Preyuna removed her robe and her one piece bathing suit. She stepped into the shower and examined her wrists again.
No apparent traces of magic.
“But he did something to me. That much is clear. Mark ordered him to do something to me. But what? What else can Caten do to me? What more can he steal from me?”
What do I have left?
She turned on the water and rinsed the chlorinated water out of her hair. She scrubbed shampoo into it.
The only thing I have left is my kingdom and he will never take that from me.
No matter what.
My kingdom belongs to me.
Thick shampoo foam slid down the side of her face.
And I will return to it.
“Maelin left.” Jay leaned his face against the top of Isellta’s head. “She left to go find Robin. With a little bit of luck, she’ll find him and be able to kidnap him. She’ll bring him here.” He smiled. “Robin will be half-asleep but still yelling and kicking. I’m willing to bet on it. There’s no way that he’ll be captured without a fight.”
He feels so light in my arms. There’s barely anything to him. If only I could push all of my strength into him, I would.
Jay cleared his throat. “Umm, I’m just gonna keep talking. I’m nervous. No. Not nervous. I’m scared. I don’t wanna lose you, kid, but—-”
He shook his head. “No. I’m not going to go there. I’m not going to think about it or talk about it. So! What should I talk about? Hmm? What would you want to hear about? Hm. That’s a good question.” He chuckled. “I bet I know what the answer is: Robin. Maybe you’d ask me questions about him in an effort to figure him out. He’s kind of confusing, isn’t he?”
Isellta didn’t respond or react.
“Yeah, but I guess we all can be kind of confusing at times. You. Me. Even Maelin. Mark Caten? No, he’s in a separate category. I’d rather not name that category. It would be profoundly profane and you’re just an innocent kid. You shouldn’t hear such words. Does that confuse you? Does that make sense to you? Do you understand what I mean?”
Can he still hear me?
Or is he too far gone?
“I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Maelin finds Robin.”
If she finds him.
“He’s going to put up such a fuss and you know it. He’ll probably cuss her out and wear himself out. It is still daytime, you know. I wonder how she’s going to get him up here.”
Jay thought over several scenarios. “I guess she’ll use magic. That would be the simplest way to go about it. Or maybe she’ll carry him. She may not seem that strong, but she is part peace dragon. So, she should be able to do it.” He laughed. “Oh, but it will be such a spectacle with her carrying him all the way up to the top of the cliff here. Do you suppose she’ll walk up the drive or will she scale the cliff with him dangling over her back?”
Isellta still had no comment.
“Personally, I like the idea of her walking that whole long drive while hauling him over her shoulder. It’s an interesting mental image. But I guess scaling the cliff would make more sense. It would be a lot more direct. Just climbing straight up. But it would be difficult and exhausting. I’m guessing Robin isn’t a thirty-nine pound weakling. But I guess even thirty-nine pounds would be a uncomfortable burden to haul up a cliff.”
Jay waited for Isellta to exhale.
Should I be counting the minutes between breaths? It seems like it’s taking longer for him to inhale and exhale.
“I’m babbling, aren’t I? Sorry. I could stop talking if you want. But I don’t want you to feel alone.” Jay closed his eyes. “I don’t want you to die believing that you’re all alone. I’m here, kid. I’m here. And I’m going to just keep on babbling. I hope you don’t mind.”