Isellta dreamed of straight lines.
Bold, black, unmistakably straight lines.
They were a sight to behold and they gladdened his heart.
Two of the lines thinned and paled into pencil gray. They twisted and stretched and curved into two separate pencil sketches.
Queen Preyuna. Her hair wasn’t colored in, but there was no missing that regal bearing.
Robin. His scar was a simple, thin line. Not even a trace of what it really looked like. But it was him.
It was Robin, albeit Robin with fey wings.
He walked up to Preyuna – his lines flickered as if he were an animation demo. He held out his unfilled hand to her.
Her mouth stretched into a smug line.
And she danced.
Her uncolored hair flared around her like streamers.
His shaded gray eyes widened in delight.
Robin joined her dance. He moved steadily closer to her until his wings were rubbing up against her wings. Their trec lun bones bumped against each other in just the right way, throwing Robin into ecstasy.
Ecstasy that Isellta had not felt for her.
But Robin felt it. He cried out in joy.
Isellta whimpered soft broken notes.
“Robin. Robin. Robin.”
He tightened his grip on Jay and opened his eyes.
Jay was still in his arms, but they had both toppled over on the bed.
Jay’s chest rose and fell. Strong. Relaxed. Calming.
Isellta laid his head on the man’s chest.
This is nice.
His hands relaxed and spread out on the man’s back.
I don’t want to move.
I don’t want to face anyone out there.
I just want to stay like this.
I’m safe in his arms.
Nothing can hurt me here.
Jay took a deep breath and sighed.
He pushed Isellta closer.
He draped his leg over Isellta’s legs.
Isellta startled at the sensation that one move caused. He released him and escaped his embrace. He sat on the edge of the bed, bewildered and a little frightened.
What’s wrong with me?
Why am I like this?
Why am I this way?
Jay sat up. “Hey. You all right?”
Isellta considered the question and shook his head.
“Wha? What is it?”
“There’s something wrong with me.” He scoffed. “There has always been something wrong with me…I guess. But I keep getting worse. I make less and less sense. I don’t make any sense.”
Jay moved over to Isellta and sat beside him.
“And I don’t know why. I should be thrilled to hrrash ka kae with Queen Preyuna. It is an honor. She wants to do it to help me, to protect me. But I can’t.” He twisted his fingers. “No matter what she does, no matter how hard she pushes, I just can’t. I… physically can’t. I…”
Jay laid his hand on Isellta’s anxious fingers. They calmed into stillness.
“Then, there’s you.”
“Yes. You have been so kind and caring to me. You’ve helped me. You’ve comforted me. You’ve protected me. You’ve done so many little things for me. For no reason. You haven’t demanded anything of me. You haven’t hurt me. I should love you. I should be in love with you. But I’m not.”
Isellta looked down at Jay’s hand. “I love Robin, someone who has not been kind to me, who borderline hates me, who hasn’t said fifteen kind things to me. But when I see his face, I just…I want to run to him. I want him to tell me that I’m good, that I’m something good, that I’m…” His wings flattened against his back. “…that I do make sense. My thoughts, my feelings…that…”
Jay put his arm around Isellta’s shoulders.
His wings flittered. “Why do I feel this way?”
“Tell me about him.”
Isellta blinked in confusion. “But I just did.”
“No. I mean, tell me how you two met. Was it a grand and magical moment?”
Isellta smiled. “No. It was very ordinary. No. That isn’t true either. He was chasing me.”