Barbara closed his door and leaned back against it. Her mind was a-whirl with thoughts. Her body a-dizzy with unspoken desires.
She closed her eyes.
I want to feel his breath on my skin again. I want to feel his hand on mine.
The warmth of his skin.
I want him.
I want him to hold me in his arms and love me.
She opened her eyes and smiled.
I want to take him dancing again.
Her smile fell.
I should apologize to Missy.
Missy sat on the couch in the living room, sorting through her collection of new clothes. “Bra. Panties. Shirt.” She contemplated the different shirts. “That one.” She pulled out the hot pink V-neck with the word LOVE written across the front in neon red. “Shirt.”
She flinched at the sound of Barbara’s voice. Her hands went still.
Barbara walked over to her. “I’m sorry for snapping at you. I just…”
Missy looked up at her.
“I was worried how far you were planning to go with undressing him.”
“If you were that worried, you could have just helped me.”
Barbara gaped at her. “Umm. No.”
Barbara sighed and sat beside her. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you about morals?”
“There are certain things a woman and a man just shouldn’t do.”
“Well. Taking each other’s clothes off before marriage, for starters.”
Missy frowned. “But why?”
Barbara sighed again. “This is going to be a long conversation.”
Isellta rummaged through Jay’s closet, determined to find that cd and cd player.
His wings flittered.
Stuck here until September. Between Mark Caten and Queen Preyuna, I don’t know if I can last that long here.
What other options do I have?
I could leave, but I will never be able to teleport again.
He found a flashlight that needed batteries. He smiled at it and put it in his pocket.
I like being able to teleport. I want that power back. So? How can I get it back? Is there anyone else who can unsuppress that ability?
Maybe someone outside of Mark Caten’s circle.
But what about Her Majesty? Can I abandon her? I could, but it feels treasonous.
His wings flittered again as he opened a box filled with old VCR tapes. He rummaged through them, but they were all exercise videos and they didn’t look even close to interesting.
He opened the box behind it.
His wings flared out in shock before flapping like mad.
The box was full of old, broken masks.
“Oh! Oh, this is wonderful! Oh.” He ran his fingers over them. There isn’t enough room in my pocket for all of these.
He sat down and pulled the masks out, one at a time. Most of them were Jay’s every day masks. But there were a few that were red and gold with dulled out rhinestones. There were a couple that were a mottled blue, black, and silver.
Isellta closed his mouth to keep himself from drooling. It’s just so wonderful. I want them all! If I ask him, will he give them to me?
He carefully returned them all to the box and massaged them once more before closing it up.
Isellta moved onto the next stack of boxes.
A whole disordered mess of photographs filled the first box in that stack.
Isellta slowly went through them.
Jay looking straight at the camera, wearing sunglasses. He had a bad sunburn, but a big smile on his face.
Jay in a swimming pool. He was elbow-propping on the edge of the pool. His hair was slicked flat against his head. He smiled flirtatiously at the person taking the picture.
Isellta set that one aside.
Maelin in a bikini. She had her hands on her straight hips. Her expression was a playful pout.
Isellta held on to that one for a few minutes. He looked at her and tried to see her as Jay saw her.
But he just couldn’t.
Maelin painting in a dimly lit room. A floor lamp stood beside her, highlighting the shine in her hair and the dabs of paint on her face and hands. All of her attention was focused on the canvas before her.
And Isellta understood. “It makes sense.” he said softly.
Maelin sleeping in bed. Her long, straight hair spread wide across her pillow. Her bare shoulders peeked above the blankets.
Jay sleeping in bed. His bare arm draped over the blanket. A hint of a bare shoulder and a glimpse at his bare chest. A comfortable, relaxed expression on his face. A slight smile. A secret smile.
Isellta sat back and contemplated that one for a long time. He saw Jay, but his thoughts traveled all the way back to Pinkerlee. Back to Robin.
His chest ached.
I want to look at pictures of Robin. I want to see what he was like before Olessa hurt him. I want to see him happy and relaxed.
I want to see him.
His wings went flat.
He pressed the picture to his chest and closed his eyes.
Robin appeared in his mind.
He looked at Isellta and smiled a smile so big it could have conquered the world. He held out his arms. “Isellta.”
“Robin.” Tears clotted up his long eyelashes.
It isn’t real.
It’s only a wish.
Not even a dream.
He opened his eyes.
The tears fell down.
You will never be parallel lines. You will always be curves and broken lines and dots and dashes that don’t line up into anything sensible. It is who you are. Utterly nonsensical.
I want him.
I want you.
Strange, messed up, confusing, nonsensical you.