Jay entered his bedroom. His heart warmed at the sight of Isellta in Maelin’s arms.
The two people I love most, but in such different ways. Yet, I would gladly die for them both.
Isellta perked his head up. “Jay!” He flapped his wings.
Jay came over to the bed and sat next to Maelin. “Hey.”
She released Isellta. “You okay, sweetheart?”
“Yeah. Just. Just tired.”
Isellta’s wing flapping slowed down. “Did….Robin show up? Did you see him?”
Jay shook his head.
“oh.” His wings went limp.
“It’s okay, angel.” Maelin said.
Isellta tilted his head. “Maelin, he’s here. Robin is here. I can feel it.” He curled his hand against his chest. “Right here. It’s a strong pulling feeling. It’s him. I know. He is here. My Robin is here.”
Jay shrugged. “I don’t know what to say. I mean—” He flapped his hands in a helpless gesture. “I don’t know. I was watching the monitors and…nothing. I don’t know.” He slumped forward and rubbed his face. “Ohhh, I don’t know. Maybe I dozed off. Maybe I missed his arrival. I just don’t know.”
“oh. Jay, it isn’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself. It’s okay.”
Jay lowered his hands. “It isn’t okay. I wanted to surprise you. I wanted to wake you up and say, ‘Hey. Guess who’s here?’ And he’d be standing at my side.”
“But I can’t even do that for you. I hate disappointing you. I hate seeing that look on your face. I hate hearing that small disappointed ‘oh’.”
Isellta ducked his head. “I’m sorry, Jay. I don’t mean to hurt you.” He twisted his fingers. “I’m…I’m sorry.”
“Hey.” Jay moved over to Isellta and captured his hands. “Stop.”
Isellta turned his face away. “I’m sorry.” he said softly.
“Isellta, there is no reason for you to say sorry to me. You got that?”
The fey quickly blinked, but kept his gaze averted.
“Look at me.”
Isellta turned his head and cautiously peeked up at him as if he were expecting something bad.
“You and I are good. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at myself. I know how much Robin means to you. I know you love him. Maybe he deserves it. Maybe he doesn’t. I don’t know. All I know is your happiness is important to me. You are important to me. I love you. I love you, kid, and I just want you to be happy. You understand?”
“Good.” He held out his arms. “Come here.”
Isellta leaned against Jay and welcomed his embrace.
“It’s okay, kid. You’re okay.”
Maelin said nothing as Jay talked to Isellta. She quietly observed them. How Jay touched him. How Jay’s touch failed to alarm him. The way Jay looked at him and talked to him. The way Isellta looked at him. The way Isellta touched and hugged him.
I understand Preyuna’s jealousy. At least, I understand a small corner of it. I cannot and will never understand hurting him about it.
Jay released him.
Isellta looked up at the guard and smiled. A simple, innocent, closed mouth smile.
I don’t want to ever understand how anyone could be cruel to him.
Jay couldn’t help smiling back. “I bet you’re hungry. What can I do? What can I get you?”
Maelin scooted off the bed. “Stay here, Jay. I know what he needs. I’ll be right back.”