Part 110 – Ambrose, Barbara, and Coffee

She beamed her twelve thousand dollar smile at Ambrose. “Well! I’m here.”

He looked up at her and smiled. “I was wondering when you’d come.”

“Well.” She sat across from him. “I couldn’t come dressed in my work clothes. So, I went home to change. Then, there was the whole question of what to wear on a first date with a vampire. Turtleneck, cowl collar, V-neck, boat neck.”

He took a sip of his water. “And you went with a turtleneck. Disappointing.”

She giggled. “Sorry.”

The waiter came. “May I take your order?”

“I haven’t made up my mind yet. Could you get me a cup of coffee with no sugar and no cream?”

“One black coffee. All right. And you, sir?”

“Another cup of hot water. And make it hot this time.”

“Will do.”

As the waiter ambled off, Ambrose looked at her. “I must say, you’re taking my vampirism better than I’d expected. Most women your age would run in the opposite direction while throwing holy water bombs at me.”

“I’ve worked at Sammy’s for five years now. Hm. Five years. I can’t believe it’s been that long already. Anyway,. I’ve seen a lot of extraordinaries in those five years. I’d hate to say I’m immune to their strangeness. Maybe I’m just used to it.”

“You should still remember that a vampire is a tiger. Something to be wary of. Something that can’t be fully trusted.”

“Or domesticated. I heard that whole spiel in my orientation class.” She smiled. “At that time, I wondered how anyone could become blasé about extraordinaries. Now…I’d hate to say I have become blasé about it. That would make me sound sad and jaded and I know I’m not either. Let’s just say, I have a new understanding of them.”

The waiter brought her coffee. “Do you still need a few minutes?”

“Yes.”

“And I still need my water.”

“The water is still heating up, sir. But I will bring it out to you when it’s considerably warm.”

“No. Not warm. Hot. It should be hard to handle and barely fit to drink. That kind of hot.”

“That isn’t safe, sir.”

“Tough. That’s what I want.”

The waiter sighed. “Yes, sir.” He skedaddled to the kitchen.

Ambrose looked at the steam rising out of her mug.

She blew on her coffee before taking a sip. “Hmm. It isn’t the best, but it’s coffee. ”

“Can I try some?”

“Sure.” She gently pushed the cream-colored mug over to him. “It’s a little on the bitter side.”

He took a sip. Ahh, so hot.

He took  a much bigger sip. But nngh! He shook his head and pushed the mug back to her. “The taste is off-putting.”

She giggled. “You might like it better with cream.”

“No. Cream would make it cold. I hate cold drinks.”

“Hmm? Is it a vampire thing?”

“No. It’s just how I am. How I’ve always been. Even before my change.” He arched an eyebrow. “It isn’t fair, you know.”

“What?”

“You know who I am, but you haven’t told me your name.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.”

He laid his hand on top of her hand. “Don’t be sorry.”

She blushed. “I’m Barbara.”

Her hand’s so comfortably warm. He smiled. “Do you have a last name?”

“Addleston.”

“Barbara Addleston.”

She giggled. “It’s kind of a mouthful, isn’t it?”

“No.” He looked at her and he did not think of Elsie. He just saw her. “It’s just right.”

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