Robin paced around the house.
It wasn’t until he was down in the basement that he realized what he was subconsciously doing.
I’m an idiot.
Isellta isn’t here.
I know he isn’t here.
So, why the heck am I millin’ about looking for him?
He returned to the stairs and sat down.
He propped his arms on his legs and bowed his head.
He closed his eyes and saw Isellta smiling.
His chest hurt as Isellta’s smile separated and cruel, crude words came out.
Isellta flapped his wings as he insulted Robin in every possible way.
I didn’t mean anything to him.
I never did.
He stomped his foot on the cement floor.
“HOW IS THAT FREAKING POSSIBLE?” How could he have fooled me so completely? How could…How could…How…ARRRRAAAH!”
The basement door opened. “Robin?”
“leave me alone.” He hunched up his body.
Raven came down the stairs and stopped in front of him. “Robin?” He crouched and laid his hands on the other vampire’s knees. “Are you ill, sir?”
“Just leave me the freakin’ heck alone. I just want to be alone. I don’t want to…I don’t…I…”
Raven sat beside him and pulled him into a hug.
Robin tried to resist it, but he didn’t try all that hard. He closed his eyes and pretended that Isellta was holding him. He could almost feel the air gusts from the fey’s flapping wings.
That failed to make him feel any better.
He felt like someone was stabbing him in the gut over and over.
He cried harder.
“Come, sir. Let’s get you back to bed.”
Robin rolled over on his side and bunched his knees up. His crying had diminished to distracted sniffling.
Raven covered him up and smoothed down the blanket. “May I ask, sir, why you were so upset?”
Robin gulped down a sob. “Usual reason. Isellta.”
“Do you wish to speak of it, sir?”
“I just want to sleep.”
“Very good, sir. If you need me, please refrain from screaming. It is far from the best way to be awoken from a sound sleep, sir.”
“Fine. I’ll…Just go.”
“Very good, sir.”
Raven stopped in the living room.
Missy sat Indian-style on the couch with her chin propped in between her hands. She watched a cooking competition with deep interest.
He smiled and sat beside her.
He side-glanced at her, taking in all of her details.
Her hair was pulled back into a bushy ponytail.
A plain crystal heart pendant necklace hung around her neck.
She wore a bright pink V-neck with the word “LOVE” scrawled across it in red script. Hello Kitty clamdiggers covered her lower half.
And, other than a gold ankle bracelet, she was barefoot.
The show switched to a commercial.
Missy sat back and smiled at him. “Don’t I look good in this getup?”
He startled and redirected his attention to the tv. “It certainly is better than you wearing hospital clothes.”
“Nope. That isn’t acceptable.”
She rose from her seat and stepped in front of the Rolaids commercial. “You are supposed to agree. Or call me cute or bodacious—”
His mouth dropped open.
“—or hotter than hell. Mmm. I’d love it if you called me that. Just the thought of you saying those words makes me feel all light and feathery inside. Mm. It’s too bad you can’t see my underwear, though.”
His face turned red. “I’d rather not, thank you.”
“Hm? But they’re so cute! They’re white with cute little—-”
He covered his ears with his hands. “I am not listening.”
“Huh? Why not? Oh. This must be related to that stuff Barbara was talking to me about. Oops.” She sat down in his lap. “So? Have you thought about it?”
“About marrying me, of course.”
She made a face and moved onto the seat next to him.
“Thank you. I haven’t had a chance to think about it. I…tired…need to go to bed.”
“I’ll carry you.”
“no…I just…” He sighed. “foolheaded Robin…waking me up and…and…” He wilted.
Raven was only vaguely aware of Missy catching him and lying him down on the couch before darkness fell.
And sleep overcame him.