Preyuna stopped at the front door and took a moment to compose herself.
Please don’t let it be Mark. Let it be Mormons on a late night mission run. Just don’t let it be Mark.
She opened the door.
Three people stood on the other side: a woman with pale blue hair with golden tips dressed in a high-low hemmed formal gown, a brown-haired gentleman in a midnight blue suit with shiny silver buttons, and a black-haired young man with red eyes dressed in a tuxedo.
Preyuna was pretty sure they weren’t Mormons. “If you’re looking for a costume party, you’re knocking on the wrong door.”
The red-eyed man bowed to her. “I do beg your pardon, miss.”
“Queen, actually. Queen Preyuna of the fey.”
He straightened his posture. “Ah! You are the one I wished to speak to.”
She gave him a cool, emotionless look. “About what, exactly?”
“About a dear friend of mine. Perhaps you know him. His name is Robin Hastings.”
“I know of him. Isellta has a—” Preyuna mentally dialed down the acidic venom she wanted to spew. “—certain weakness for this Robin fellow.”
“Is he here?”
Preyuna wanted to smile at his directness. No fiddle-faddle or dancing around the subject for him. “Who? Robin?” She kept her expression at a steady calm. “No. He isn’t here.”
The brown-haired gentleman stepped forward. “There was some question about a phone call from Robin. Do you know anything about that?”
“No.” Preyuna said. She kept her tone natural. “Is there a reason why I should?”
The blue-haired woman didn’t say anything. She stood nearby the brown-haired guy and watched.
“Yes.” Red-eyed man said. “It is a common held belief that phone call was merely a deception…that you made that call.”
She laughed. “Well, really. That is absurd. Why would I play a child’s game like that? I have much better things to do with my time.”
“I am certain you do, Your Majesty. Yet, something about that phone call disquieted us all. We needed to be sure that he was not being held against his will here.”
“What is your name, young man?”
“I am Raven, Your Majesty.”
“Good. I like to know the names of whoever I am speaking to. Raven, there is no reason why I’d want to hold Robin here. Robin is my enemy, to put it bluntly. He would steal Isellta from me in a heartbeat. And Isellta would run off with him.”
Interest sparked in Raven’s eyes. “Then, Isellta is still here.”
Her facial expression did not reveal the amount of florid swearing going on inside her head. “Of course, he isn’t. I am so used to thinking of him as here. He left with Robin last night.”
“What time?” Brown-haired gentleman asked.
She gave him an unfavorable look. “I don’t know. They slipped away when I wasn’t looking.”
“Have you checked the monitors?”
Her heart sank. The monitors! If Raven checks the monitors, he’ll see Ambrose. He’ll ruin my plans! “Yes, I did.” She frowned. “I saw Isellta and Robin run to the driveway. I couldn’t hear their voices, but they were clearly giddy with happiness. Isellta kept touching him and kissing him and…” Her wings emerged. All of her feathers bristled and there was nothing faked about that reaction. “I was disgusted by such a display. I didn’t even think to check the time.” She refocused on Raven. “I’m sure you can’t blame me.”
“Ah, indeed. I would never dream of placing the blame at your feet.”
“Yet, that’s why you’re here, Raven Vampire.”
He looked vaguely annoyed. “Vampire is not my last name. It is what I am, not who I am.”
“If you say so, Your Majesty. I would like to see those monitors, if it would not be too much trouble.”
It would be far too much trouble. But I can’t say that. Can’t lose the game now. Preyuna smiled. “Of course. You have my permission to enter this residence.” I’ll figure something out. Maybe I’ll just do what I did last time and magically remove Ambrose’s and Barbara’s images from the monitors. “Come on in, Raven.”
“I would like my companions to join me.”
She mentally winced. “Of course. Come in.”