I will see him.
I know it.
I will see him on the monitors just like I did before and before.
Isellta’s wings flapped.
Oh, Robin! I’m going to see you again. It’s been so long. So horribly, terribly long.
My Robin! If I weren’t so weak, I would run all the way to the monitor room. I’d run as fast as I can just so I can see you again.
And I know I will see you again.
I know that you are here.
My Robin, I can feel it. Can’t you?
He tucked his face in the crook of Jay’s neck and closed his eyes.
Maybe it isn’t real. Maybe it’s a lesser emotion posing as love. But if this isn’t love, I can’t imagine what love would really be like.
A small wave of dizziness bumped against Isellta.
He clutched the back of Jay’s shirt and held on for dear life.
“What’s wrong?” Jay asked. “You okay?”
Isellta nodded. “Just a little dizzy. But I’m okay.”
The guard held him as close as he could. “Don’t leave me, kid. Please don’t leave me.”
“I won’t, Jay. I promise.”
Jay stopped walking. “Do you want to go back to bed?”
“Are you sure?”
“Very sure. Jay, I need to see Robin. I need to see that he is here. I need to know why he hasn’t come to me yet.”
This pulling inside.
This intense need.
If it isn’t love, what is it?
“I need to see him again, Jay. I need it.” Isellta wanted to express his feelings in stronger yet plainer words. But the best he could say was the simplest truth: “I need him.”
Jay patted his back and resumed walking. “You don’t need to say more than that, kid. I get it.” He glanced at Maelin. “I totally get it.”
Maelin smiled at them.
I love him.
I love them — Jay and Isellta. I would fight to the death for them. But Jay is the one I want to claim as my mate. I don’t feel that way about Isellta.
She trailed her finger down the guard’s back. “I love you, Jay, and I always will.”
Jay didn’t say it back, but he didn’t need to. He looked at her and that one look said it all.
Preyuna reluctantly took Mark Caten’s hand as they left the monitor room.
“Aww, look at that!” Mark Caten said. “My cheap tea and scone cupcake is trying to be affectionate. How precious!”
“I don’t understand how you can be so consistently obnoxious.”
“Tsk! And you had to open your mouth and ruin the moment. What a pity.”
Preyuna meditated on the 3,000 different ways she’d hurt him if she were free to do so. She smiled.
She thought about Robin and her smile grew.
The time has not come yet, Robin, but it will. I will know it when I see it. I will retrieve you from your cell and let you tear Mark Caten apart.
And you will.
I know you will.
She followed Mark Caten into his bedroom and closed the door behind them.
My day of glory and revenge will come.