Robin watched the monitors, but he was distracted. His two dreams clashed about inside his head.
Two dreams about Isellta.
Two completely different Iselltas.
Isellta #1 – soft, sweet, loving, and lovable.
Isellta #2 – cruel, heartless, loveless, and just another fey.
Which is the real him?
I want the first Isellta to be the real him. I want him to be someone who can love me and who I can love back. Someone I can hold on to.
Someone I can freakin’ trust.
Am I askin’ for too much?
Or am I just bein’ stupid?
“So, yeah. That was an innerestin’ display of over-assertiveness.” Robin sat in the chair and leaned his head back. “Some would say it was flat out crude, unethical, and borderin’ on assault.”
“Is that what you think, sir?”
He shrugged. “I’m too tired to really give a hoot. I’m just makin’ noise with my mouth right now.”
“I did what needed to be done, sir. He would not cooperate any other way.”
Robin sighed. “Not gonna dispute that.” He closed his eyes.
Bordering on assault.
He stopped – his back to the doorway.
I suppose it was a bit of all three.
If Miss Farlington had seen me, she would have been repulsed.
Anyone from my past would have been repulsed and appalled by my actions.
But what else could I have done?
He caught the faint scent of lemon meringue pie.
“raven?” It was a faint voice – a little hoarse, a little off pitch.
He raised his head.
“I know that voice.”
He turned around and she was there.
“Missy.” He ran to her and gathered her up into his arms. “Missy!”
“my pretty shirtless raven.”
He kissed every inch of her face. “You are alive.” He held her face in between his hands and laughed deliriously. “You are alive.”
Their lips met in a starved kiss.
If only stupid Isellta were here, this would be a perfect moment.
Which roundabout reminds me.
He walked over to Antioch, who gave him a wary look.
“Don’t worry. I ain’t gonna play Raven’s games on you.”
Antioch relaxed. A little.
“I’m gonna share something with you. I’m guessin’ you lost it when you changed.”
“What is it?”
Robin looked at the white-haired vampire and he saw his father’s face. “Memories.” He laid his hands on either side of Antioch’s face and let all of his memories flow in.
Antioch’s mouth opened, but no words came out. His pupils widened. “I remember.” he whispered. “These memories. I remember them, but from a different perspective.”
Robin ended the flashback show with Antioch rejecting his son and his wife. Then, he released him.
All the memories after that are mine and I sure as heck ain’t sharin’ ’em.
Antioch lost himself in his new/old memories.
He finally pulled his face away from Missy’s face. “Sir?”
“I’m tired. Can we go home?”
Raven gave Antioch a questioning look.
And he understood the unspoken question. “XQ is free to leave.”
“There are no tricks or conditions, sir?”
“None. I did as you told me.”
Raven smiled. This time, it was a genuine smile. “Thank you, sir. We should wait till nightfall.” He looked at her with joy and wonder. “But I believe we have all been here quite long enough.”
Missy stroked his chest. “I’ll carry you home if I have to.”
Robin yawned again and drifted into weird thoughts about Isellta in a wedding dress.
Antioch frowned at Robin. “Why did you give me those memories?”
“Stupid sentimental junk and stuff.” Robin returned to the chair and dropped into it. “You’re my dad’s clone. Didn’t seem right for you to be missin’ out on his memories.” He leaned back and closed his eyes. “And don’t get me wrong. You ain’t my dad. I ain’t ever gonna call you ‘Dad’. So, don’t get all hopeful.”
Isellta would look so stupid in a weddin’ dress. Probably would have feathers and rhinestones all over it and he’d be all stupid and giddy about it. Stupid little fey wouldn’t be able to keep his wings still. He’d flap them through the whole ceremony and
WHAT THE HECK AM I THINKIN’ ABOUT?
He got out of his seat, marched over to Raven, grabbed him by his coat’s lapels, and growled. “We’re goin’ home now.”
“Very good, sir.”
“Wait.” He released Raven with a shove. “Antioch. Get over here.”
Antioch didn’t have to obey Robin, but he did anyway. “Yes?”
He marched him over to the monitors. “This one.” He pointed at the broken monitor for Isellta’s room. “Where is this?”
Antioch put on his sunglasses and pressed a small button on the frame above his right ear.
“Well? Where is it?”
Relief washed over Robin. “So, that’s where he is. Thanks.” He returned to Raven. “Let’s get the heck out of here.”
“Very good, sir.”
“Lord, please wait.”
Raven looked back at Antioch, who kept his distance.
“You changed me. What am I supposed to do?”
“You ought to go home and rest for tonight.”
“You should also burn this place to the ground.” said Robin. He shrugged. “I don’t know. That’s what I would do if I were you. Burn it to the ground and dump holy salt all over it.”
Raven looked at Missy for a long moment. “If you wish, sir, you could come home with me.”
Missy hugged him.
Antioch shook his head. “I’d rather not be in the same house as you. Try not to take it too personally. It’s just how it is.”
“I understand. But know this, sir: It is an open offer. You may accept it whenever you wish. I will not force you into it.”
Antioch nodded. “How will I find you?”
Raven smirked. “I am your lord. You will find me.”