Robin stood and stretched as Ingrid reviewed her notes. “nnnngh…ohhh!” He lowered his arms. “Only six more freakin’ questions.”
Ambrose smiled at him. “You’re being a lot more cooperative than you were last time.”
“Well, last time I ain’t had Isellta with me.”
Ambrose pulled out his phone. “Speaking of which, you need to talk to him before he dislocates all of his fingers.” He dialed Barbara’s number and put his phone to his ear.
Robin looked down at Isellta, who was anxiously twisting his fingers. “Hey.” He sat next to him and gently covered the fey’s anxious fingers. “What’s goin’ on?”
Isellta’s hands went still. “I don’t want to talk about my mother.” he said softly. “And I don’t want to talk about any of my nightmares. But you’ll want to know. Of course, you will. Based on what I’ve said, you’re curious. You want to know. You’ll demand to know. You won’t take no for an answer. You’ll…you. You won’t. You…”
“Hey. It’s okay. You ain’t wanna talk about any of that stuff? Okay. Fine. Don’t.” He kissed the side of Isellta’s head. “Tell me ’bout it when you’re all good and ready.”
Isellta lowered his gaze. “What if I’m never ready?”
“That’s also fine. But it ain’t healthy to keep all that bottled up. Some things, even really hurtful things, need to be spoken about.” Robin tucked Isellta’s hair around his ear. “Whene’er you’re ready. Okay?”
“Tsk.” Ambrose said. “Voice mail. Hey, Barbara. I’m still here at Raven’s place. This interview should be wrapping up shortly. I’ll be home soon.” He smiled lovingly. “I love you, love. I can’t wait to get home to you.” He ended his call and put his phone away.
Ingrid made a couple of small corrections and raised her head. “Okay! Are you all ready to continue?”
“I am.” Ambrose said.
“Yeah, whate’er.” Robin said. “Let’s get this all over with.”
“I’m ready.” Isellta said.
“Do you wish to be a loner? Or have a family one day? Or if you already have a family, do you enjoy family life or regret it?”
“Darnation.” Robin said. “That is one loaded question.”
Ingrid smiled. “Yes, but aren’t those just the best kinds?”
“I don’t know if they are the best kinds.” Ambrose said. “But they do give the most interesting answers.”
“And how would you answer it?” Ingrid asked coyly.
Ambrose thought it over. “I have lived alone. It has its advantages, not going to deny it, but I have always wanted to have that one special person. Someone I could come home to. Someone who could look at me and love me as I am.”
“Yeah.” Robin scoffed. “’cause you sure ain’t no one’s idea of hot.”
Ambrose ignored him. “Right now, it’s just me and my wife. And I’m happy with that. But I keep hoping that maybe one day I’ll be able to add to the Smith family tree.”
“Dang.” Robin said. “That is one big bundle of a sentence. As for me, no. I ain’t no loner. I like bein’ part of a family, like what I got here with Raven, me, Isellta, and Ambrose. One strange mess of a found family. Would I like a family of my own? I dunno. I do know I ain’t gonna hit up some random chick just to have a kid of my own. That ain’t what I want.”
“What odd habits or ticks do you have?”
“Darn nosy question. Pass!”
Ambrose smiled flirtatiously. “Odd habits or ticks…I have plenty. If you pay close attention, you might figure out what they are.”
Ingrid fanned herself with her notebook. “It feels so warm in here all of a sudden.”
“Oh, I freakin’ bet it does.”
Isellta tilted his head and blinked quickly. “Odd habits or ticks? I’m not sure I understand what that means.”
“Should I mark you as a pass too?” Ingrid asked.
“Have you traveled to other lands? Or planets, even?”
“Surprisingly enough, no.” Ambrose said.
“Other planets? What the heck? What the serious heck? What’s that even mean ‘travelin’ to other planets’? ’cause I sure ain’t no astronaut. Definitely ain’t no drug user.”
Ambrose smirked. “Now who’s being long-winded?”
“I ain’t sure, but I know it ain’t me.”
“I have crossed dimensions.” Isellta said. “Does that count?”
“Oh, yes!” Ingrid wrote quickly. “Tell me all about it.”
“Umm, my schie a kehn sent me here from our home realm. I don’t know what humans call our realm, but we fey call it Aisha Shae.”
“What’s it like there?” Robin asked.
Isellta brightened. His wings fluttered. “It’s beautiful. So very natural and beautiful. There are so many plants and animals that live there that can’t be found anywhere else. Oh, Robin! I wish I could take you there, but humans are not allowed to enter our lands.”
“It’s okay, ‘sellta. After this innerview’s all over, show me. Enter my mind and let me see it.”
Isellta blushed and ducked his head.
“Unless you ain’t wantin’ to.”
“I do.” Isellta pressed his forehead against Robin’s shoulder.
Robin felt as if he were glowing. “You beautiful creature.” He raked his fingers through Isellta’s hair. “My beautiful fey.”
Ingrid cleared her throat. “Okay! Down to the last three! Do you feel a need to fix or repair problems that don’t directly involve you?”
“Not really.” Ambrose said. “Unless it’s important to Barbara.”
“Ain’t never thought about it.”
Isellta flittered his wings in a quick gesture. “I’m more likely to cause problems than to know how to fix them.”
“How do you view other races or cultures?”
Ambrose shrugged. “I’m a vampire. Who am I to judge other races or cultures?”
Robin chuckled. “My boyfriend’s a fey. So, there’s the answer to that.”
“I like learning about other races and cultures. It’s intriguing, even if they don’t always make sense.”
Ingrid smiled as she wrote down Isellta’s answer. “And the final question: Do you worry about what the future will bring?”
“Who doesn’t?” Ambrose said. “That’s the easy, flippant answer, but the truth is I don’t worry quite so much. I am married to the woman I adore and she loves me. She truly loves me and it’s more than I’ve ever thought I could deserve. Maybe we’ll have kids one day. Maybe not. But we love each other and respect each other and life is beautiful and fine.”
“I used to freak out about the future, but that was back when ‘sellta and I was separated. I just wanted to run to him, but I was scared.” He turned to face Isellta, who raised his head. “Scared that someone so perfect, so dang pretty wouldn’t want me.” He stroked Isellta’s face. “I thought he’d reject me as soon as I said hi.”
Isellta caressed Robin’s hand. “I would never reject you, my Robin. My lovely Robin.”
Robin smiled a soft, loving smile. “Yeah, I’m real lovely with my scarred face.”
Ingrid looked over her notes one more time. “Well! I’d hate to ruin a beautiful moment like this, but I do need to get you guys to the photo shoot.”
“Get to?” Robin surfaced from his mushy sunshine thoughts. “Ain’t we doin’ it here?”
“Oh, no! The photo shoot is at my studio.”