Sarah sprawled flat on her back and listened to the sound of the running shower.
It was a good, clean sound. It was one of the few things that didn’t conjure memories of The Institute. It made her feel safe.
It made her sleepy.
She closed her eyes and listened to the soft pattering of the falling water.
The hard tapping of the heavy rain.
There was water everywhere.
On the ground.
In the air.
On her face.
She sat up and mopped the long, drenched hair strands out of her face.
Across the street, a creature with large, inkwell eyes stared at her.
It ran straight at her.
Her mouth was wide open in a voiceless scream.
She rolled onto her side and cried in silence.
Raven watched Missy breathe steady breaths.
So many steady breaths.
He held her hand.
My Lord, please. Please do not take her away from me.
Let her return.
Let her return to me alive and well. If there are difficulties in her recovery, I will not abandon her. I will care for her to the utmost of my abilities. Even if I must go without sleep or food, I will do so.
I will care for her.
I will love her no matter what.
My Lord, please hear me.
Please do not forsake us.
“Missy.” He gently squeezed her hand. “I am here, Missy. I am here.”
Robin wanted to just stuff Ambrose’s clothes into the dresser and get it done and over with.
But he knew that Raven would check on their work.
Stupid mother hen would just go and make us wash and refold ev’rythin’. Wouldn’t much matter to him what time of day or night it was. He’d be all “Oh, no. You ain’t goin’ nowhere until this is done good and right.”
If ‘sellta were here…
Robin cleared his throat.
He’d get all worked up about foldin’ ev’rythin’ into smooth, straight lines. He’d freakin’ enjoy every second of it.
I’d enjoy just havin’ him here.
Just watchin’ him have fun.
Watchin’ him flap those wings. Such big, beautiful wings.
Seein’ him happy and safe.
The tank top that Robin had just folded was a slip-shod mess. He shook it out and tried again.
I wanna see him happy. More than anythin’ else.
E’en more than sharin’ a bed with him.
I just want him to be happy.
Robin put the tank top in Ambrose’s dresser.
Isellta opened his eyes and looked up into the darkness.
There was no light.
No bright stars.
He exhaled a shaky breath.
He bit down on his lower lip and tried not to cry as Robin nuzzled him.
Robin dropped Ambrose’s khaki shorts.
His knees trembled. Goosebumps reigned supreme all over his arms.
My ‘sellta. I’m gonna come to you on Sunday. I will. I swear I will.
He went down on his knees.
God, keep my ‘sellta safe.
I have Robin holding me, loving me.
Isellta took a shuddered breath as his headache surged.
Why do I feel so strange?
Why do I feel so…empty?
Something’s wrong with me.
“Robin. Hold me. My Robin, just hold me.”
In the darkness, the nae bi sha smiled.
He held Isellta and he smiled wide.
“My little fey.”