
He lay still, too afraid to move.
This isn’t my room.
His wings flittered anxiously.
Queen Preyuna. Is this her room? Did she…
He grabbed the closest pillow and hugged it.
I don’t think she did. I don’t feel like she did.
But what if?
A hand rose from the floor and dropped onto the edge of the mattress.
Isellta yelped and shrank away from it. He buried his face into the pillow and lay there trembling.
“Hey, kid. You okay?”
He uncovered his face and looked up at the guard.
“I apparently fell asleep on the floor. Sorry if I startled you.”
“Jay. What should I do? I don’t have any occupation here. And I don’t want to go to Queen Preyuna. I just can’t.”
“And you shouldn’t. Not if she’s gonna do that to you, you poor kid. Why don’t you stay in here for right now? I’ll come check on you around lunch time. You can come eat with me.”
Isellta nodded. “I’d like that. Thank you.”
“Not a prob.” He smiled at the fey and ruffled his hair. “Stay out of trouble, kid.”
He tightened his grip on the pillow as Jay left the room.
He looked at the low level dresser on the other side of the bed.
It sat there and spoke softly tempting words at him.
Words he just couldn’t resist.
He released the pillow and crawled out of bed..
The dresser had only four drawers, which disappointed him. He was of the firm belief that dressers should have a great many drawers and secret cubby holes. Otherwise, what good were they?
He opened the top right drawer.
His wings flittered.
Clothes were tossed in there every which way. Socks mixed with shirts with ties and assorted whatnots.
He opened the next drawer.
And the next.
And the next.
He sat back on his feet and flapped his wings in a lazy gesture as he thought things over.
“Mm-hmm. It must be done.”
He emptied all four drawers and went to work.
Clothes were folded.
Socks matched and tied together.
Slowly but surely, the mound of clothes on the floor shrank and disappeared until everything was put back into the drawers in beautifully arranged order.
He flapped his wings and closed the drawers. “What next?”
Isellta checked the floor just to make sure he hadn’t overlooked anything. He tilted his head as something small caught the light.
He picked it up and smiled.
It was a gold button.
I don’t even know what this is from. I don’t recall seeing anything with gold buttons on it.
His wings flapped harder.
Then, it’s mine to keep.
Isellta put it in his pocket, but felt something soft in there. He removed the other object.
It was the rose petal he had found in his room.
He sniffed it.
Mmm! Still smells pretty. He put it back in his pocket.
“Oh! That reminds me. I left my things in that other room.”
He walked out into the hallway.
I don’t want to face those ghosts again.
They’ll hurt me.
I’ll wait for Jay to come back.
“Meantime, I’ll see what other secrets he has hidden.”