I ought to be sitting and relaxing. That is what Jeff would say.
And Sarah as well.
But I cannot. I need to move.
Raven stopped as the waiters brought in the food.
Raven stood nearby as the cook’s assistants set the meal on the table. He watched them lay the covered dishes down soft and quiet as he had trained them.
Every dish set perfectly before each person.
Remove the cover away from them. Smooth and graceful. Very good. Now, carry the covers away.
Raven stepped forward to Mr. Farlington. “Is there anything more you require, sir?”
“Not at this time, Arden. Thank you.”
Raven bowed. As he straightened up, he made eye contact with May Rose. And he felt lost.
I love her. I am in love with her. It is something I should not feel for her. And yet I do. There is nothing I can do about it. I cannot profess my love. I cannot even touch her.
“James.” she said. “Please refill my water glass.”
He bowed, breaking the spell. “As you wish, Miss Farlington.”
I now stand outside of that circle. I am no longer a part of that dance. It is no longer my place or my responsibility to supervise my fellow servants. For they are gone and I stand alone. My circle now is so small: Ambrose, Robin, Missy, Sarah, Jeff, Barbara.
He thought about his Bad Vampires Club.
Yet, I suppose it does not need to be so small. If I search, I can find those who need my assistance and protection.
Raven strolled over to Father Landover.
He should be able to help me in that department.
“Thanks.” Robin folded up the piece of paper and put it in his tuxedo jacket pocket.
Deliosa took a sip of her ginger infused water. “Are you here alone? Or do you have a significant other floating around here?”
“Alone, but I got a significant other.”
Significant other…Ain’t much better than boyfriend. It’s actually worse. Sounds flat out dumb. Significant other. Other what? Being? Person? What? And what the heck does significant e’en mean?
“He just ain’t here.”
But in some alternate reality, he is here. My ‘sellta standin’ next to me and he’s proud of me. Just like I’m proud of him. Maybe in that reality the word ‘boyfriend’ feels right. Maybe it rings out good and true. But that sure ain’t this reality.
“I’m gonna see him later.”
I’ll run to him.
I’ll run so fast to him it’ll prob’lly scare him.
“Maybe I’ll take him out to eat or somethin’. I ain’t sure. I’ll see what he wants to do.”
Maybe he’ll just wanna stay home. If he’ll wanna come home with me. What if he don’t? What if he wants to be with that fey witch? But why would he? She hurt him.
Sammy raised an eyebrow. “You seem to be lost in your thoughts.”
Robin shrugged. “Got a lot of thoughts, what can I say?” He leaned forward and spread his elbows on the table. “Sammy, you know a whole bunch of stuff ’bout extraordinaries, right?”
“What you know about fey?”
Sammy took a deep breath, but Robin stopped him with a halt gesture.
“I ain’t innerested in hearing about all that stuff ev’ryone seems to know. I wanna know the truth. Can fey get hurt or get sick?”
Sammy seemed to think about it. “Fey tend to be incredibly healthy. They’re probably one of the healthiest species out there. Rumor has it that they are incapable of contracting STDs.”
“Okay. So, what? They can’t die, right? Followin’ that logic, fey can’t die.”
Sammy’s expression turned tightly neutral. “It takes a lot to kill a fey.”
The hairs on the back of Robin’s neck prickled. “Meanin’…What? Meanin’ what? They can be killed?”
“Yes. But like I said, it takes a lot. They have hard skin, like vampires.”
“So, what? Stake to the heart does it?”
Sammy shook his head. “No. The only way to kill a fey is to weaken the soul’s grip on their body.”
“Huh. That don’t sound like an easy thing to do.”
“It isn’t. A fey must fall into a state called fra nae shi. It’s a certain level of unconsciousness, a little like a coma. Being in that state opens them up to attack from nae bi shas or soul eaters.”
They said he’s dyin’.
Robin’s heart pounded inside his ears.
They said my ‘sellta’s dyin’.
“Ain’t there a way to kick ’em out of that fra whate’er state?”
Sammy shook his head. “The fey has to voluntarily leave it.”
“HUH? How the heck does someone in a coma just up and say, ‘Know what? I’m done here. I’m just gonna wake up now’? How the heck does that happen?”
Sammy smiled a neutral smile that did not affect the world around them. “Who knows? Stubbornness? A very powerful will to live? Maybe the thought of someone they love.”
“What if? What if they heard the voice of someone they loved? Wouldn’t that be enough?”
“If combined with that loved one’s presence—”
Robin stood. “Thanks. That’s all I need to know.”