“Part fey. Part vampire.” Robin mulled it over. “You got wings?”
“Only one. The other one came out all twisted and shrunken up. So, my parents had it removed when I was little.”
He stood. “Can I see your good one?”
She looked at him with her clouded eyes. “Who are you?”
Who am I?
“Robin Hastings. I’m a vampire.”
“Ahh, thought so. Are you going to bite me?”
Robin frowned. “Somethin’ ain’t jivin’ right with you. You look like a kid, but you ain’t really talkin’ like one.”
“That’s because I’m not a kid. What you see is what happens when you mix fey with vampire. Stunted growth.” She flared out her only wing.
Robin felt a pang of sympathy.
Her wing was white with faint pink hues mixed in. It would have been beautiful if it had been as large and lush as Isellta’s wings. But it wasn’t. The feathers were sparse. Size-wise, it was less than half of Isellta’s length and width.
“Stunted wings.” She retracted the wing into her back. “My parents were going to get me fitted with an artificial wing to balance it out. Then, my dad was staked and Olessa captured me. I don’t know what happened to my mother, but I suspect she returned to the fey realm. She always said she would do that if something happened to me or my father.” She paused. “Now that you know all that, are you going to bite me?”
“I dunno. You’re the offspring of a vampire and a fey. Both are hard-skinned creatures. I ain’t got a clue if I can break your skin.”
“I don’t know either. Vampires seem to avoid me for some reason.” She tilted her head. “Except for you.”
“Then, give it a try. Bite me.”
Robin shrugged. “I ain’t sure if this is gonna work, but I ain’t gonna turn down an open invitation.” He gently turned her head to the side and tilted it just right. “Hold still. This might hurt.” He bared his fangs and lowered his open mouth to her waiting neck.
The boy gasped in delight as Ambrose bit his neck.
tastes so good
must drink more and more and
Ambrose released him. “mm. mmm.” He licked his lips and ran his tongue along his teeth.
“Is that all?” the boy asked.
“mm. I have to go.”
The boy spread his hands on Ambrose’s chest. “I want more.”
Ambrose backed away. “No. I can’t give you what you want. Like I said last time, find someone who will love you.”
“I want it to be you.”
“I know, but it will never happen. I’m sorry. All I can offer you is my bite and nothing more than that.”
“Then, I’ll take that. Let me be your blood letter.”
Ambrose shook his head. “It would make things too complicated.”
“No, it wouldn’t. It would simplify everything. I’d be with you. You would have me any time you needed my blood. I’d be there. I’d be ready. And if you ever wanted more than that—”
“I would never want more than that. I’m as straight as a man can be.”
“But I want you.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t feel that way for you.”
The boy looked crestfallen. “Couldn’t you pretend?”
“Is that what you really want? Just pretend? Would that make you happy?”
He nodded. “Because it would be you.”
“What is your name?”
“Justin, don’t settle for a lie. Aim for the truth. Find someone who’ll look at you and won’t be able to look away. Someone who wants to touch you and make you happy. Someone who is willing to give you their all and nothing less.”
Justin frowned. “Those kind of people don’t exist. Not for someone like me. Maybe if I were…If I weren’t…you know. If I weren’t the way I am. If I could just be like normal guys. If—”
“Hey. Don’t put yourself down like that. I happen to know a vampire with a scar running down from his forehead to under his jaw. He can be immature, pushy, and abrasive. But he still managed to find someone who loves him. And, to top it off, his someone happens to be a male fey.”
“So? His good luck in love doesn’t mean anything. Doesn’t mean I’ll ever get lucky.”
“That is true. But the point is if someone like him can find soul-warming love, so can you. So, don’t go about asking guys to pretend to love you. You deserve better than that.”