“Blasted hunters. Blasted, blamed—” Ambrose tromped across his drawbridge. “Always interrupting my meals. I don’t understand why. I never take more than my share. Always just one. Why is that such a big deal?”
He thought of Maria, waiting for him inside, and his irritation faded. “She’ll comfort me as she always does. With her gentle touch. Her reassuring words. Her kind voice.”
He smiled and opened the door.
His smile fell.
Something was wrong.
Her scent was completely gone.
Something inside his chest tightened. “Maria? Where are you? Come to me!”
But she did not come.
“Maria!” His throat felt as tight as his chest. “COME!”
She did not come and he knew that she would never come again.
He sank to his knees. “I don’t…I don’t understand. Why would she leave me? What did I do wrong?”
Ambrose bowed his head and tried to remember. Did I say something wrong? Was I unintentionally cruel to her? No. I didn’t. I wouldn’t. I…
He raised his head. “Mark Caten did this. I don’t know why. But he did.” Ambrose rose to his feet. All of his sorrow twisted and twined into raw anger and hatred.
He turned and walked out the door with only one thought in mind: Kill Mark Caten.