Robin bee-lined to Raven. “Hey.”
“I’m gonna do it. I gotta do it. I gotta go now. I—”
The lights dimmed, effectively shushing the conversations. The doors to the banquet room opened.
The hostess strolled in with a violin tucked in the crook of her neck. She played a long, complicated tune that was joyful and sorrowful, darkness and light, sunlight and moonlight.
The music stilled any leftover conversations.
Robin listened to the fey melody and he heard Isellta’s voice. He felt Isellta’s gentle, narrow fingers running down his scar. He felt all of the days and all of the hours that they had been separated.
So many miles between them.
He grabbed Raven’s arm as he gasped for breath.
Forgive me for pushin’ you away. Let me come back to you. Let me bring you home. I just want you to come on home. Whether you’ll wanna share my bed or not don’t matter. It don’t matter.
All that matters is you comin’ home. My ‘sellta. My perfect, lovely ‘sellta.
The music spiraled up to a clear high note that trembled with unspoken hope. And that was how it ended.
Raven exhaled a ragged breath.
Robin glanced at him, but Raven turned his face away.
What did he hear in that music? Did he hear Missy or that other chick he loved? Maybe it was both.
Before he could ask, the hostess put her bow to the strings and played Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”.
Barbara looked up at Ambrose and smiled. “There’s our cue.”
Ambrose didn’t just smile back. He beamed. He glowed. He took her into his arms and waltzed her into the banquet room.
Barbara let him lead her around the floor and it felt like she was flying. “Yes, I missed this so much.”
“So have I.” He put his mouth close to the side of her head and sang along to the music.
The hostess kicked off her shoes and lost herself in the rhythm of the music, in its heart and soul. She spun as she played her violin, her long hair twirling wide and wild.
The song was not a fey song, but it was beautiful. She could see the lines in the music. Such perfectly clear parallel lines. And in her mind there were no thoughts of harems and queens and conquests.
There was just the music and the joy that the music created inside of her.
That was all that mattered in that moment.
Sarah sat wide-eyed and astonished at it all.
The violin music.
Ambrose and Barbara dancing.
The hostess dancing.
It was all so unlike anything she had ever experienced before. She had no point of reference. Nothing to compare it to. It was astonishing.
Robin and Raven sat at her table.
Sarah moved over to Raven and tugged at his sleeve. As soon as she got his attention, she made a big, sweeping gesture at the scene going on around them. She spread her hands on her chest, tapped them against the sides of her head, and held her hands before her in hesitation. She pressed them against her chest again. It was the only gesture that fully expressed how she felt.
Raven smiled. “I understand. I feel overwhelmed as well.”
She nodded, pleased that he understood her meaning.