Part 1313 – A Temporary Sidetrack Back To Mark Caten And His Associates

“Olessa…Oles…no. No!” Mark Caten cried in his sleep as Preyuna healed up the last bit of bruising on her calf.

The muscles stopped spasming.

She felt whole again.

But I am not whole.

I am shards.

I am shatters.

I am damaged so deeply nothing can heal me.

Because of him.

Mark Caten.

I will not be whole until he is broken and dead.

She got out of bed and studied her reflection on his mirrored wall.

Bare.

Naked.

Clear of any and all bruises.

But she could still feel his hands on her.

Grabbing.

Twisting.

Hurting.

Pulling.

Punching.

Relentless.

Merciless.

Heartless.

Does Isellta see me like this?

Does he hate me the same way I hate Caten?

No. The stupid boy doesn’t even know how to hate me.

He fears me. Yet, he wants me to love him.

I can’t.

I can’t love him…and he will never want me.

Preyuna returned to the bed and sat on the edge.

Isellta will never desire my touch.

He will never desire me.

Maybe I should give up on him. Let him run off with that dirty, ugly vampire.

She raised her head and glared at the reflection of her sitting on his bed.

No. I will not be jilted and disregarded by one of my own. Certainly not for someone like Robin.

It’s disgusting.

It’s insulting.

I will NOT be insulted.

“nnghmmm.” Mark Caten rolled onto his side. “Look at my little tea cupcake all healed up.”

She stiffened her posture. “Are you done?”

“That’s up to you. Heal me. Take away all of the hurt and—”

“I can’t.”

He smirked. “Oh, goody! Looks like I get to have more fun with you.” He scooted over to her and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Aren’t you just thrilled?”

“No.”

“Aww, that’s too bad. I’m plenty thrilled.”

“Mark. If you would only listen to me.”

“Now, why the heck would I want to do that? Hm? See, my sugar-free potato-floured cupcake, this is the thing: You aren’t even trying.” He dug his fingers into her skin. “Try.”

“There’s no sense in trying when I know it will not work!”

“I don’t really care. Try!” He nuzzled her neck. “Or I will find a way to make you bleed.”

Her posture weakened. “Fine. It will be a waste of time, but I’ll try.”

“Aww, who’s a good wittle cupcake?” He kissed the side of her neck.

She had an avid fantasy of elbowing his nose into the back of his skull.

“You are. Just don’t fail me.”

***

Jay buttoned the back of Isellta’s shirt. “There. Now, don’t you feel better?”

He smoothed Isellta’s bangs off to the side.

Isellta didn’t react.

Jay sat beside him.

“This room is so quiet. Can you hear how quiet it is? It’s like this room is holding its breath — just sucking it all in and forgetting to exhale.”

He smiled sadly. “You would say that doesn’t make sense. I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I’m saying too much to fill that void. Maybe. Maybe I’m just trying too hard to pull you back. Isellta. Kid. I want you to come back. I miss you.”

Jay hesitated.

Preyuna is right. This is ridiculous.

The odds of this working are like…whatever counts as really bad odds.

But…

He leaned forward, gently tilted Isellta’s face upward, and kissed him.

***

Isellta woke to tears running down his face and a mad desire to sob all clumped up inside his chest.

I’m…I’m crying?

He wiped them away.

Why am I crying? I have what I want. My Robin all curled up in my arms. Why would that make me sad? I don’t understand.

Why do I feel so upset?

What am I missing?

Missing….

I’m missing….

Robin’s hands moved up and down Isellta’s back, soothing him.

Calming him.

Sending him back to sleep.

***

Dave sat at the kitchen table.

It was late.

He was tired.

But his bedroom was empty without Hank.

He sighed and opened Preyuna’s secret carton of frozen yogurt.

I hope Hank is safe.

I hope he doesn’t run into some super hot vampire and agree to become his blood letter/love slave.

Dave skimmed his spoon along the smooth, previously untouched top.

I don’t think he would agree to it.

He put the spoonful into his mouth.

But what if the vampire is super cute like Doll Face?

He sucked the frozen yogurt off the spoon.

What if the vampire is a lot cuter than me?

What if the vampire is more sensible than me? He would like that, I think.

I hope he’s safe.

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