Ambrose rolled onto his back and thought things through in straight lines and in extravagant scribbles.
He rubbed the tears away. I know what I must do.
Even though his day exhaustion weighed him down, Ambrose scrawled out of bed and went hunting for his suitcase. Might as well get this part done with so I can go back to sleep.
I’ll leave tonight.
Elsie sat on the front porch with her legs folded under her. She closed her eyes and tried to meditate, but her mind refused to settle.
“Dawn is beautiful this morning. But you should be asleep, Vansing.”
She looked up at her Master.
“You had a busy night.”
She shook her head. “I can’t sleep, Master.”
“As I see.” He sat beside her and closed his eyes.
“I need your guidance.”
He opened one eye to look at her.
He opened both eyes.
“He’s a good hunter.”
“And you say I’m hard on him.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. But that isn’t the issue.” She hesitated.
He waited patiently.
“I had a good time with him yesterday.”
He nodded his head.
“I like him and he likes me. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking that his idea of like is a whole lot more than mine.”
He nodded his head again. “You speak of love.”
“No. That would be ridiculous.”
“I don’t know. It’s like a cheesy romantic comedy or drama and that is not what my life is.”
“What is your life? Fighting and nothing more?”
She looked up at the dawning sky.
“Are you only a mindless, heartless machine?”
She didn’t reply.
He smiled. “No. I have not been your Master for long, but I know you, Elsie Vansing. I know you. You have a heart and a mind.”
She looked over at him.
“But your heart and your mind cling to a memory instead of to what is real. To what is there inside that house.”
Elsie didn’t try to debate it. “What am I supposed to do?”
He stood and stretched. “Mmm. Get sleep.”
“Go to Ambrose and resolve your pain. Then, you will know your next step.” He walked back to the front door. “But first. Sleep.”