She curled her fingers into his hair.
Her mind dredged up memories of Ambrose kissing her as if he were trying to steal her breath, as if he needed her.
She pulled away from Hildreth.
He gave her a puzzled look. “What’s wrong?”
“This. We shouldn’t be doing this here. It’s all wrong. He might come in here. He might see us.”
“You make it sound like we’re doing something wrong.”
“We are. Don’t you see?”
“All I see is you.”
“Hildreth. We’re in his house. We’re doing this in his house. Please don’t tell me you can’t see how this is wrong.”
“What this? Me kissing you?” Understanding showed on his face. “Ah. You kissing me. You think that vampire will see and get all sun-sick with jealousy.” He smiled. “So? Let him see. Let him get all jealous. I don’t care.”
She shook her head and rose to her feet. “You’re an idiot.”
“Maybe.” He stood.
She backed away from him.
“Or maybe I’m just not afraid of him.”
“You should be. He thoroughly thrashed you. If he caught you kissing me, he’d kill you.”
He walked up to her. “What if he did kill me? Would you care?”
The answer was waiting to be said, but she turned away from him and strode to the doorway. “I need to see him again. We can finish this discussion later.”
He didn’t respond.
She didn’t want to look back and see his disappointment. She left the room.
He followed softly.
I’m going to see him again. I’m going to see him again. Ambrose. My lovely Ambrose. She frowned. So, why am I trembling? Why do I want to go running in the opposite direction? What am I afraid of?
She walked up the black and gold marble staircase and came up with a few answers to that question:
What if he’s moved on?
What if he’s up in his room right now with his fey little trollop?
What if he’s disappointed to see me?
What if I…
She found it difficult to swallow.
What if I’m nothing special to him?
What if I’m the only one in love?
What will I do?
Hildreth glanced at her. “You okay? You look sick.”
How can I tell him all my fears? He wouldn’t understand. He’d think I’m just being a needy nit-wit. Maybe he’d be right. “I’m fine.”
“You sure about that?”
“Fine. I’m fine.”
He took her hand into his and gently squeezed it.
“Will he remember me?”
“If he loved you at all, he will.”
“That’s just it. What if…Hildreth. What if I’ve been wrong about him all along? What if he doesn’t love me? What if he’s just been using me? What if he’s forgotten me?”
“If he could forget someone like you, he’s something lower than a moron.” Hildreth gently wiped away her tears. “He wouldn’t be worth a single one of these tears.”
“What will I do?”
“It isn’t that easy.”
He smiled, but it wasn’t happy. “I know.”