Part 787 – Raven Tells Robin A Bedtime (??) Story

Isellta returned to Jay’s room. He climbed into bed, grabbed a pillow, and curled up with it tight in his embrace.

I don’t understand.

What did I do?

What did I do wrong this time?

What…

Why didn’t he say good-bye to me?

What if he’s hurt?

What if…

But.

He didn’t look hurt.

He didn’t even look at me when he left.

Why?

He must be mad at me, but why?

Isellta pressed his face into the pillow.

Maybe.

He dug his fingers into the pillow.

If I can’t make him happy, maybe…

If all I’m going to do is hurt him, maybe it would be best…

It would be best.

For who?

Him?

Me?

Him.

My dear confusing Robin.

I love him.

I want to fly home to him.

I want to finally kiss him.

I want him to kiss me.

I want to hear him say, “I love you.”

But.

I can’t do anything right.

I’ll say the wrong thing.

I’ll do the wrong thing.

I’ll be…so very wrong.

He’ll stop loving me and he’ll hate me.

He’ll slap me and tell me he doesn’t want me.

He doesn’t need me.

He doesn’t love me.

So, I’ll do the right thing this time.

I’ll let him go.

Just the thought of letting him go made his chest hurt. He curled his knees up towards the pillow.

He fell asleep.

He moaned softly in his sleep and in his dreams.

***

Raven stayed with Robin as the hurt and pain and grief surged through the younger man. He wanted to offer him false words of comfort just to say something to make him feel better.

“Have you ever been in love before, sir?”

Robin shook his head.

“I see.” Well. That certainly explains a lot. “I was in love with a woman I could never have. I was her family’s butler. She was their eldest daughter.”

His expression softened as he saw her face in his mind. “And she was lovely. We grew up together. We were friends until we were no longer children. Then, she had her responsibilities to attend to as the eldest daughter. I had my responsibilities as their butler.”

He paused as he remembered them. “I loved being their butler. I loved that family. They were good people. They were my home. My entire life. I would never have done anything to hurt them or to endanger their reputation.”

Raven heard her voice in his mind. The memory of her touch lingered inside his skin. “Their eldest daughter loved me. I loved her.Β  She was my temptress, my siren, my dreams in the night. She wanted me to love her as she loved me, but I could not. I kept pushing her away. I rejected all of her advances.”

Robin sat up and rubbed his nose into his coat sleeve.

Raven winced at the sight of the snot trails.

“Why?”

“Because I couldn’t break free of my position.”

“You could have just quit.”

“Things were not so simple back then. If I had quit my position to pursue their eldest daughter, it would have created scandal. People would have talked about May Rose and I. They would have spoken against the Farlington family. I could not let that happen.”

“So, what’d you do?”

“I let her go.”

Robin frowned. “Is this story really supposed to make me feel better?” He rubbed his nose in the other coat sleeve.

“Oh for goodness’ sakes!”

“What?”

Raven stood and walked over to the nightstand. He pulled out a whole handful of tissues from the tissue box and handed the wad to Robin.

“What’s that for?”

“Coat sleeves are not meant to be abused that way. If you must rub your nose, use these.”

“Prissy little mama.” Robin took the wad from him and blew his nose into the whole lot.

Raven opened his mouth to complain, but he decided not to bother. He picked up the box of tissues and placed them next to Robin. “And yes, sir. That story was meant to make you feel better.”

“Well, that’s just stupid. You wanna make me feel better, you should tell me a ‘I met this girl. We fell in love. Happily ever after junk ensued.’ Jeez!”

He thought of Missy and smiled. “I’ll tell you that story some other night.”

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