Deliosa flew hard and fast, rejoicing in the beauty of the brand new day and reveling in the power of her flight. Joy filled her chest – a wild, untamable joy that needed voice. She opened her mouth wide and trumpeted.
Sammy responded with his own call.
Her joy increased.
It had been a bold move on her part – taking that first uncertain step.
And he had taken that step with her.
And the next step and the next one.
Heated breath against skin.
Forms becoming dragon.
She hovered and waited for him to catch up to her.
It didn’t take long.
She admired how his midnight blue body looked in the beginnings of daylight.
How his head crest caught the rising sun.
And she couldn’t resist.
She charged at Sammy and whooshed past him at the last minute. The tips of their wings just clipped each other. She soared in a wide circle.
Then, just for the fun of it, she folded her wings to her sides and did a free fall.
Storm clouds billowed – thick, black, and dangerous – as Sammy flew after her.
He didn’t think.
He just focused on her.
He focused on catching up to her.
His wings beat fast and powerful.
He stretched his clawed hands at her.
The ground was rapidly approaching.
Lightning cracked the clouds.
In one, quick, rolling maneuver, Deliosa righted herself, extended her wings, and became skye once more.
Rain fell in dense, heavy drops as he swooped back up to her.
She hovered amid thunder and lightning.
Why did you do that? I thought you were hurt or dying.
Her clear amber eyes were untroubled as she replied, I did it for the pure adrenaline rush.
The thunder and lightning died off, but the rain kept falling.
He pulled his head back. Then. Is that why…you and me…?
No. That was something different. It was special. Real. I am not playing games with you, Samer.
He exhaled puffs of steam through his nostrils.
Kittens and puppies romping in a grassy meadow. Fat, fluffy marshmallows floating in hot chocolate. Butterflies and rainbows. Tourmalines. Rubies. Diamonds. Sapphires.
She pressed her head against his throat. I will never play those kind of games, Samer.
He closed his eyes. Say my name one more time.
She rubbed his throat. Samer. SAMER. samer.
Just call me Lee.
The rain softened into rainbow-tinted mist.
Lee. Lee. Lee.
Hank smiled as Dave licked the outer rim of his ear “mmm.”
“Hank? You awake?”
“mm. mornin’, babe.”
“It isn’t a good morning until you open your eyes.”
Hank’s smile grew. “that so?”
“Even then, it isn’t a good morning until you’ve kissed me.”
Hank opened his eyes. “And then?”
Dave caressed his lover’s side all the way to the crescent moon-shaped scar on his hip. “It still isn’t a good morning.”
“What would make it good? Mm?”
“You, Hank.” He hugged him and kissed him like crazy. “Just. You.”
Hank laughed and reveled in his lover’s mad crazy affection. “I’m so glad I have you in my life. I love you. I love you, babe.”
Isellta opened his eyes.
I guess it’s a natural result of that argument.
I yelled at him.
I hit him with my fists.
I hurt him.
I made him cry.
Isellta’s heart sank.
I made Robin cry.
I can’t do anything right.
Isellta stood shirtless before his mother’s full length mirror.
He flared out his wings.
I can do it.
I’ll make her so happy. She’ll be proud of me.
Momma will finally be proud of me.
He flapped his wings and folded them against his back.
I can do this!
He tried to pull his wings into his back.
He clenched his teeth and tried.
The muscles in his back hurt from the strain, but he kept trying.
His mother appeared behind him. “After sixteen years, you still can’t perform such a simple and basic action.”
“I’m trying, momma.”
She scoffed. “It doesn’t matter how hard you try. You’ll never be able to do it. Not at this point.”
“If I could, would I matter to you?”
She gave him a cold look of disgust. “You will never matter to me. You’re nothing. Just a waste of space.”
Nothing has changed.
I am still nothing but a waste of space.
I will never be anything worthwhile.
I will never be or do anything good.
So. Why does Robin want me to stay?
It doesn’t make sense.
Something is wrong.
Isellta smiled as he traced the line of Robin’s sternum.
Robin always was nonsensical.
Maybe this is just one more proof of that.
Isellta hugged him.
But something is wrong.