Part 43 – Needed: One Invite

It was a beautiful night. The heat of the day was gone. Cool air blew gently against his skin. The moon and the stars shined bright.

Ambrose, however, was not having any fun. Rock climbing was not one of his strong points.

He fumbled and grappled for hand holds. His feet slipped and slid out of the foot holds more often than not. Several times, he found himself hanging by just his claws.

But he kept going.

I’m almost there.

He thought about Mark Caten and he kept going.

Almost there.

He refused to contemplate what would happen if he fell.


He refused to consider the possibility that Mark Caten wasn’t home.


He kept climbing.


Until, at last, he crawled over onto the top.

Ambrose rose to his feet.

Mark Caten’s mansion stood before him – ablaze with lights.

Ambrose dusted off his hands. “What? Is he having a party in there?” He approached the house hesitantly, carefully.

There were no trees to hide behind. And no yard, for that matter.

Just the mansion plonked on top of a dry, dusty cliff.

“Can’t account for all tastes.” I just wish I didn’t feel so exposed and vulnerable. I wish I had something to hide behind or creep through.

Ambrose walked up to the front door and hesitated. It’s too bold to march up to a man’s front door with the intent to kill him. Too bad.

He walked around to the back door, laid his hand on the doorknob, and turned it without any difficulty.

He opened the door.

This is all too easy. No guards. No security systems. Not even a guard dog. And the back door is unlocked. He’s either stupider than I remember.

Or this is a trap.

His mind flashed back to Elsie capturing him, back to the amusement park.

He shuddered. I don’t want to go back there. But I can’t turn away. Not now.

Ambrose stepped forward into the well-lit pool room. He spun around and walked right back out.

“What?” He tried it again and again with the same result. “No.” He ran forward, only to spin in a tight circle, and head back out.

The memory of Mark Caten’s voice echoed in his mind, “You are no longer welcome in my office. I revoke any and all invitations that I have extended to you.”

Ambrose let loose a torrent of French curse words as he charged to the house. He punched the aluminum siding over and over. “I went through all of that trouble, climbing his stupid molehill.” He punched it again. “And for what? What? Arrragh!” He punched a hole in the siding.

A woman with sleek blond hair walked out of the house. She wore a robe similar to Mark’s guards, but it was cut to compliment a woman’s figure. She smiled at him. “You’re making quite the ruckus, for someone who’s trying to sneak inside.” Her voice had a rich, warm quality with a subtle lilt.

“I have business with Mark Caten.”

“But you can’t enter. How interesting.”

He narrowed his eyes. “That is none of your business.”

“Oh, on the contrary, Mr. Smith.”

He startled.

She reached into one of her bell-like sleeves and pulled out a spiked club. “It is my business.”

I could fight her.

I could bite her, change her. It would serve him right. But I want him to be my meal. “That’s a dangerous weapon you wield.” He walked into her space. “Look at all of the spikes on it.”

She blinked in confusion.

“Yes. You could hurt someone with that. Maybe even yourself.” He touched her face with his long fingers. “You should drop it.”


He looked into her eyes. “No. You might try to pick it up again and that won’t do. Throw it.”


“Yes. Throw it far away.”

“But…my job…”

“Is a minor detail.” He whispered in her ear, “Throw it away. For me.”

She turned.

He curled his hands around her neck. “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. Throw that dangerous thing far out of your reach. You don’t want to get hurt.”

She hesitated for only a moment before obeying him. It didn’t go nearly far enough, but he was satisfied. “Good girl. Now, look at me.”

She obeyed.

“I need you to do me one more favor. Invite me in.”

She blinked fast. “No. I can’t do that.”

He kissed her on the lips.

She pulled away from him. “I can’t. I can’t.”

“Of course, you can’t.” He looked into her eyes. “But you will.” He kissed her again and again until he felt her yield and return his kisses. He whispered, “Invite me inside.”

She looked at him with a glazed over expression. “You may come inside.”

“Thank you.”

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