Part 2122 – “There! I’m Done!”

“There. I’m done.” Preyuna lowered her arms. “Good night.” She strode towards the door.

“Uhhh? What?” Mark Caten turned in his chair. “You’re going to just march off on me?”

She gave him a disparaging look. “As a matter of fact, yes. I’m tired. I’m going back to bed.”

He rose from his seat. “Not so fast, my precious dumpcake.”

“I really wish you wouldn’t call me such belittling—-”

He waved his hand dismissively. “Yes, yes. Whatever. I want to be sure. Is there any way, any chance that my guard or his little breasted geisha will notice anything amiss with the video?”

Preyuna thought about it. “No. She may detect a trace of my magic, but it will be very faint and hard to figure out.”

“Well?” He walked over to her. “Do something about it. Make sure that she won’t detect it.”

“Mark, it does not work that way.”

“Do I care how it works? Nope. Do as I say.”

“You’re being—”

He grabbed her throat. “Choose your words carefully, little cupcake. Matter of fact, hahahahahaha! Don’t say anything. Obey me.” He tightened his grip. “Or else.”

She tensed up. “Fine.”

He released her.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Mark Caten smirked. “And I win again, which really? That shouldn’t surprise anyone. I am a god. I always win.”


Isellta touched his forehead against Jay’s chest as Maelin buttoned up the back of his shirt.

Jay leaned his face against the top of Isellta’s head and whispered soft words to him.

The fey closed his eyes and focused on the sound of Jay’s voice, on the smell of his shirt, on Jay’s hands petting his hair.

I feel safe with him. He doesn’t judge me for everything I’ve done wrong. He doesn’t see me the way Her Majesty does. He’s good. Kind. Wonderful.




Full of wonder.

Is that what he is? Is he full of wonder?

If he is, what is Robin? What one word can I use to sum up Robin? What is Robin full of?

Isellta smiled as he saw Robin’s face in his mind.

Robin’s face before Olessa: Perfect, unblemished, attractive.

Robin’s face after Olessa: Imperfect, scarred, ruined.

Yet, I still find him attractive.

I still think he’s beautiful.



Full of beauty. That’s my Robin. And, whether this is love or not, I still feel it. I can still feel his string tied to my bones, pulling at me.

Isellta opened his eyes.

If what I feel for him is not love, what is it? Is there a word for such a strong feeling? What else could it be besides love? Is love bigger or smaller than this strange feeling?

Can love really be bigger and brighter than this?

“There we go!” Maelin said. “All done!”

“You ready, kid?”

Isellta nodded.

Jay carefully scooped him up. “All right, kid. Hold on.”

Isellta laid his hand on Jay’s shoulder. “I’m ready.”


“There. I’m done. There is nothing else I can do to hide the traces of my magic. I have done everything I can think of.”

Mark Caten mockingly applauded. “Oh, bravo for you! Now, we can go back to bed.”

“Not tonight. I want to be alone.”

He returned to her and grabbed her arm. “I’m so sorry. Did that sound like a request? Because, hahahahahahaha! It was not a request. Far from it.”

She jerked her arm away from him. “I don’t want to deal with you tonight. I really don’t. I just want to sleep.”

“Ahhh, but sweetheart. You’re forgetting something terribly important, which is surprising. I promised you a reward for your efforts in here.”

“If you really think that sleeping with you is a big reward, you’re delusional.”

“uhh, what? It is more than a reward. It is a blessing from the gods. But no. That wasn’t the reward I had in mind. If you do what I want, I will give Isellta back to you. Tomorrow morning, to be precise.”

“And how were you planning to pry him away from that disgusting guard and his simpering peace dragon?”

“Well, that guard is scheduled to go back to work tomorrow morning, leaving your little boy toy unattended.”

“What about the peace dragon?”

Mark Caten waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I’m not worried about her. I know her weakness. I know how to exploit it. So? What do you say, my cream and custard topped cupcake?”

A slow smile crossed Preyuna’s face.

I have Robin right where I want him — pinned down until I have need of him. And if I yield to Mark Caten, I’ll have Isellta right where I want him — back in my possession.

“How could I say no?”

“ahhh. Hahahahahahaha! I love it when you agree with me!”

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