Isellta stopped in the bathroom’s doorway. The door was already open. The light was still on.
A hard shudder shook him, but he entered the room.
Isellta averted his gaze as he stumbled past the mirror. He kept his focus on the shower ahead of him. If he could just get into the shower, the warm water would help soothe his aches and pain. He knew it would.
His breathing echoed loud and uneven in the silence of the room. He could almost see its foggy, uncertain shape ricocheting off the walls. Maybe it left the walls without a mark. Or maybe it stained everything it touched.
Maybe if he looked hard enough, Isellta would be able to see the stains.
He stopped in the middle of the room and struggled to catch his breath. But his breath refused to be caught. His chest hurt from the exertion.
He waited in vain for Jay’s touch and reassurance.
There was nothing.
Nothing to do but keep moving forward. No matter how much it hurt. So, he kept walking forward, tripping and stumbling the whole way to the bathtub.
He awkwardly stepped over the side of the bathtub. His flared out wings kept him from falling.
Isellta settled his wings against his back. He turned the water on to as hot as he could bear and pulled the shower lever up. The pain in his shoulder rammed its way down to his wrist. He bit his lower lip and stepped under the falling water.
Just as he’d expected, the hot water felt great against his aching body parts.
Isellta soaped up his hands and rubbed the soap all over his chest and arms. His injured shoulder objected sharply to such use. But Isellta kept at it. He had to.
He felt filthy.
Panic gripped him with hooks and claws as Isellta realized what he had just done.
“oh.” He looked at his hands. They were wet. The water ran down his fingers to his palms, the backs of his hands, his wrists, his arms, down his chest.
All over his chest.
“No. No! NO!” His hands trembled as he furiously scratched his arms over and over.
But his hands were still wet.
“No, please. Please!” He scratched harder, faster, but it was still there. He could still feel it on his skin.
All over his skin.
He whimpered as he moved on to scratching his chest.
But he could feel it running and trickling down his legs.
There was no escaping it. It was all over him.
And he knew he’d never be clean again.
Isellta sank down to his hands and knees. He bowed his head and broke down.
Filthy. Filthy. Dirty. Disgusting. Filthy. Dirty. Disgusting. That’s all he’ll see. That’s all Robin will see when he looks at me. He won’t see me. He’ll just see all of this filth. All of this ugliness. He won’t want to touch me. Why would he want to touch me? Why?
His shoulders shook as he cried.
The water fell on his wings and trickled downwards. It touched and bumped his fingers. It rippled up to his wrists. It rubbed around his knees and toes.
He gasped and slowly raised his head. “Why? Why would she do this to me? I surrendered myself to her. So.”
There was no answer.
He staggered up to his feet. “Why?”
No answer at all.
I need to know.