Ambrose turned the showerhead to the Spear Jet setting. He hunched his back and relished the hot water rat-a-tatting his bare skin. He closed his eyes.
His thoughts wandered into memories.
He opened his eyes.
Such a lovely neck.
Such a lovely throat.
Such lovely blood.
All I want is one bite. A one minute waltz.
He shampooed his hair and let the shower pound it out.
I’m not asking for too much.
I’m asking for everything.
He shlupped his hair out of his eyes. If I bite her neck, it will change her. Sure, I’ll try to hold back. But I won’t be able to. If I change her, she’ll never forgive me. She’ll send me away.
The water wasn’t hot enough for his liking. So, he turned the faucet further to the hot side. She thinks of me as a situation that needs to be kept under tight control. She doesn’t understand. I love her. I don’t want to hurt her. I don’t. But.
I just want to give her one bite. I’ll be gentle. It won’t hurt. But it will change her. But.
I want. I want. I want. I WANT.
He picked up the soap bar and crumbled it into bits and threw the soapy crumbs into the tub. “Arrgh!”
Ambrose rinsed the suds off his hands. I should leave. Find someone else. Someone I don’t care about. Kill mindlessly. It’s what I want. Mindless bloodshed of no named people. So easy.
But I want to stay here. With her. He shut the water off and got out of the tub. I need to talk to her.
He toweled himself and got dressed. Explain how I feel. Ask her to help me. She’ll know what to say, what to do.
Ambrose left his room and walked up the stairs. His light tread did not make the wooden stairs squeak. Yes. She’ll understand.
He smiled. My Elsie. She’ll help me as she has done this whole time. I know she will.
Happiness filled him from brain to toes. He could feel it inside his fingertips. My Elsie. My lovely black-haired Elsie.
He reached the top landing and grabbed hold of the doorknob.
He tried to turn it.
It would not turn.
He frowned and tried again.
It was locked.
“What?” He backed up to the edge of the landing. Disappointment and hurt spun circles inside of him. “Why?”
And someone else.
Not a man.
He returned to the door and listened.
“Oh, Aunt Elsie! This place is wonderful! Especially the back yard. I’ve never seen so many trees!”
His hurt doubled.
“If you think that is something, wait till you see the upstairs.”
“I can’t wait! Let’s go upstairs now. Come on! Come on!”
Elsie laughed again. “All right, Jane. Let me grab your suitcase first. Okay. Let’s go.”
He listened to her footsteps retreating. Leaving him alone.
Ambrose knelt. “I promised her. I told her I would keep my promise. Why? Why didn’t she believe me?” He scowled. “She’s trying to keep me under tight control. She doesn’t trust me.” He banged his fists on the door. “I promised you, Elsie! I promised.”