Antioch sighed as he felt Raven’s command pulling at him again.
He rose from his seat.
Capernaum looked up from his paperwork. “You’re leaving already?”
“Yes. My lord wanted me to hurry back and I’ve tarried too long. If I don’t leave now, he’ll call me and I’ll have to run to him. I’d rather spare myself that humiliation.”
He shook Capernaum’s hand. “Thank you again for taking care of that small bit of business.”
“I’ll be back later to work on the new XQ.”
“Try not to take too long. Night time doesn’t last all day.”
As soon as his feet touched the pavement outside the Funorium, Antioch could feel the tug of Raven’s command. It was like being jerked with a very short leash.
And on a very tight collar.
Antioch clenched his teeth and ran.
Antioch snarled, but he obeyed.
He ran all the way back to Raven’s house.
Robin pulled off his shirt as soon as he entered the house. He marched into the living room.
Raven and Missy were sitting next to each other on the couch, having a nice, quiet conversation.
Robin threw his shirt at them. It missed them completely and landed on the cocktail table. “Hey!”
They stopped and looked at him.
Missy especially looked at him.
“I’m gonna take a shower. Either of you yahoos interrupt me, I’m gonna throw soap bottles and other junk at you.” Having made his announcement, Robin left the room and headed upstairs.
He did a full strip and got into the shower.
He messed around with the faucet until the water was just cold enough.
He sighed and leaned his head back.
The water tapped against his closed eyelids.
mmm. feels good.
The cold water numbed his thoughts and calmed him down.
He scrubbed shampoo in his hair. It was supposed to smell like juniper berries and blueberries.
It didn’t smell like either.
Robin wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Darnation! Smells like a freakin’ flea collar. What the heck? What depraved brain came up with that combo? A werewolf?”
He quickly rinsed it out, but the scent lingered.
Isellta ain’t got a scent.
I wish he did.
I wish I could catch a whiff of something and be all “Oh, wow! That smells just like that stupid little fey.”
He rubbed the water off his face.
But I’m gonna see him.
My soft, sweet Isellta.
I’m gonna see him in just a little over an eternity.
Seven days and countin’ down.
He took a breath and sang.
“Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain.
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will…”
His voice died as quick snapshots of Isellta flashed in his mind.
His light blond hair.
The simple curiosity in his eyes.
The lovely shape of his face.
The innocence of his smile.
Robin’s knees trembled.
Isellta stroked Robin’s hair over and over, avoiding the open wound on his forehead. “It’s all right. Shhh. I’m here.”
Robin went down on his knees, because he just couldn’t stand anymore.
His fingers were long and slender like a woman’s fingers. They moved soft and gentle and reassuring. They were cool against his burning skin.
Robin doubled over and spread his hands on the floor of the bathtub. The cold water rained down on his back and rippled around his wrists.
“I ain’t damaged. You hear me? I ain’t damaged. I can still hunt. I can still feed. I can stand on my own. I’m fine. I’m fine. You rotten little…Get out of here! Leave me alone!”
He snarled and slapped him hard across his face.
I’m sorry, Isellta.
I’m so sorry.