Part 2394 – You Just Healed Me, But Yeah. You Still Kinda Freak Me Out.

Isellta lifted his wings a little from his back and held them still. It was a lot like someone getting their hands in position to applaud — all posed and waiting for the right cue. “Do you really mean it?”

“I do.” She laid her hand on the front side of his injured shoulder. The pain pierced his joint and radiated with a fierce vengeance down into the spaces in between his wrist bones.

Isellta whimpered.

“Just hold still.” Preyuna rubbed his shoulder and sang,

“Aish ka hoo
Aish ka nee
Aish ka vee
Ha la ki ni ma neh.”

With every touch, every word, every note, the pain faded.

“Aish ka shi
Aish ka sah
Aish ka dah
Ha la ki ni ma heh.”

By the time she ended the song, the pain was gone.

“Thank you.” Isellta said.

“You’re welcome.” She gave the front side of his body a leisurely lingering look.

His wings involuntarily bristled. 

Don’t touch me. Please don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch it. Don’t touch it. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. I don’t want to. I don’t want to. 

Isellta wasn’t actively projecting his thoughts. Even if he had wanted to project them at her, he sensed that her mental barriers were in tight lockdown. There was no way for his thoughts to enter her mind. They would simply bounce off her barriers, unheard and unnoticed.

Yet, she scowled at him as if she’d heard every single word.

Isellta averted his gaze. He looked at the opposite wall, but he didn’t really see it. If he looked away from it, he would be hard pressed to say if the wall were painted or papered, black or white, floral or striped. It could have been anything and everything and nothing all at the same time. He honestly had no idea.

She fingered the patch of feathers below his throat.

Isellta closed his eyes. He could almost see her fingers leave traces of black grease and oil and grime on his translucent feathers. “You will let me know, won’t you?” He swallowed hard. “When Robin comes for me, you will tell me, won’t you?”

Her fingers outlined the feather patch.

He shuddered. “I don’t know. I don’t know if he will want to see me. Maybe he’ll be repulsed by me.”

Her fingers went still. “Repulsed? Why? You aren’t the one who’s scarred. If anything, he would be baffled by the fact that you so desperately want to see him. That you want him at all.”

Isellta opened his eyes, but he refrained from looking at her. “I’m filthy. He is not. To the best of my knowledge, my Robin is clean. Clean and perfect and beautiful. I know I’m not.” He blushed. “But I think being touched by him and held by him and loved by him will make me feel like I’m sparkling clean and radiantly beautiful.”

“And let me guess: I make you feel filthy and ugly.”

He shook his head. “It’s just what I am.”

“Stupid boy.” She pulled her hand away and left him.

He hugged himself for comfort, but it just reminded him of how naked he still was. Bare arms across bare chest. Bare hands on bare shoulders. 

He bowed his head.

Bare neck.

Bare chest.

Bare back.

Bare arms.

Bare hands.

Bare legs.

No clothes.

Nothing safe, nothing hidden.

Everything revealed.

Everything on display. And no matter how much I may hug myself, I can’t hide everything. I can’t hide my back or my legs. I can’t hide myself from her. She can see me.

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