As Ambrose and Ingrid left the living room, Robin kissed Isellta’s head. “You okay?”
“If these questions are hurtin’ you too much, you ain’t needin’ to carry on with this dumb stupid innerview thing.”
“It’s okay, Robin.” He looked up at him. “I’m okay.” He smiled. “You’re here with me.”
Robin hugged him.
“My Robin, you’re here with me.”
Robin closed his eyes and the memories flashed through his mind. “So many days and nights, I had no idea if you were okay, if you loved me, if you still loved me, if you wanted me at all. So many freakin’ long days and nights…” He moved his hands down Isellta’s stiff-edged feathers, loving the feel, loving the texture. “So many long days and nights, I thought you were a goner. Thought I’d never see you again. Thought I’d never get a chance to touch you, to hold you like this, to tell you for real that I love you.”
“Same here. Oh, Robin. My beautiful Robin.”
Ambrose and Ingrid returned a lot sooner than Robin had expected. “Honestly? I don’t know what Raven’s deal was. I was NOT the one who was moaning and groaning about doing this.” He dropped on the couch next to Isellta.
Robin reluctantly let go of Isellta, but Isellta stayed close to him. Robin smiled and kissed his head again.
Ingrid returned to her seat. “Okay! After that small break—”
Robin snorted. “Freakin’ short.”
“—let’s get back into the flow and flow into the next question: Is there a secret spot you like to retreat to? If there is, why that spot?”
Ambrose smiled. “I wouldn’t call it a secret spot exactly. More like my safe spot.”
“Oooo!” Ingrid leaned forward. “Do tell.”
“It’s the shower. There’s nothing quite like taking a nice hot shower when things are freaking me out. As for why?” Ambrose thought it over. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s some primordial, womb thing. Or maybe it’s because I grew up in a time when running hot water wasn’t something that one took so easily for granted.”
“I knew it!” Robin said. “You’re as old as time.”
Ambrose gave Robin that look. “I am not that old.”
“Yeah, right. My safe spot is the local bar. It’s a good place to go to just chill and think about stuff or just hang out with my other friends.”
Isellta took hold of Robin’s hand. “I’m safe with you.”
Ingrid smiled and wrote it all down. “Do you have a family member that’s ever let you down? If so, how has that affected you?”
“Nope.” Ambrose said.
“Clone dad.” Robin said. “Him rejectin’ me and mom got me into pushin’ people away.”
Isellta resumed his survey of Robin’s hand. “They never let me down. I let them down. I let her down. That’s all I want to say about it.”
“Fair enough. Are you afraid to be alone?”
Ambrose shrugged. “I’ve lived a long time. Sometimes with lovers. Sometimes alone. I don’t like being alone, but I’m not afraid of it.”
Isellta shook his head. “I don’t like this question.”
“Then, don’t answer it.” Robin pulled him in closer. “And I’ll pass on it too.”
“Are you proud of who you are?”
Ambrose thought it over. “Yes. I’ve come a long way from who I used to be.”
“Yeah.” Robin said. “It took me a while to figure out that I ain’t straight and get all acceptin’ of that. It weren’t all that easy. But I made it through. ‘sellta and I have had to work through more stuff than we’ll tell you about. But we’re together. And we’re happy. I’m proud of the fact that I am happy with this dumb stupid fey and he’s happy with messed up, damaged me.”
“As for me..,” Isellta ran his finger over Robin’s knuckles. “I’m not sure if I ever can be proud of myself. But Robin sees the good in me. He sees the beauty in me and that is an amazing thing.”
Robin whispered in Isellta’s ear, “You are amazin’ in so many ways.”
Isellta flapped his wings.
“What keeps you up at night?”
All three of them said, “Pass!” in unison.
She laughed. “What was your favorite stuffed animal or toy as a kid?”
Robin snorted. “Bet Am’rose had a corn husk doll.”
Ambrose bonked him on the head with his fist.
“You deserved it. I’m sure I had a favorite toy. Can’t remember, though.”
“Mine’s was this floppy stuffed bear my real dad got me on a business trip. I loved that stupid thing. It smelled like him. E’en after his scent faded away, I could still sorta smell it on that toy.”
“My pillow.” Isellta said. “When I was hurt from my mother’s cruel words, hugging my pillow helped me. I didn’t make me feel better, but it was something to hug when I needed someone to hug.”
“What was your worst injury ever?”
Isellta’s feathers bristled out. “Don’t want to think about it. Don’t want to talk about it. Hurt too much. It was my fault, but it hurt so much. It was all my fault.”
“Hey.” Robin touched foreheads with him. “It’s okay. You’re okay. It weren’t your fault. So, don’t you go blamin’ yourself. You hear me?”
“So, pass?” Ingrid asked.
“Apparently.” Ambrose said. “I recommend you abandon the dark questions and jump to some fluffier ones.”
“What song makes you think of your crush?”
“Barbara is more than a crush.” Ambrose chuckled, ‘A whole lot more. But I’ll answer the question. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’. It’s the first song we danced to and it will always remind me of her.”
“John Denver’s ‘Perhaps Love’.” Robin said. “I could give you a whole big explanation why, but theme’s all spoilers I ain’t willin’ to spill.”
“Same here.” Isellta looked up at him. The sweet innocence of his expression made Robin want to pick him up and carry him away.
“What was your bravest moment?”
“Pass.” Robin and Isellta said.
Ambrose looked surprised. “You’re not going to say anything about—-”
“Stupid Am’rose. Don’t you know anythin’ about spoilers? Sayin’ anythin’ about all that would be spoilers.”
“True. In that case, I’ll pass too.” Ambrose stuck out the tip of his tongue. “Blah. My mouth is all dry. I need to get something to drink.” He stood. “And I will get a drink no matter what Raven may think or say.”
TO BE CONTINUED….