Jay sat on the bed as Preyuna left the room. He looked down at Isellta’s bare chest and he saw what he had been trying not to see.
Isellta’s ribs were prominent arches. His abdomen a hollow crater. His collarbones jutted against his skin.
He’s wasting away.
“Why is he going so fast? It hasn’t been that long. Only what? Two, three days?” He stroked Isellta’s hair. “Do all fey fade this quickly? Or is it just him?”
“I don’t know.” she said. “I wonder if Preyuna’s sickness spell may have sped things along.”
Jay’s mouth twitched as he tried not to cry.
There’s nothing more I can do.
“He’s going to die. It isn’t even a question. Just a certainty. Isellta’s going to die and I can’t do one darn thing to save him.”
Maelin sat beside him. “I know it looks bad, sweetheart. But maybe—”
Jay flapped his hands in a frustrated gesture. “There is no maybe, Mae. Look at him.”
She leaned her head against his shoulder. “As long as he’s still breathing, there’s still a maybe. It might be small, but it’s there. As long as he’s still alive, it will be there.”
Robin couldn’t stand a moment longer. He sank into the nearest armchair.
He leaned forward and dug his fingers into his hair.
I never got a chance to say bye to him or nothin’.
He hunched his shoulders.
What if ‘sellta’s the same way? But he’s fey. Fey can’t freakin’ die. Ev’ryone knows that.
His pupils widened.
I gotta tell Mom about Antioch.
He raised his head.
I gotta go to her. I gotta tell her straight to her face.
Doin’ it over the phone is just cheap and rotten. It ain’t even close to good ‘nough.
Ambrose crouched next to him. “Are you okay?”
“Stupid, dumb question.” Robin rubbed away the traces of his tears. “I gotta go home and talk to my mom. Tell her all about the bad news. She’s gonna get all upset. I know it.”
“Go to her, Robin.” He pulled the younger vampire into a hug. “Then, go to Isellta. Don’t dwell on the three thousand what if’s. Just go.”
Robin hugged him back and said nothing.
Robin left Missy’s hospital room and startled.
Capernaum was still sprawled out on the spot where Ambrose had tossed him.
He walked over to the unconscious man and kicked his side. “Hey.” He kicked him again. “What? You dead or somethin’?”
Capernaum opened his eyes. “Dead…” He sat up. “That’s an interesting question.”
“Huh? How’s that anythin’ close to innerestin’, dummy?”
“Never mind.” He stood. “What do you want?”
“You said Antioch’s dead. How’d it happen? Who staked him?”
“No one. He died of his own fault and pride.”
Robin frowned. “I don’t get what you mean.”
“He wanted to break his lord’s privilege. He talked me into trying again and again and, even though I knew better, again and again.” Pain and regret flashed across Capernaum’s features. “He lost his mind.”
“He was torn between the reality of his own memories and Peter Hastings’ memories. He died wanting to see his son again. His Robin.”
Robin backed up against the closed door.
He wanted to see me? I thought he hated me.
The vampire bowed his head. “I wanna see him. Take me to him. Let me see him.”
There was a moment of silence.
Capernaum broke it. “I can’t. His body broke down. He disappeared. He’s gone.”
Robin bristled. “Well, freakin’ thanks for nothin’.” He turned and stormed down the hallway.