Eschia had been mentally prepared for anger, for rage, for yelling and screaming and swearing. Those were all very reasonable and expected behaviors from someone who’d been pinned to a brick wall for the past couple of days.
She was even ready for him to be lethargic. That was also reasonable and acceptable. But that was not the reaction Eschia received when he opened his eyes.
Robin looked at her with joy and hope. There was some uncertainty, but no fear. No anger. No hatred. He seemed to be somewhere between laughing and crying.
It baffled her, until she realized, Ohhhh, he expects me to set him free.
“‘sellta?” He blinked and his tears fell. “My ‘sellta. My beautiful ‘sellta.” Despite his falling tears, there was still joy in his eyes. “Dang it all. I thought you weren’t gonna come to me.” He laughed a messy, tearful laugh. “But you’re here. My ‘sellta.”
Eschia stared at him, stunned and appalled. What? How could he be mistaking me for Isellta? I look nothing like him! But…She ran her hand through her shoulder-length blonde hair. She folded her black wings and pulled them into her back. But Isellta is a fey. He can take on any form. Even that of a woman.
His gaze travelled all over her face. “‘sellta, let me see you.”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry. I’m not Isellta Mal Hoven.”
His joy dimmed a little in his good eye, but it didn’t fade completely away. “But he’s still here, right? Is he okay? Is he still alive? Does he—” Robin winced. “huh…Huh!” He sucked in his breath.
Eschia watched him as he continued to agonize about…something. Maybe it was pain. Maybe it was hunger. Maybe it had something to do with Isellta. She honestly had no idea.
She could have entered his mind to see what was going on, but she didn’t want to. Eschia wasn’t curious enough about the matter…whatever the matter was. So, she watched him instead and took careful notes about every little thing.
All of the little things.
The shape of his face and the arrangement of his features.
The color of his hair and the tamed wildness of it.
The shape of his body and how well he filled in that tuxedo.
But her gaze always returned to that scar. That awful, uneven, ruinous scar.
She subtly shook her head in disapproval. What do you see, Isellta, when you look at him? Where do you see the good in him? Her gaze dipped below his belt. Is it there? Is your desperation for him based on something so basic and ordinary as lust? Is that all? She looked up at his face again. Or do you see a beauty I’m missing?
Maybe if he didn’t have that scar on his face I’d be able to see him the way you do.