Part 1627 – Inhale. Exhale.

Jay’s bedroom was silent.

Dave and Hank were long gone.

Isellta’s breathing ranged from quiet to barely there.

And in the room’s silence, Jay could hear all of his own doubts and fears loud and clear as if they were speaking into a microphone.

He sat next to Isellta and gently smoothed his bangs away from his closed eyes. “You haven’t had another convulsion since that last one. How long has it been? A couple of hours, give or take? So. So, that’s good, right? It’s a good sign, right?”

Jay watched every slow inhale and exhale.

If I could save him by giving him all of my breath, I would.

“So, one. One good thing. Or I don’t know. Amusing thing, at least. Do you want to hear it?”

Isellta didn’t give any indication that he heard the question.

“Well, anyway I’ll tell you.” He chuckled. “You should have seen Hank and Dave run out of here. I think they were aching for some private time. You know, I look at them and imagine you and Robin. I guess Robin would be Hank and you would be a tamer version of Dave.”

He chuckled again. “Dave would probably say you’re a ‘much cuuuuter’ version of him. He really does have a crush on you. He doesn’t even try to be secretive about it. But Dave is like that. He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. He wears it all over his clothes and all over his body.”

He ran his hand through Isellta’s hair over and over. “Do you mind if I talk too much? Does it bother you? Can you hear me? What do I sound like on your side? Can you hear every word or is it all coming across in fractured verbs and bits of nouns? Do I sound like static? Do you recognize my voice? Are you safe? Are you comfortable? Are you hurting? Are you fighting for your life? Do you…do you remember me? Do you miss me?”

He carefully pulled Isellta into his arms and hugged him. “I miss you. I miss your voice. Your curiosity. Your gentleness. Your kindness. Your laughter. I miss sitting at the kitchen table with you every morning. Me with my food and you with your jar of pickles. I want to cook something for you. Maybe a cheesecake. I bet that would boggle you with how good it tastes. I want to teach you how to make lasagna. I want to…”

I want to save you, but I can’t. There’s nothing I can do.

It’s all up to you.

“I’m here, Isellta. No matter what happens, I’m here with you.”

Jay could feel Isellta’s muscles twitching, like a convulsion waiting to happen. The fey’s breathing seemed even slower than before.

Tears stung the guard’s eyes.

God, please. Please knock some sense into Robin’s head. Get him over here before it’s too late.

***

Inhale.

pause

pause

pause

Exhale.

pause

pause

Inhale.

pause

pause

pause

Exhale.

pause

pause

wrong something’s wrong what’s wrong with me

Inhale.

pause

pause

pause

robin robin what

Exhale.

pause

pause

what’s wrong with me

Inhale.

Isellta opened his eyes.

pause

pause

pause

Exhale.

“Robin.”

dark

pause

still dark

pause

light

Inhale.

pause

where is the light

pause

I want to see the light again before

pause

Exhale.

“Robin. I need light. Let me see you.”

pause

pause

Inhale.

robin

pause

robin are you still there

pause

please be with me

Exhale.

“Don’t leave me alone.”

The scent of tangerines overwhelmed him. Tears escaped his eyes and trailed down into his ears.

pause

robin my robin

pause

“I’m here, Isellta.”

Inhale.

Isellta closed his eyes.

light

pause

where is the light

pause

robin

pause

Exhale.

“Go back to sleep, Isellta. Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m not going to leave you.”

***

The nae bi sha smiled as Isellta yielded to his command.

Yes. Go to sleep, little fey, and don’t wake up ever again.

He licked his sharp teeth.

I’m waiting.

He ran his fingers down the speed bumps of Isellta’s ribs.

Hungry.

He spread his hands on Isellta’s abdomen and fantasized about tearing him open.

So hungry.

He licked his lips.

But not yet.

Still not weak enough.

But almost there.

You’re almost there, little fey.

Payback will be so sweet.

Sweet and bloody, little fey.

I can’t wait.

3 thoughts on “Part 1627 – Inhale. Exhale.”

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