Ambrose licked the blood off the back of his hands. “You should be glad I’m not hungry right now, hunter. Otherwise, I’d bite you.”
He licked his fingernails – one, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. “Mmm. Maybe I should bite you anyway. Just out of spite.”
He licked his palms clean. “Yes. And I should change you while I’m at it. Mmm, I should lock you up in a cage exposed to sunlight. No shelter. No food. No way to get any food. It would be only fair.”
Hildreth lay still – hurt and bleeding.
Ambrose stopped in mid-lick and looked at him. Or maybe I should just leave him here to die.
Laetissa’s voice echoed in his mind: “Vampires always take and take. Kill and kill and kill. Just a whole lot of mindless, heartless, soulless killers.”
He lowered his hands. Is that all I am? No, I am more than that. “But what am I supposed to do?”
I don’t have any healing powers. Am I supposed to drag him over to the nearest hospital? What? Out of mercy? Out of kindness? Out of charity? Why? He would never show me any of those. He’d stake me without hesitation. He staked her.
Ambrose kicked Hildreth’s ribs one more time. So? What am I supposed to do with him? He paced, making sure to stay away from the ravine’s edge. I should just toss him over the cliff.
But I am not just a mindless killer.
He stopped. Aren’t I?
Ambrose returned to Hildreth and crouched beside him. He watched his uneven breathing.
A strange idea occurred to him. He tilted his head.
I could take him to Elsie. But what would I say to her? I tried to change her. She won’t be happy to see me. She’d banish me from ever entering her house again.
So? I’ll just dump him on her doorstep. Let her wonder how he got there. He’ll tell her.
He’ll tell her and she’ll hate me even more.
Ambrose watched him breathe. If I force him to repress those memories, he’ll never know. And neither will she.