Jay finished his phone call with Maelin and turned his attention to his drink.
What should I do?
Stay here and wait?
He took a long sip of his ginger ale.
That’s too passive.
Jay set his glass on the bar counter.
It isn’t enough. I need to find him. Forget dealing with middle men. I need to find Robin.
I won’t do that by just sitting on my bum, hoping that he’ll come to me.
That isn’t enough.
It won’t help Isellta.
I must find him.
I will find him. Even if I have to search the entire city.
Jay finished his drink, paid for it, and left.
A whole half an hour later…
Raven shook his head.
I do not understand. Why does a city this size have so many bars? It does not make sense to me.
He approached the front door to The Rye Is Dry But The Ale Is Hot pub.
This will undoubtedly be another failed venture.
He remembered the open vulnerability on Robin’s face.
“I suppose it cannot be helped.”
He entered the pub and walked over to the bartender. “Pardon me, sir.”
The bartender gave him a quick up and down look. “How can I help you?”
“I am searching for someone.”
“No. I am not telling you where Robin is because I don’t know where he is and even if I did—-”
“Sir! You are thinking too fast. I am not searching for Robin. I am…” He hesitated as he realized just how ridiculous the whole thing sounded. “I am searching for a gentleman who is searching for Robin. I believe he left his telephone number with you.”
“This is getting ridiculous.”
Raven silently agreed.
“What exactly is going on? He’s looking for Robin and you’re looking for him. What’s next? Someone looking for you?”
“Honestly, I would not be overly surprised at this point.”
“Neither would I, but I want to know what this is all about.”
Raven sat at the bar. “It is a long story.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m not busy right now. So, get talking.”
“Certainly. Do you know how to make a decent cup of tea?”
The bartender shrugged. “Who doesn’t?”
“Please make me a cup of tea and I will tell you all.”
“That seems like a fair exchange. Be right back.”
Jay walked slowly, watching every passerby.
His heart hurt for Isellta, but he reined it in and focused on the task at hand.
Must find Robin.
Robin stood back and watched Kalyla transform into a young man with strawberry-blond hair and fringed elf ears.
The man in the hospital bed smiled. “Kari.” He held out his ruined hand.
Kalyla took it and held it. “It’s all right. I’m here.”
Tears sparkled in the man’s eyes. “You’re here. It’s been such a long time.”
“Will you stay with me?”
Kalyla nodded. “For as long as you need me.”
“Then, stay with me until I fall asleep.”
Kalyla’s thumb moved gently over thick scars and dangerously thin skin. “The usual arrangement?”
“You know me. I hate change. Kari. Kari, sing for me.”
“What do you want me to sing?”
“Something…something that is not from this realm. Something elven. Something fey.”
Robin closed his eyes as Kalyla sang Isellta’s song. It may have been a generalized fey well-wishing song, but it would always be Isellta’s song in Robin’s mind.
He hummed along and imagined singing it to Isellta.
Darnation! When did I become such a soppy guy?
But he couldn’t help imagining it.
And he couldn’t help smiling.