Isellta stared in wonder at the mound of spaghetti on his plate. “That is a lot of spaghetti.”
Jay smiled and dug into his food.
Isellta twirled his fork in the mess of pasta. “I don’t understand. You’re so nice and caring and you can cook. Why did Maelin leave you?”
His smile faltered. “Mae’s an artist. A really talented artist. But she hit a creative dry patch last year. So, some of her friends signed her up for this Inspiration’s Trek travel thing. She’s going to all of these wonderful sights and sites to jump start her creativity.”
Isellta put his forkful into his mouth and thought that one through as he chewed. He swallowed. “Why didn’t you go with her?”
His smile fell away altogether. “Two words: Mark. Caten.”
“He refused to let me go. Frustrating thing is, he didn’t even have a reason to turn me down. He did it just to be a jerk. No. Scratch that. He was a lot more than a jerk.”
“I think the word you want is lae ril sen krintz. There isn’t a comparable word in English. So, I don’t know how to define it for you.”
Jay’s smile returned. “Don’t worry about it. I think I have a good idea what it means.”
Both human and fey fell into a happy moment, just sitting there and eating their spaghetti.
Isellta looked at Jay.
I like him and he likes me. He cares about me.
But I love Robin.
What is the sense in loving someone who doesn’t care about my personal happiness?
Why don’t I love Jay?
Is it because I saw Robin first and he imprinted on me?
If I had seen Jay first…
If I had been sent to Mark Caten instead of Olessa Caten, would I be in love with Jay right now? But how would that work out if he’s already in love with Maelin?
Can a human love more than one person at a time? Can love be split and divided that way?
Jay looked at him. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Just trying to make sense of everything.”
“Good luck! Some things defy being made sense of. You just have to accept them as is.”
So. Robin must be one of those things.
Isellta twirled his fork in his food. Does that mean I should accept his yelling at me and hitting me?
I know that can’t be right. I don’t want to accept that sort of meanness. I didn’t before and I certainly don’t now.
I want him to be happy with me and I want to be happy with him.
Is that possible?
Isellta thought about their non-conversation on the monitors. He saw the expression on Robin’s face.
His wings flapped as a new thought occurred to him.
What if he’s reconsidered his actions and behavior towards me? What if he’s had a softening of heart?
Will he treat me better?
Will he love me the way I want to be loved?
Can he love me like that? It would be happiness if he could.
Happiness and something greater than it.
He thought about Robin silently saying his name.
His wings flapped harder.
Jay noticed and smiled. “It’s good to see you happy again.”