Barbara watched Missy talk softly to Raven. He tried to pay attention, but his eyes kept drifting closed.
Just like Ambrose.
My gray kitten. I can’t wait to see him again. Mm! I’ll be able to see him after work, when I go to pick her up.
She imagined him sleeping with his face buried in his pillow.
Her fingers ached.
I want to touch his hair.
Her face turned red as she realized that she was imagining his back without a shirt.
The phone rang.
She hastened to answer it. “Thank you for calling Sammy’s Place.”
“Thank you very much! Have a great day!”
Barbara hung up the phone and startled.
Robin stood in a slouch in front of her desk. “Hey. I never got a chance to thank you for siding with me and helping me get out of that place.”
“That place…Oh, you mean the Funorium. You were in such bad shape. I couldn’t just leave you there. On the bright side, you look much better now.”
He scoffed. “Yeah, I look much better with my scratched out eye and gouged up face.”
“But you are up and moving and talking and not yowling in pain.”
“It’s all because of Isellta.”
“Isellta. Is he that male fey?”
He scratched at a small nick on the counter with his fingernail.
“He isn’t with you. What happened to him?”
“Gone. Ran away from me. All my fault.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s my own stupid fault. If I had known…If I had put the pieces together sooner…Gaaah!” He stomped his foot on the floor. “How can I be so stupid?” He wobbled. “And…tired. tired…”
“I’ll call a taxi for you guys.”
He looked at her like she wasn’t speaking a sane language. “Wha?”
“It doesn’t seem right to have Missy carry you two guys all over town. Neither of you are newborn puppies. So, please. Have a seat. I’ll call them now.”
He nodded and did a drunken weave back to the lobby. He dropped into a seat and, leaning forward, covered his face with his hands.
Stupid little thing.
And stupider me for pushing him away when I really wanted to pull him closer.
He’s in Henspence.
I need to go to him.
I need to see him.
I need to talk to him.
I need to hear his voice.
I need to feel him.
I sure hope he needs all that too.
If I’ve misinterpreted all of his signals.
If I’m being stupider than average.
If he doesn’t want me.
If he don’t love me.
If he can’t love me.
He closed his eyes and he saw Isellta’s face.
What will I do?
Isellta backed out of Jay’s arms. He gently touched the tear stains on the front of Jay’s shirt. “I’m sorry. I…”
“It’s okay. Tears dry.”
He perked up. “I organized your dresser for you.”
Isellta flapped his wings and climbed off the bed. He grabbed Jay’s hands. “Come see!”
Jay let him pull him off the bed and drag him over to the dresser.
Isellta opened the two top drawers.
Isellta’s wings flapped even harder.
“This is amazing. This dresser hasn’t seen this level of organization in I don’t even know how long.” He smiled at the fey. “Thank you.”
“It’s my way of thanking you for being so kind to me. Every kind word. Every kind gesture. Every…It all means so much to me.” He bowed his head. “No one else has treated me the way you do.” He peeked up at him. “So, thank you.”
Jay’s heart melted. “You poor kid.” He rumpled his hair. “Come on. It’s lunch time. Let’s grab something to eat.”
Isellta flapped his wings as he followed the human out the door.