Maelin sat beside Jay and stroked his hair over and over.
He had fallen asleep hugging Isellta.
The sight of Isellta in Jay’s arms warmed her heart and broke it at the same time. “Jay. My sweetheart. I’m sorry I can’t do anything to save him. If I could. If only I could.”
Her hand stopped.
What if I killed Mark Caten?
It is tempting, but would that accomplish anything at this point? Would it do anything to bring Isellta back?
Or would it just be blind, stupid revenge with no other goal?
Is there anything more I can do?
Or is Jay right?
Should I give up and let the inevitable happen? That doesn’t feel right. There must be something more.
Robin is the key. I know it. He needs to come. He needs to actually, physically come here. He needs to come to Isellta’s side, touch him, and speak to him.
So, what should I do? I don’t want to leave Jay again. But Jay hasn’t had any luck talking to him on the phone.
She sat up straight.
But what about me?
I haven’t called him since that day. Maybe he will listen to me.
She grabbed Jay’s phone off his nearby dresser.
The phone was already on.
She went into his Contacts and flipped through the line of names.
She selected his name and pressed Call.
She put the phone to her ear and listened to it ring.
“Darnation! What the heck did Ambrose do to my phone? How’d he disable my camera? Seriously? What the heck?” Robin went through seven different menus to re-enable his camera. “I don’t get why he’s so bad with technology. It don’t make sense to me. He’s plenty old enough to know better.”
Sophia sniffed a quiet laugh as they stopped at a crosswalk.
Robin glanced up at her. “What?”
“You. You’ve changed. Yet, you’re still you.”
He lowered his phone. “Is that a good thing?”
“It’s a very good thing.” She looked at the red Do Not Cross sign. Cars drove past them in a steady flow. “I always thought that when someone became a vampire, they lost everything about themselves. I always thought that they turned into a remorseless monster.” She looked back at him and smiled. “I’m glad I was wrong. You may be a vampire, but you are still my Robbie.”
He shook his head. “I ain’t the same. I’m damaged, Mama.”
She laid her hand on the scarred side of his face. “Maybe. But you are still you. I still see you.”
His phone rang.
He answered it. “Hey. What you want?”
“Is this Robin?” The woman’s voice sounded vaguely familiar.
Robin frowned. “Yeah. Who the heck are you?”
“I’m not sure if you remember me.”
“Look. If this is a spam call, I ain’t innerested. So, go—-”
Why do I know that name?
“I spoke to you some time ago.”
“Okay, that’s nice. But it sure don’t tell me—-”
“I got a hold of Isellta for you.”
His pupils widened. “Wait. What?”
“Do you remember? I called Jay and he let you talk to Isellta.”
“Yes. Yes! I remember. Isellta. Is he…Is…Can I talk to him?”
“Not at the moment.”
“Darnation! Why? Why can’t I?”
“Robin. That doesn’t matter right now. What matters is…All that matters is that you come here. You need to come here. You need to—”
“Calm your freakin’ self down. I’m gonna come on Sunday.”
Dead silence on the other side.
“I’m scared of all the what if’s, but I can’t. I just can’t. Can’t take it no more. All of this fear. All of this achin’. All of these sleepless days. I will come. Tell my ‘sellta I will come on Sunday. I promise.”
The Do Not Cross sign flipped to a green Cross Now.
Robin and his mother ran to the other side.
“Robin? Do you mean it? Will you really come?”
“Yeah. I need to see him again. I need to hold that blond stupid fey in my arms and tell him I love him. Because I do. I love him. It’s the simple, bizarre, and awful truth. I love him and I want him. Tell him that. Tell him I’m comin’.”
“I will. Oh, thank you, Robin! I will.”
He smiled. “I’ll see you guys on Sunday. I promise.”