Isellta’s breaths were so shallow it was hard to tell when he was breathing and when he was not.
It would be so easy for him to just stop. How long would it take me to notice?
Jay raked his fingers through Isellta’s white hair from his bangs to the back of his head. “Kid. I don’t know if you can hear me at all. Maybe you can. Maybe you can’t. I wonder if it even matters at this point. But I will do one last thing for you. I’ll sing you that John Denver song you love. Do you remember when I played it for you?” He smiled. “I do. It’s my favorite memory of you.” He kissed Isellta’s forehead. “It always will be.”
He put his mouth close to Isellta’s ear.
Jay put the earplugs into Isellta’s ears and pressed play on his phone.
He sang “Perhaps Love” to him. Just to him.
Isellta’s face lit up with wonder and understanding.
“Some say love is holding on. Some—”
Isellta took a long, deep breath.
“Some.” Jay cleared his throat. “Some say love is holding on…”
Isellta didn’t exhale.
Jay bowed his head. “…holding on…Some say letting go.”
Jay quickly raised his head. “Kid?”
He exhaled slowly. “uh. uhhh…uh.”
Dave snapped to attention. “What? What’s happening? Is he…?”
Jay shook his head. “I don’t—”
“uh. uhh.” Isellta took another breath.
A smoother breath.
An easier breath.
He exhaled without any hesitation. Only to take another breath.
Jay watched every inhale and exhale with renewed hope.
Dave got off the bed and came around to the other side. “Oh!” He covered his mouth with his hands.
Hank hurried over to his lover. “What’s wrong? What—”
Dave lowered his hands.”Look! Haaank, look! He’s breathing. He’s really breathing again!”
Isellta whimpered in his sleep.
Jay gently brushed Isellta’s bangs off to the side. “It’s okay, kid. I’m here. I’m—” He gasped as Isellta’s hair color returned. It started at the roots and rippled all the way to the ends of each strand. “Ohh!”
Isellta’s skin bloomed to its normal color.
Preyuna stormed down the hall.
I hate him.
I hate him so much.
Stupid human. Stupid vampire. Stupid ugly vampire. Such a waste of space. He should have killed him. Why didn’t he kill him? Would it really have been that difficult to kill Mark Caten according to my instructions?
She magically tore Jay’s bedroom door open and entered the room, radiating queenly fury.
“He’s waking up, isn’t he?” Dave said excitedly.
Her fury quickly dialed down from 45,000 to minus five. She strode over to Dave and shoved him out of the way.
Hank glared at her. He may have said something to her about picking on Dave, but she ignored him. So, she didn’t hear a word.
Preyuna looked down at Isellta. Her wings flared out in surprise. “His color has returned. When did this happen?”
“Just a few minutes ago.” Dave said.
Maelin left the bathroom and returned to Jay on the bed.
“Is this it?” Jay asked. “Is he getting better? Is he waking up?”
“What’s happening?” Maelin asked.
“Look at him, Mae.” Jay managed an unsteady smile.
“Oh! His color’s back!”
“And he’s breathing better too.” Jay said.
“Is he waking up?”
Preyuna scoffed. “I wonder who hasn’t asked that question yet. Yes, he is waking up.”