“I give up!” Preyuna lowered her hands.
Mark Caten glared at her.
“I can’t do—-”
He backhanded her face. “I am tired, cupcake. Tired of singing the same song over and—-”
“Then, learn a new song.”
He grabbed her throat. “You don’t understand. You don’t know what it’s like to have a child that you love, that you would do anything for. You don’t know what it’s like to see that child UTTERLY DESTROYED! To see the pain and shock frozen on her face. To have that face haunt your dreams. To have no one willing to step forward to exact your revenge.”
“Here’s a thought: You want revenge? Do it yourself.”
“Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, that’s priceless coming from you. How many people have you recruited so far to kill me off? Hmmm? How many, my lumpy battered cupcake?”
“I would gladly do it myself, but you know why I can’t.”
“Hmm. Hmm. Hmm-hahahahahaha! Oh, that would be the sweetest revenge of all time. You kill me and you can’t leave. You’d never be able to return to your elf and leprechaun factory in your gay little rainbow village in Yokelstown, Indiana. Now, how about you stop messing around and get serious? Get that memory out of my head. Help me forget.”
“I don’t have that ability.”
“Yes, you do. I know you do.” He squeezed her throat. “You just want to make me suffer.”
“You stupid nonsensical crooked line—”
He squeezed tighter.
“How about now? Hmm?”
“Can. You can. You know you can.”
She clawed at his hand. “Pl…ea…se…”
“Heal me, Preyuna. Make me whole again.”
“Say yes and I’ll let you breathe.”
“uhh. uh. uh.”
“Come on, you sizzling little cupcake. Say.” He squeezed a little tighter.
“Yes. Say. Yes.”
Her mouth opened wide as she struggled for breath.
“It’s just one small, simple word. Yes. Yes.” He smiled. “Yes.”
Crystalized black and red spots danced before her eyes. “y…y…y..es…”
He released her.
Preyuna dropped to her hands and knees. She rubbed her throat as she regained her breath.
The spots faded away – one at a time. Her eyesight came back into focus.
“So? What are you waiting for? Heal me, Preyuna.”
She looked up at him. “I hate you. I hope you die. I hope someone tears you apart. I hope you die, screaming and writhing. I hope you suffer. I hope your death is a long, drawn out misery.”
“Oh, you do say the sweetest things. But really. This isn’t the time for sugary sweet love talk. Come up here. Heal my mind.”
“Take that memory away.”
Preyuna almost smiled as she found her escape route. “And what happens then? You forget that pain and grief. You forget the ugliness of her loss and what happens? The man who did this to her gets away. He gets to live his life with the one he loves. He gets to have children that he treasures. Who wins, Mark?” She tilted her head. “You?”
He sat down on his bed.
“Not you. You lose.”
He shot a glare at her.
“And your daughter’s murderer wins. No.” She scoffed. “Wins is too mild a word. He triumphs over you.”
“Get out of here. Leave me alone.”
She curtsied. “As you wish.”
Preyuna left the room with a satisfied smirk on her face.
Score one win for me.
Preyuna returned to her room.
She sat on her bed.
She thought about Isellta.
How he cringed at the possibility of hrrash ka kaeing with her.
His inability to please her.
She thought about Nayla.
Her wings emerged from her back and flapped.
My lovely Nayla.
She woke up to Nayla kissing her face. “Good morning.”
He smiled. “Good morning.” His gray-blue hair was fluffed up into happy disarray and he looked wonderful.
If I were human, this would be the moment I’d say “I love you” to him. But we are not human. No matter how we may appear. “My Nayla. My lovely Nayla.”
I wish you were here.