LM sat quietly in the backseat all by himself.
Carthage and Capernaum were having a wonderful time talking.
It’s just like when Capernaum was still alive. Capernaum, Antioch, Carthage, and me. All four of us together.
Why isn’t he here with us? Where is he? Should I even ask or is there some unspoken spiritual law prohibiting him from revealing such information?
What if he’s in Vrrsh Xen? Do I really want to know that he is forever bound there?
Some things are better left unknown and unsaid.
LM’s frown lifted. He physically perked up.
Carthage smiled at Capernaum. “It’s so strange to see you—-”
“I know where Antioch’s XQ is.”
Carthage slammed on his brake. He looked back at the half-fey. “What did you say?”
Capernaum frowned and subtly shook his head.
“What did you say?”
Capernaum’s frown deepened.
I don’t understand what’s wrong with telling him. We’re all friends here. Aren’t we?
LM pressed down on a wrinkle in his slacks, just right above his knee.
I’ll ask him later.
And I’ll tell him later.
“Sorry. I said, ‘I wonder where Antioch’s XQ is’. He’s no longer around. That would make her fair game. Doesn’t it?”
Capernaum’s frown lifted. The corner of his mouth tweaked into a slight smile.
Carthage was not convinced by LM’s quick duck and cover maneuver. At least, he certainly didn’t look convinced. But he didn’t make a big deal about it. Perhaps he was planning to ask LM about it later. “I guess it would.” He turned back in his seat and resumed his journey down the drive.
Capernaum winked at LM and turned forward.
“Missy. My Missy.” Raven stroked her face and toyed with her curly hair. “I am here. I am here. Keep fighting. Come back to me. I am here. Oh, Missy. I wish I could unplug all of these cords and machines. I wish I could pull you into my arms.” He traced the arches of her eyebrows with his fingertip. “When you wake up, I will let you remove my shirt. No matter who may be in the room with us, I will let you remove my shirt. I will let you touch my chest and kiss my skin. I will let you…”
He backed away from the bed, alarmed at where his thoughts were taking him.
Jeff glanced at him. “You okay?”
“I hardly know, sir.”
“It’s probably your day exhaustion kicking in again.”
“No, sir. I can assure you it most certainly is not that.”
“Could fool me. You look like you’re going to fall off your feet. Why don’t you sit down?”
Raven wanted to object, but he saw the sense in the ex-hunter’s suggestion. He sat down in the nearest chair.
If she asked me to sleep with her, would I have the strength to say no yet again? After coming so close to losing her, it would seem to be the right way to celebrate.
Yet, is it?
Would I have performed such an act with Miss Farlington? Never. Even if I had, I would have regretted it. I would have felt ashamed of myself for crossing that line.
So, why am I considering crossing that line with Missy?
He contemplated the question until the answer came to him.
Because my rejection of her advances led us to this point. It feels like the right way to make it up to her, to show her that I love her more than I ever loved Miss Farlington.
Yet, is it right?
He shook his head.
It goes against everything I was taught, everything I firmly believe in. If I slept with Missy before marriage, I would regret it. I know I would regret it, for it is something I cannot undo. Furthermore, it would change what we have between us. How could it not?
Yet, the thought of being intimate with her is wondrously appealing.
He stood. “I beg your pardon, sir, but I must do a walkabout.”
“You sure that’s a good idea? It isn’t night time.”
“I am aware of that, sir. I will not go far.”
Jeff nodded as if he understood. “Be careful.”