Robin walked next to Antioch.
Neither man said a word.
Robin scoffed. Yeah. He wanted to talk to me. Sure he did.
“Is your mother still alive?”
“What you care?”
“I don’t. I’m just asking.”
“Yeah. She’s alive.”
“How is she doing?”
Robin gave him a skeptical look. “Why? You plannin’ to kill her or somethin’?”
Antioch sighed. “Why are you being so difficult?”
“Because I don’t trust you.”
Antioch side-glanced at him. “And yet here you are walking with me.”
“That’s because…Actually, my reasons ain’t none of your business. I got stuff I wanna check out at The Institute. That’s my only reason for comin’ with you.”
Antioch gave him a long look. “Is this about that fey boy?”
Robin’s hands curled into fists.
“Are you in love with him?”
His fists tightened.
“None of your beeswax.”
“It seems like a waste of time to me.”
Antioch reluctantly stopped. “He’s fey. Fey are loveless creatures.”
“What do you know?” Robin’s voice was almost a growl. “And what is this anyway? A father/son talk? As if you’re even qualified to do that.”
Antioch sighed and resumed walking.
“Yeah. You go on without me. That’s what you’ve done all my life. Why do anythin’ different?”
Antioch stopped again. “What do you want? What do you really want from me?”
“Nothin’. I’m fine on my own. I don’t need you.”
Antioch stood there, lost in his thoughts.
Robin stormed ahead, deliberately pushing past him.
Antioch grabbed his arm.
“Let me go!”
Robin tried to jerk and pull his arm to freedom.
Antioch snarled at him. “I said, STOP.”
“Why? What do you want?”
“I want to talk to you.”
“Wantin’ and doin’ ain’t the same thing.”
“That’s true.” He released Robin. “I know I hurt you. I hurt your mother.”
“If you’re hopin’ for a big Hallmark Special hug and kiss fest—”
“NO! I’m hoping that you will just stop and listen to me and talk to me.”
Robin folded his arms across his chest.
“I can’t change what I did to you and to her. It’s a set moment in the past. Unchangeable. But you and I…We are in the present. We are in the now. We can change. I can change.”
I can stop pushin’ people away. Startin’ with him. Though he sure don’t deserve it. “So, what? What do you want me to do?”
“Talk to me. Tell me what you want.”
What I want.
He thought about Isellta and his body ached. “I just wanna get inside and check somethin’ on the monitors.” He shifted his weight from foot to foot. “Yeah. I’m in love with ‘that fey boy’. Don’t matter to me if you approve or not. I just need to see him again. Can you get me inside?”
Antioch smiled. “Of course.”
The Institute was empty.
All of the employees had already gone home for the day.
Robin walked beside Antioch. His broken claws – slightly extended.
“What do you intend to do after you see him?”
Robin shrugged. “Ain’t thought that far ahead yet. Too scared to.”
“Well. You know where the control room is. Have at it. I must run an errand for your red-eyed friend.”
“Wha? You’re runnin’ errands for Raven? How’d that happen?”
“He’s my lord.”
“I bet he got all pushy at you again.”
Antioch’s mouth went into an irritable line. “I’ll talk to you about it later. He wanted me to hurry.”
Robin nodded and ran to the control room.
What if I do see him?
What if he’s with that fey witch again?
What if I catch them in the act again?
What if I can’t find him?
What if he’s run off with that fey witch to Happy Fey Land?
He burst into the room.
A security guard turned in his chair. “Excuse me. I don’t think you—-”
Robin bared his fangs and roared at him.
“Oh. You’re a vampire. Well. That’s different. Uhhh, bye.” The guard fled.
Robin took over his seat and scanned the monitors.
Come on, ‘sellta. Be there. Let me see you.
Let me see you.