Robin laid Missy’s pen across the bridge of his nose and tried to keep it from rolling off.
I wonder how much longer they’re gonna take.
The pen rolled off despite his best balancing efforts.
Missy and Raven reentered the room.
“Oh, good. Now, about the train money—”
“Please wait, Robin. I need to get this down before I forget.”
Robin puffed out a sigh and slouched back in his chair.
Raven reclaimed the pen and went into frenzied drawing mode.
Robin’s curiosity got the better of him. He got up from his seat and walked over to his fellow vampire.
He leaned his hand against the table and watched as a face appeared line-by-fast-moving-line on the paper. “Oh, you’re good.”
“Years of practice, sir.”
“I guess practice does make perfect. Oh! Oh!”
Missy looked up at him.
Robin pointed at the paper. “I know this face. I know him. I know him! He’s…” He snapped his fingers. “Tch. What’s his name? What’s his freakin’ name? Before I was changed into a vampire, I went to this school to work on my diction and projectin’ my voice and all that stage craft stuff and he was there takin’ vocal lessons. He had an ordinary first name and some whacked out there Indian name — like Native American Indian name. It’s…uhhhmm…Jay…Jim…short name. Started with a J. Joey? Jim? Joey-Jim? No. Not Jim. It’s…”
He stared at the picture long and hard. “I know this name.” He glared at Raven. “Any time you wanna chip in with some suggestions, hey. I won’t shoot you down.”
“I’m sorry, sir. The only other J name I can think of is Jeffrey.”
“Stupid! Why didn’t you say so? Stupid stupid stupid STUPID! Jeffrey. No. Not Jeffrey.”
“Joffrey?” offered Missy.
“NO. It’s Jeff. Yeah. Jeff. It’s Jeff…Jeff…It’s a two piece name. Like an Indian two piece name. Like Sitting Bull, but it’s not Sitting Bull. It’s—”
“Two Feather?” asked Raven.
“That ain’t a last name, Missy. You’re just makin’ junk up. Besides, it’s shorter than that. It’s two words. TWO words.”
“Darklight?” asked Raven.
“What? No! Who the heck even has a name like that? Again it’s shorter than…No. Short—”
“ShortRound?” asked Missy.
“BLAST IT, WOMAN! NO! Short. It’s a distance. Short. Near. Long. Far…Far! Far. Far. Farsigh! That’s it. Jeff Farsigh.” Robin tapped the paper. “That’s your man. Jeff Farsigh. Used to be a hunter, if I’m rememberin’ correctly.”
Missy hugged Raven’s arm. “Where does he live?”
“It’s a small rural town just outside of Cincinnati — Happy Valley or somethin’ stupid like that. So, can I have my train money now?”
Raven gave him enough money for a round trip ticket. “Travel safely, sir.”
“Yeah. If you guys wind up goin’ there, be careful. Okay? I don’t wanna have to come and claim your bodies.”
“Have no fears, sir. Missy will be safe with me.”
Robin walked to the train station. He didn’t just have butterflies in his stomach. His entire stomach was a butterfly, flittering all over his abdomen.
I’m gonna see my Isellta again.
I’m gonna actually see him and feel him and hear his voice.
You stupid, fluttery little thing. I’m comin’. Wait for me.
Isellta’s wings flittered. “Do we have to tell anyone we’re going?”
“I’d advise against it.” said Jay. “MarkCaten will find a way to ruin our plans.”
“Will you be in trouble?”
“Isellta. Don’t worry about it. Come on.”
They approached the front door.
“Jay. What if I can’t get through? What if he’s put some sort of bar on me?”
“Then, I’ll go alone and bring Robin to you.”
Isellta flapped his wings.
Jay opened the front door. “Okay. Moment of truth time. Isellta, try to walk through.”
Preyuna walked out of the shadows. “I wouldn’t recommend that.”
Isellta grabbed onto Jay’s arm.
“It’s okay.” Jay gave her a defiant look. “She won’t hurt you.”
She stopped in front of the human. “You think I want him still? After he’s rejected me over and over? I am not nonsensical. I merely wish to warn you that if you try to leave our borders, little fey, you will disintegrate.”
“You’re lying.” said Jay.
“Why do you think I’m still living under that man’s thumb? Because I can’t leave.” She looked down at Isellta. “If you want to try, go ahead. I’ve never seen a grown man grieve before. And Jay will grieve your loss. He will say it is his fault.” Her gaze moved to Jay. “And he would be right. The stupid fool.”
“Jay.” Isellta whispered.
“It’s all right. You stay here.”
He clung tighter to the man’s arm.
“She won’t hurt you. Preyuna. Please. Don’t touch him.”
“Why? He isn’t yours.”
“Nor is he yours. Hands off.”
She smiled. “You’ll be gone, human. There will be no one here to protect your precious Isellta. He will be all on his own. I’ll be able to do whatever I want to him.” She transformed into Robin.
“Everything that I want.” She smiled at Isellta and held out her arms. “Isellta, come to me.”
He let out a happy cry and ran into her embrace. “Robin. Oh, Robin.” His hands moved all over her face. “Robin. I missed you so.”
“Isellta.” said Jay. “Get away from there.”
“But it’s him. It’s him.” He laughed and his wings flapped. “My Robin. Kiss me. Please kiss me.”
“Isellta. It isn’t him.”
She stroked his face. “Isellta. I’m so sorry for making you cry. I promise I’ll never make you cry again.” Her hands moved down his chest. “Starting now, I will make you so happy.” Her hands kept moving downward.
His breathing sped up. “Yes.”
Jay barged in and pushed her away. “Why are you doing this to him? Why? What do you want?”
Isellta took a move towards her.
Jay grabbed his shoulders.
“No! Let me go! It’s him! It’s him!”
“Look at me. Please, Isellta. Look at me. Listen to me. Why would Robin be here in the middle of the night?”
“Because he wants to be with me. Because he loves me.”
“Yes. But he’s a vampire.”
Isellta stopped struggling.
“Vampires need an invitation before they can enter any private residence.”
He looked up at Jay with tears in his eyes. “But it…”
“It’s her. Preyuna.”
“No. It’s…It’s…” He dropped to his knees and looked down at the floor.
Preyuna approached him and curved her fingers along his jawline. “Isellta. Don’t listen to him. Look at me.”
He raised his head. “Robin.” His tears fell. “Is it you? Please be you. Please.”
“Get away from him or I’ll kick you away from him.”
She smiled and threw herself on top of Isellta.
He gasped as his body reacted to her touch. “Robin.” He embraced her and pulled her closer.
“Yes.” she whispered in his ear. “You want me. Undress me. Take me.”
Jay kicked her in the ribs. Over and over.
She rose from Isellta and Robin became Preyuna again.
Isellta whimpered as if he were in pain.
Her eyes turned white.
“Oh, so the queen wants to rumble, huh? Fine. Bring it on.”
“Stupid. Nonsensical. Human.”
“Please! Don’t!” Isellta sat up. “I’ll do whatever you want. Don’t hurt him.”
“Isellta! Go to my room and lock the door.”
He shook his head.
“Your Majesty, I repeat my offer.”
Her eyes turned back to normal. “You will hrrash ka kae with me?”
“No. Isellta, don’t be stupid.”
He bowed his head. “Just don’t hurt him.”
She smiled. “Go back to your former room, Isellta. I’ll meet you there.”
Isellta stood. He threw his arms around Jay. His long fingers dug into the back of Jay’s shirt.
“Don’t do this. Remember what happened last time.”
“Last time was for myself.” Isellta released him. “This time, it’s to protect you.”
“I don’t need your protection.”
“She’ll kill you if I don’t do this.” He bowed to his Queen. “I will see you there.”