Robin pushed himself to run faster.
I’m here! You hearin’ me okay? I said I’M HERE! Speak to me. Say my name.
“uh. uh. uhh.” Tears trailed down the sides of Isellta’s face.
Robin took his hand. “I’m here, my little fey. I’m here.” He uncurled the fey’s loose fist. “Such a delicious little fey.” He put the tip of Isellta’s index finger in his mouth. “So sweet.”
The mansion seemed so far away, but Robin didn’t give up. He kept running.
‘sellta. ‘sellta. My ‘sellta. My beautiful Isellta. I’m here. I’M HERE!
Isellta took an unsteady breath.
Some thing is…not right.
Robin bit Isellta’s finger.
The white star smeared and blurred into the emerald green temerititious links.
Robin bit harder.
‘sellta! Say my name!
He haltingly turned away from the white star and turned to face Robin. The darkness, however, hid him well.
It doesn’t make sense.
Something’s wrong. It doesn’t make sense.
How can this be Robin?
SAY MY NAME!
His voice tugged hard on Isellta’s breastbone. The bone should have snapped right off.
The pull isn’t coming from him.
It isn’t him.
He slowly looked up at the star.
It’s coming from…there.
He is there.
The star’s glow brightened.
Isellta’s headache hit with an explosive force, stopping his thoughts and stealing his breath.
Robin bit harder.
Isellta slumped into unconsciousness.
Robin reached the mansion and yelled, “ISELLTA! HEY!”
Preyuna sauntered out of the shadows near the front door. “Hey, yourself.”
Robin took a step back. “You.”
“You could say hello.”
“Where is he? Where’s my Isellta?”
She gave him a quick look over. “You seem to be dressed to impress. I assume this isn’t for my benefit.”
“Ain’t innerested in chitchat. Where is he?”
“Do you really think I’m going to tell you?” Her eyes narrowed. “You filthy human.”
“Ain’t innerested in insult banter neither. Just spill the beans, lady.”
“You may be dressed up, but that doesn’t change your truth. You are nothing.”
Robin flinched. “Isellta don’t think that. He loves me.”
She stormed over to him and grabbed the front of his tuxedo. “Why? What is it with you? What do you have that makes you so special to him? You’re ugly. You’re ruined. You’re damaged. You’re a mindless, nonsensical human. You are unworthy of him. You are far beneath him in every possible way. But he loves you. I don’t understand it.” She released him with a shove. “I will never understand it. Not ever.”
“Wow.” Robin said. “You are so freakin’ jealous. I almost feel bad for you.”
The front door opened. “Hello, everyone!” Mark Caten strolled onto the scene.
Preyuna glared at him. “What are you doing here?”
“Hahahahahahahahaha! It should be obvious, my dear little dumpcake. I am here to spoil your fun. I know you’re going to ask him to kill me.”
Robin gave Caten a baffled look. “Uhh, what the heck? I’m just here to rescue Isellta.”
“Of course you are.” He patted Robin’s shoulder. “But, between you and me, you really shouldn’t bother.”
“Mark!” Preyuna snapped. “Get out of here!”
Mark Caten ignored her. “After all, it’s all a very simple matter. Isellta belonged to my daughter. My daughter is dead. So, Isellta is now mine.”
“Heck no!” Robin said.
“Hahahahahahaha! I know it’s an unpleasant shock. But I might be willing to let you take him away if you do me one small favor. It’s such a small task. You could get it done in one night. So easy.”
“You want me to release Isellta? Okay. Fine. I’ll release Isellta if you will capture Ambrose Smith’s lover and bring her here to me.”