Elsie entered the training room.
She cleared her throat. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Master—”
Hildreth stopped and looked over at her.
“—but don’t you think you’re being a little too hard on him?”
“Vampires will be not easy on him. He must be readiness.”
“I know that, Master, but—”
“No but. Mayhew. Again.”
“He needs a break.”
Master Shinowa scowled at her. “He will get break when I say so. Step down, Vansing.”
She bowed. “Yes, Master.”
“Mayhew.” He hesitated. “Fighting same dummy will train only so well. Vansing.”
“Forward and prepare.”
“I’m sorry, but what?”
“Mayhew. Vansing will fight one full round with you.” He gave her a stern look. “And she not hold back. Understood?”
Elsie wanted to object, but she knew that she had objected too much already. “Understood, Master.”
She ran at him full speed.
Hildreth stepped into his fighting stance.
She thought about all of the vampires she had fought. Their different moves. Their aggression.
She attacked him as if she were one of them. Hard. Heartless. Relentless.
He blocked her attacks over and over without trying to land any blows of his own.
“Mayhew. No dancing with her.”
Ambrose’s voice filled her mind. “You want to dance, hunter?”
A crushing pain gripped her. Tears filled her eyes.
She thought about the feel of his arms around her. The smell of his skin. The warmth of his voice. The touch of his lips.
Hildreth blocked another attack and grabbed her arms.
“Let me go. Let me go! Let me—”
She gave him a stricken look and broke out of his grip.
She ran out of the room.
Hildreth bowed to Master Shinowa. “Please excuse me.”
“I will. Know what’s wrongness with her.”