Ambrose pulled the clothes out of the dryer, dumped them into a laundry basket, and put the load from the washer into the dryer.
So far, so good.
He closed the dryer’s door, set the timer, and pressed Start.
I haven’t broken the washer or the dryer yet. But I still have a couple more loads to go.
It could still happen.
I’ll have to be careful.
Ambrose swore in French as he remembered something he’d forgotten all about. He pulled out the dryer’s lint trap.
The lint was thick enough to be a flannel blanket.
He cleared it out and put the trap back into its assigned slot.
“That was a close call.”
If I had accidently set the dryer on fire, Raven would have killed me and made me pay for all the damages.
He looked up at the ceiling and listened for Robin.
He’s being very quiet.
I should check on him.
Ambrose started one more load in the washer before heading upstairs.
Robin sat alone on the living room couch. He glanced at the doorway for the three thousandth time, hoping to see Isellta.
This time, Isellta was there. He wore his usual long sleeved black shirt and his comfortable fit black slacks.
But there was a mask on his face. A mask that kept changing patterns and colors.
“Isellta.” Robin held out his arms. “Come to me.”
Isellta’s black wings flittered.
“Please. Please.” He extended his fingers and his claws as far as they could go.
Isellta shook his head. “You don’t know me. You don’t remember. You can’t remember my face.”
“No. You’re wrong. I remember. Come here and I’ll prove it.”
Isellta hesitated a moment before approaching him. “Can you see me, Robin?”
Robin stood and watched the mask’s flickering patterns. “Yes.” He laid his hand on the left side of the mask. The patterns froze into a mishmash of lines and colors. He looked at the patterns and smiled. “‘sellta, I see you.”
The mask faded away, revealing Isellta’s face. “Robin. My Robin.” Isellta leaned into the vampire’s hand.
Robin admired the natural arch of his blond eyebrows.
The soft lines of his bangs and eyelashes.
The sweet shape of his face.
Robin ached with the need to wrap himself all around the fey.
To love him and to shield him.
The fey opened his eyes.
“I’ll never forget your face. Not ever.”
Preyuna strolled into the room. “Isellta.”
He bowed his head in submission.
“Stay.” Robin whispered.
Tears fell down the fey’s face. “I can’t.” His body dissolved into full moon dust and crushed diamonds.
Robin woke up. He brought his knees upward as if he had a stomachache.
But it wasn’t his stomach that was hurting.
The pain was in his chest.
It hooked his veins and bones and threatened to tear them all apart.
It possessed him.
I love you.
Why couldn’t it have been me?
Does she love you?
Do you love her?
Don’t you love me?
Robin wrapped his arms across his chest.
Do I even stand a chance with you? What do I got to offer you? What? What can I give you?
I love you.
‘sellta, I love you.
Is that good enough?
Am I good enough for you?
Can I ever be good enough?
Someone knocked on his bedroom door.
Robin uncurled himself . “Come in. Door ain’t locked.”