Maybe I should tell her…No. She’ll tell Isellta. Isellta will get so happy. Oh, he’ll get to see that ugly vampire again. Oh, yay for him.
Preyuna dropped back into bed and covered up.
If Isellta sees that ruined faced vampire again, it will make him frantic to go back with him. He’ll never want to hrrash ka kae with me again.
He won’t want me.
Just that vampire.
That ugly, nonsensical vampire with only one good eye.
Isellta, how can you love what isn’t beautiful? How can you see ugliness as beauty? It doesn’t make sense. It will never make sense. Why don’t you make sense?
“mmmph…” Mark Caten rolled over and lay close behind her. Their bodies were in perfect alignment – chest along her back, knees tucked behind her knees, feet flexed just so next to her feet. They were parallel lines.
His hand trailed listlessly up and down her side.
She closed her eyes.
He’s painting me. His hand is the paintbrush. My body is his canvas. Maybe he’ll paint me as a warrior queen. Maybe he’ll turn me into a slave. Or maybe he’ll render my form ugly and twisted as in that painting upstairs. He’ll stain my skin red.
He has stained my soul black.
What will happen when I return home? Can I ever tell them about everything this man has done to me? No, I can never do that. It would reduce me to an object of pity and scorn. I will no longer be seen as a queen.
Can I still be queen of my people? Am I still fit to rule? If I am not, can I set claim on any of my harem members? Will any of them want to stay with me? Or will they all reject me?
“mmmmmm. mm…” His hand came to rest on the highest point of her hip. His muscles relaxed.
Just like that, his painting is done. What did he create? Is it an image of beauty and fierce dignity? Or is it one that is twisted and dirty and ugly?
Is that what he’s reduced me to?
Is that all I am?
She leaned back against him.
I won’t think any more of it. Not tonight.
I need to sleep.
Maelin loitered in the hallway, lost in indecision.
She turned abruptly and put her hand on the doorknob. “Preyuna won’t listen. Certainly not in front of Caten. He tends to bring out her worst.” Maelin lowered her hand. “I need to catch her alone. I will catch her alone and somehow talk sense into her.”
In the meantime, I need to go outside and think things over.
Isellta leaned his face against Jay’s arm, but he kept his gaze on the monitor.
My Robin’s here.
He’ll appear. It may take a few more minutes, maybe a few hours, but he’ll appear. I’ll see him. I’ll see him. Robin, my Robin, appear. Let me see you now. I need to see you now. It’s been too long, Robin. I need you.
Please. Don’t you understand, Robin, how much I need you? I’m not really sure if I understand it, but I do.
“It’s getting pretty late and you look exhausted.” Jay said. “Do you want to call it a night and try some more tomorrow?”
Isellta shook his head. “He’ll appear. I know he will.” He blinked quickly as he heard what Jay did not say. He peeked up at the guard. “Are you tired, Jay?”
The guard muffled a yawn.
“If. If you want to leave me and go—-”
“No.” Jay lowered his hands. “I’m not leaving you.”
“Oh.” Isellta’s wings flittered as he watched the monitor. “I guess. I guess I could. But I want to see him. Oh, Jay! I want to see him. Where is he? Why hasn’t he shown up yet? It doesn’t matter though. He will show up.” His wings settled down. “You’ll see. My Robin. I’ll see him.”
“Then, stay.” He kissed the top of Isellta’s head. “And I’ll stay with you.”
Isellta’s wings flapped.