Ambrose was half-way back to the hotel when he realized that he was missing something important.
He frowned at his bare feet. How did I manage to misplace my shoes?
“Ah. The restaurant.” He considered his options. “Well. I can’t leave them there.”
He turned around and headed back.
The waitress fussed and fidgeted with the stack of menus by the hostess station. Ms. Addleston should have left by now, but no. No. Ms. Addleston is still there. All of the other guests have left, but Ms. Addleston is still there.
She walked back to the room and poked her head inside. “Pardon me, Ms. Addleston. I will be closing for the night soon.”
“Oh, that’s fine. I’ll wait just a little longer.”
Such stubbornness is beyond understanding.
She returned to her station.
It’s almost irritating.
Why won’t she leave? He obviously isn’t coming back. That in itself is bewildering. How could he leave his shoes behind and not rush back to claim them? Shoes are very dear and important things.
She imagined all manner of bad things puncturing his bare feet as he ran about town.
It almost made her sick.
The front door banged open and Ambrose hurried inside.
She opened her mouth to greet him, but he kept on going down the hall.
“Ah!” She raced after him. Her narrow dress limited her stride. “Mr. Smith! May I help you?”
He headed straight for the room.
“Ah. Ah! Ahh! Mr. Smith, wait!”
He opened the door.
And he stood still.
The waitress maneuvered around him and grabbed his shoes. “You left these be—”
“You waited for me?”
She walked over to him. “I waited and waited. I didn’t think you’d come. I felt foolish. I…”
He laid his hand on the side of her face. “I had to come back.”
“That’s true.” said the waitress. “You left your shoes behind and I didn’t know your address and—”
“I’m sorry, Barbara. Tonight shouldn’t have turned out that way. I shouldn’t have left you alone. I’m sorry.”
The waitress tightened her grip on the shoes. Why is he ignoring me? Doesn’t he want his shoes back? Doesn’t he care?
“I’ve lived alone for so long. I’m so used to the dance. Find a partner, bite her, bow and twirl on to the next one. That has been my way of life. A belladonna. Do you really think I can be more than that?”
“I have your shoes in my hands.” There. I said it out loud. He will take them. I will accidently take his hands in mine and—
Barbara smiled at him. “I know you can. True. You haven’t done anything to give me reason to believe that.” Her expression softened. “But I believe it.”
He stepped forward to kiss her.
The waitress keened a screech and flung the shoes at him.
“Ow. Ow! What the—”
She flared out her black lace-like wings. “Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.”
“You’re a fey. ”
“I had great plans. I tell you. I had great and wondrous plans involving you and me. And you ruined them all with your human mush emotions.” She picked up the closest shoe and threw it at him again.
“That idiot Queen Preyuna has been dillying around with that Mark Caten instead of attending her royal court. I was going to assemble a harem so great the Elder Fey would be morally bound to make me Queen of the Fey.”
“So? What does that have to do with me?”
“You were going to be my first acquisition. Then, I would build up my harem from there.”
“Acquisition. You mean, this has nothing to do with love?”
“Idiot. Fey don’t love. We can’t. Humans can’t fly. Fey can’t love. It’s that simple.”
“Oh.” said Barbara. “That’s so sad. I mean, I learned about fey and all the other extraordinaries. when I did the whole orientation thing at Sammy’s. But they never told me that fey were like that. Unable to love. I can’t even imagine.”
“Spare me your sappy pity party and get out of my restaurant.”
Ambrose reclaimed his shoes. “I wasn’t planning to stay.”
“Well, maybe you should have.”
“You’re very emotional and nonsensical for a fey.” Ambrose smirked. “Was your mother a human?”
She grabbed the chopsticks off the empty plate and threw them at him. They missed him completely and sailed through the open door.
He wrapped his arm around Barbara’s waist. “Come. Let’s go.”
And they left.
She let loose another shrill shriek.