“How did this even happen?” Jay asked. “Isellta was so close to death. What…? How?”
“I wish I could say that I had something to do with it, but I know I did not.” Preyuna watched Isellta’s white wings blacken.
“Then what?” Jay perked up. “Is Robin here?”
Preyuna quietly considered the pros and cons of answering that question truthfully. “How would I know?”
“You went to see if he was here. I assume—”
She sighed and retracted her wings into her back. “Stupid guard. If he were here, he would be HERE. Obviously.”
“You didn’t see him?”
She gave Jay a frozen tundra glare. “Again, if he were here, he would have beaten me into this room. He’d jump on the bed and make a fool’s spectacle of himself. Trust me, you stupid measly human. You would know if that ugly vampire were here.”
“True.” He kissed Isellta’s forehead. “Don’t worry, kid. He’ll be here. He’ll come.”
Isellta’s eyelids twitched and fluttered. “uhh. uh. ro…robi…Robin.”
Of course, that would be the first words out of his mouth.
Jay gasped. “Kid? Can you hear me? Can—”
Isellta slowly opened his eyes. “Jay.” His voice sounded dry and off-pitch.
Jay let out a happy cry and hugged him. “Isellta! Oh! I missed you. I missed you.”
“My Jay.” Isellta managed a tired smile. “My dear Jay.”
Dave jumped back onto the bed. He glanced back at Hank. “Can I touch him?”
Hank smiled. “Of course. But no licking.”
“No licking. Got it.”
Preyuna watched them all fuss and exclaim over him. There was a lot of touching and laughing and hugging and kissing. But none of them acknowledged that she was there.
Isellta didn’t acknowledge her presence at all.
If I were Robin, he would have noticed me first thing. He would have flung himself off the bed and fawned all over me.
But I am not Robin. So, he doesn’t even see me.
Tears stung her eyes.
He will never see me.
“Jay. Jay, Robin’s here. Robin’s here! I know he is. I heard him. He called to me. And. And I felt him. I felt him tugging at me. He’s here. He must be here.”
Jay gave Preyuna an accusing look.
She shrugged. “Maybe he isn’t here.”
Isellta startled hard at the sound of her voice.
If I were Robin…
She swallowed her bitterness and continued, “Maybe he’s on his way.”
Isellta shook his head. “He’s here. Robin. My beautiful Robin is here.”
“Beautiful?” Preyuna scoffed. “He’s the furthest thing from it.”
“Jay, Robin is here. I know it.”
“I’ll look for him. Okay?” Jay gently moved the fey onto the bed. “I’ll be back shortly, okay?”
“Hank. Dave. Maelin. I want the three of you to stay here and protect him from Preyuna.”
“Oh, yes.” Preyuna said sarcastically. “Protect him from me. I’m such a danger.”
“You are.” Jay kissed Isellta one more time before getting off the bed. He stepped into Preyuna’s space. “You don’t touch him. You don’t touch my lover. You don’t touch my friends. Is that clear?”
“And if I do? What will you do to me, stupid guard?”
“I’ll break your wings.”
“Are we clear?”
“What a wasted threat.” She flipped her hair over her shoulders. “I wasn’t planning to stay in here anyway.”
“What? You’re going to just flounce out of here again?”
She punched Jay in the gut. “I don’t flounce.” She promptly left the room.