Isellta dreamed of straight lines sliced through the top layer of ice. Lines created by a pair of skaters: Robin and himself.
Isellta tried hard to maintain the integrity and clarity of his line.
But Robin didn’t care for that. He skated in spirals and figure eights, leaving a tangled mess of lines in his wake.
“Your lines don’t make any sense.”
Robin grinned. “I know.” He skated over to the fey. He grabbed his hands and kissed them. “Let’s make no sense together.”
Isellta flapped his wings.
Robin put one hand on the fey’s waist.
Isellta put one hand on the vampire’s shoulder.
Their free hands held onto one another.
Robin kissed his forehead. “Let’s dance.”
They danced across the ice. It was so much easier than walking and as breathtaking as flying.
Isellta smiled at his partner. Only to discover that his partner was now Preyuna.
She smiled back at him with white, glowing eyes. “You will do it right this time.”
He shook his head and tried to escape.
She skated faster and faster until everything disappeared into a white blur. Even then, she held on to him.
“Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO!”
She released him.
Isellta careened out of control and fell on his hands and knees. He looked down at the ice.
A creature of darkness and claws and fangs lurked under the single pane. Its claws crashed through and latched into his shoulders and pulled him down.
“No. No! Leave me alone.”
The ice crunched and cracked and collapsed.
Isellta fell into darkness’ eager, starved mouth.
His back muscles spasmed, causing his feathers to bristle out and rustle.
The monsters aren’t here.
I’m safe in here.
They can’t touch me in here. They don’t know I’m in here. They can’t find me in here. They won’t find me in here.
A memory surfaced.
And how she had touched him.
His back muscles transitioned from spasm to full convulsions.
How she had tried to grapple and yank some reaction out of him.
He whimpered and dug his fingers deep into his pillow.
Even after it started to hurt, she had kept trying.
His whimpers broke down into small, hurt cries as the convulsions worsened.
She had tried everything. Even magic.
He felt the bed dip under Jay’s weight. “Isellta. Hey. Look up here.”
Isellta reluctantly obeyed.
Jay sat with his hands in his lap. “How do you want me to comfort you? If you don’t want me to touch you, I won’t touch you. Tell me what you want me to do. I’ll do it. I hate seeing you so upset.”
Isellta crawled over to him and laid his hands on Jay’s leg. He bowed his head. “Just hold me.”
Jay held out his arms.
Isellta crept into his lap and hugged him.
“It’s okay, kid.”
Isellta cried into the man’s shirt.
“shh.” Jay hugged him. “You’re safe. You’re safe.”
Jay looked down at the fey sleeping in his arms.
His wings had resigned themselves into a random, sporadic spasm.
He stroked Isellta’s hair and marveled at its softness. “As soft as feather-down. I wonder what it would look like under a microscope. Would it look like hair?”
Isellta whimpered in his sleep.
Jay held him a little closer.
Isellta calmed down.
His body went limp in Jay’s arms.
“You poor kid.” He leaned his face against Isellta’s head.
Someone knocked on the bedroom door.
“Just a minute.” He tried to extricate himself from the fey’s grip.
Isellta startled and went into full hyperventilation mode.
He grabbed onto the back of Jay’s shirt and held on for dear life.
“Hey! It’s all right. You’re safe.” He petted him in a straight line from his neck down his spine, being careful to avoid the more sensitive parts of his wings. “I just want to see who’s at the door. I’m not gonna leave you. Okay?”
Isellta opened his eyes and looked up at him.
Isellta released his shirt and retreated to his security pillow. He curled up with it and hugged it tight.
Jay’s heart hurt for him. I wonder if it’s possible to adopt a fey. I’ve never heard of such a thing and I can see why. Isellta’s the exception to all of the fey stereotypes.
Another knock on the door.
“I promise I’ll be right back.” He got out of bed and headed towards the door.
He opened the door.
He stopped breathing.
Maelin stood on the other side.