Raven watched her sleep.
What if she does not wake up? What if she slips away? What if she leaves me and leaves me for good?
“I want to hold on to you, Missy. I want to protect you. I want to keep you safe. Yet, is that possible? Short of incarcerating you, can I truly keep you safe?”
He contemplated that question.
“I do not know.” Raven sighed. “I do not know, but I will do what I can.” He moved his finger across the calm lines of her eyebrows. “Yet, have no fear. I will never make you my prisoner. I swear I will not.”
Raven’s self-awareness kicked in again.
I should not be here. I should not be sitting on top of her while she is asleep.
I should not be sitting on top of her at all.
Raven reclaimed his gloves and got off the bed. He carefully examined them from buttons to stitches before putting them back on.
He fastened the buttons.
His thoughts flew to Ambrose and Robin.
My two young men. Both off on their own separate adventures.
He walked over to the window and looked outside.
Robin…I am certain he has already removed his gloves and undoubtedly his tuxedo jacket. If I know him as well as I believe I do, I would venture to say he left them on the ground somewhere.
He undoubtedly took them off as soon as he could.
Ambrose…I am certain he removed his gloves and put them on Barbara’s cake plate. I can just picture the crumbs all over them. The frosting sticking to the buttons, provided, of course, that he did not pop them off in his hurry to remove his gloves.
Raven shuddered. “I should not think of such things. It is far too distressing.”
I wonder if he is still at the reception. It is not too likely. It is rather late. Perhaps they have all gone home.
Robin, I hope you are safe. I hope you find Isellta. I hope your reunion is all that you have hoped for.
Ambrose, I wish you well. I hope you and Barbara make each other very happy tonight. I hope that neither of you will wake with any regrets.
He looked up at the night sky.
My boys, be safe tonight. Do not get staked.
Raven closed his eyes. He could almost feel the strings connecting the three of them together: Ambrose, Robin, and himself. He could almost see their individual strings: Ambrose’s black, Robin’s orange, and his own lime green.
Perhaps Ambrose is right.
He opened his eyes.
Maybe we will feel it when Robin is staked. Perhaps I will feel it too when Ambrose dies.
He wrapped his arms around his chest. “Be safe out there. Please be safe.”