Dave’s fingers trembled as he rubbed his thumb over the injury on Hank’s throat.
“Hey, it’s all right. I’m all right. Preyuna barely even dented me.”
“She drew blood. I didn’t think she’d go that far.”
Hank shrugged. “You know her and Caten. They’re two of a kind, whether she’ll ever admit it or not.”
“She hurt you.”
“Babe.” Hank took Dave’s hands and kissed them.
Dave looked up at him with tearful eyes. “She could have killed you.”
“True, but she didn’t.”
Dave fixed his gaze on the injury.
“I’ll heal, lover, and it will be just another scar. You know I have plenty of those.”
“You shouldn’t have any.” Dave bowed his head. “You should quit. Leave this place before Caten or Preyuna can really hurt you.”
Hank frowned. “You’re saying I should quit, but what about you? What happens to you?”
Dave didn’t answer.
“I’m not leaving you behind.” He leaned forward and gently kissed the side of Dave’s face. “Do you really think I’d be happy without you in my life?” He spread his hand along the opposite side of Dave’s face. “Without you in my bed? Without the sound of your voice? Without your caresses? Without exuberant, wonderful, loving you?”
“But you’d be safe.”
“Safe and miserable. I love you, Dave. I love you.”
Dave looked love at him. “You really are the most romantic man I’ve ever known.” He hugged him. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Hank hugged him back. “I’m not going anywhere, babe. I’m here. I’m right here.”
Hank’s cell phone rang. He released Dave and answered it. “Hello?”
“Hey.” Jay’s voice sounded tired.
“What’s going on?”
Jay sighed. “I’m having no luck with Robin. He called me. We talked. And he hung up on me. Three separate calls. Three separate hang-ups.”
“Is he coming?”
“At this point? I don’t know.” Jay hesitated. “I don’t think so.”
Dave leaned against Hank.
“So, what are you gonna do?”
“I’m going to stay here. I can’t come back without Robin. I can’t. He’s too important.” Jay paused. “How’s the kid doing?”
“Still knocked out.”
“Any more convulsions?”
“No. Is that…good?”
“I don’t know. Ohhh, Hank. I feel like I don’t know anything. I’m just…I’m so worn out. I’ve been doing everything I can think of. Thinking and thinking and nothing’s coming to mind, but I just keep thinking, keep trying to come up with one more plan. One more possibility. One more hope. I just don’t…I don’t know what else to do. If Robin doesn’t come, I don’t know what else we can do. I’m so tired.”
“I’m sorry, Jay.”
“I hate to say it, but I almost want to just quit, throw in the towel, and give up. But I can’t. I can’t stand by and let that thing devour him. I can’t let Isellta die like that. I need to stop it. I need to get Isellta to wake himself up. I need to rescue him. I need to get Robin over here so he can rescue him.” Jay sighed again. “I think I’m babbling now. I’m going to go to the nearest hotel and crash.”
“Go get some sleep. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“Yeah. Good night.”