Ambrose marched down a long, treed hill.
Irrational woman. That’s what she is. “I’ve done nothing wrong.” she says. “I’ve come to suck your blood.” she says. Then, after I go through a lot of trouble to find her a decent meal, she whines about how evil we are. What a…a…”Raaaah!”
He picked up a random log and flung it down the hill. “And die down there!”
And how dare she remind me of my first kill. That’s none of her business. I should have told her so.
The memory resurfaced as if it had been summoned.
He rolled out a long line of choice French vulgarities. This is her fault. I should go back there and stake her myself. She deserves it.
Ambrose slowed. Wait. She had a stake. How is that possible? As a vampire she shouldn’t have been able to hold that, much less use it.
I never saw her bite him.
Yes, she did bite me, but what if she isn’t a vampire? What if she’s a hunter playing a strange cat and mouse game with me? Well. That would just be stupid. She had me right there. Why wouldn’t she just stake me?
What if? He widened his eyes. What if she isn’t allowed to kill me? What if this is all an elaborate trap? All of it? Her imprisonment in that graveyard. Those campers…”No. That would be too elaborate with too many variables, too many things that could go wrong. Who would even be stupid enough to come up with such a scheme? Elsie? Hildreth? Mark Caten? Not likely.”
“Hey!” She ran down the hill towards him.
All the same, I would be a fool to trust her.
She stopped in front of him. “I’m sorry that I left you like that.”
“Idiot. I was the one who left you.”
“Oh. Will you let me walk with you a while longer?”
“I wish to return to my home, but I daren’t walk through this woods alone. It isn’t safe.”
Alarm bells sounded in his head. “What do you know about that? You’ve been imprisoned in that other dimension.”
“Uhh? Oh. Well. Yes, but hunters—”
“Hunters tend to stick to their own cities. They never overlap.”
“That’s true, of course, but there are rogue hunters who do not abide by such conventions.”
“Elsie would not tolerate another hunter in her territory.”
“Uhh? How do you know that?”
“Gut instinct. And…” He smiled as he thought about her. “I know Elsie.”
“Oh. So, you love a hunter.”
He startled. “What?”
“That is what you meant. Isn’t it?”
“That is none of your business.”
“Hm. So, I am not wrong. May I travel with you then?”
“No. I’m not interested in companionship.”
“I can protect you.”
“I can protect myself. Go. Find your own way home.”
“Please. I will not say another word about your tawdry love affair with a hunter.”
“It was not tawdry!”
“But it was a love affair?”
He snarled at her.
She flinched and backed away from him. “Please…don’t…”
“My love life is none of your business.” He turned and started to walk away.
“Don’t leave me. Please. I’ve been alone for too long.”
He didn’t stop. “I’ll take you to the main road. After that, you’re on your own.”
She hurried up to him. “Thank you.”
I don’t trust her, but it’s far better to have her by my side than to worry about her sneaking around behind my back. “Don’t mention it.”