Missy ran back into the kitchen and huddled up under the table. She felt as if her head had just been torn in half: the memory of Jeff Farsigh rattled around one half. What she had just seen tumbled inside the other.
She wanted to focus on Jeff Farsigh and all of his mysteries, but she kept seeing Raven all snuggled up with Robin. “Did I miss something or were they just about to get into it? If I had come into the room just a few minutes later, would I have caught them tearing each other’s clothes off and—”
The kitchen door opened. “Missy?”
She clammed up.
He entered the kitchen, stopped, walked over to the table, and peeked under it. The longer side of his hair hung away from his face.
“Darn it he’s so pretty.” she whispered.
“Come on out.”
She shook her head.
Raven crawled underneath the table. “What is the matter?”
“You.” She frowned. “Always telling me no. But you told Robin yes.”
“You slept with him.”
“Ohhh.” He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. “It is not like that, Missy.”
“I saw you.”
He lowered his hands and sighed. “I did nothing other than sleep. If he did anything inappropriate, it was most certainly not due to any prompting on my part.”
“Maybe but you liked having him hold you like that and and he liked it too. He liked it a lot. I could tell. He moaned.”
“Missy.” He crept closer to her.
She looked away from him. “You’ll never let me hold you like that.”
“There are reasons why. I don’t…” He paused. “I hardly know how to say this.”
“Don’t. I know your reasons why. It’s all proper and propriety and morals and so on.”
“Missy. These things are important.”
She looked at him.
“They are important to me. I don’t want to throw my beliefs away. I want to hold on to what I believe is good and right and wrong. I know. I am a vampire. I could use that as an excuse to live however I want, to be as promiscuous as I want, to live a wild and profane life. But that is not the life I wish to lead.”
“Robin was in your bed. He was holding you super tight like you two were lovers.”
“Robin came into my bed because he was feeling lonely. I’m certain he was missing Isellta. Nothing happened. I did nothing to him. He did nothing to me. We did nothing but sleep. If he had tried to make any untoward advances, I would have pushed him off the cot and thrown him out of the room.”
“You liked it. You smiled.”
He smiled and shook his head. “I had caught a whiff of your scent. I had heard your voice. Do you have any idea how much I love hearing your voice?” He rubbed his thumb across her throat. “When you were in The Institute, I missed—” He chuckled. “—hearing your endless run-on sentences. I missed the sound of your voice. Its tone. Its cadences. Its light.”
She bowed her head. “I can feel myself weakening. If I look at him too long, I’ll just throw myself into his arms.”
He kissed her forehead and whispered against her skin, “But that is what you want. Am I wrong?”
She splayed her hands on the floor. “You talk about wanting to be good and moral and then you go and talk like that and make me feel like this.” She glanced up at him. “That is a very confused message you’re preaching.”
“Welcome to my life.” His dark red eyes glazed over.
His shoulders fell into a slump.
Missy caught him as he crumpled. She laid his head in her lap.
“shh.” She stroked his fine, silky hair. “Sleep.”
“mnghh…” He closed his eyes.
She smiled. “It isn’t fair. You make it too easy to forgive you.”
His mouth twitched in a slight smile.
“Sleep, my pretty shirtless Raven.”