Raven slept soundly.
He dreamed of darkness.
He dreamed of light.
He dreamed of winter.
He dreamed of summer.
A scent penetrated his dreams.
Mulberries and vanilla.
His pupils widened as far as they could go without spraining a muscle.
May Rose Farlington stood beside the couch. A warm candlelit glow surrounded her.
“This is a dream?”
“Please tell me, Miss Farlington. Is this a dream?”
She smiled and held out her hands. “James Arden.”
He sat up and reached for her hands.
The front door opened and banged shut.
And May Rose Farlington was gone.
His hands retreated.
The room seemed so much darker.
Until Missy came in, all aglow with flames.
Raven startled so hard he fell off the couch. “What?” There was a lot more to that question, but that was the only word he could get out.
She walked towards him. Sparks shot off her body, fading quickly into black ashes as they fell to the carpet.
He climbed up on the couch and sat with his feet tucked under him as if he were ready to jump and run at the first given reason. “I don’t understand.”
“I don’t get it either. I thought he fixed me.” Her flames grew brighter. “Antioch said that he fixed me.” Her flames grew hotter. “I believed him.”
“I believed him!”
“Missy. Look at me. Look at me. I’m here.”
Her flames jumped higher as if they were trying to grab the ceiling.
Raven stepped off the couch and carefully removed his gloves. “Missy. I know you’re upset.” He folded his gloves and put them into his suit jacket pockets. “I understand. Yet, you need to calm down.”
“HE LIED TO ME!”
Her flames leapt away from her body and landed on the couch.
“Missy. Stop it. Look at me. I’m here. Come to me.”
Her flames, including the flames on the couch, siphoned back into her body. She curled up on the floor underneath the armrest. “He lied to me Antioch lied to me I thought I could trust him I thought I thought I thought I I I I I…”
Raven came to her and crouched beside her. “Missy.” He held out his arms.
She threw herself into his arms, knocking him off balance and flat on his back.
He huffed. “Missy. I am not—”
She kissed him.
He closed his eyes and returned the kiss.
That one kiss led to another and another and another kiss.
His hands moved on seeming automatic, stroking her face, running through her hair, gliding down her back to her waist. Until he came back to his senses. “Missy. I. I can’t. Please. Please get off me. Please.”
She frowned, but obeyed.
He sat up, woozy and breathless.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’m…” May Rose Farlington appeared in his mind. He stood. “I’m sorry. I just can’t. I’m tired. I need my sleep. I…” He looked down at her.
She looked up at him.
His day tired mind imagined May Rose Farlington in the same position. He imagined May Rose knocking him on his back and kissing him.
And his body introduced him to a whole new level of discomfort.
He turned away from her. “I’m going to bed.”
Raven left the room with all of the haste his tired body could allow.
Robin woke from a bad dream. He looked over at Raven, but the other vampire wasn’t there.
And Missy was missing in action too.
Missy climbed over the armrest and curled up in a huddle on the couch.
Oh. She was on the floor. What?
Missy gave him a mournful look.
“What did I miss?”