Ambrose smiled. He climbed out of the mess of burnt desk pieces and stood. “Working for you will definitely be interesting. I’ll have to remember not to get into any shouting matches with you.”
“Then, you do accept the position?”
“If you’re offering it, yeah. Am I free to go now?”
“Yes, but I just wanted to say one last thing.”
“You surprised me. I didn’t think you would kill the illusion that looked like that hunter.”
“I did it only because I knew it wasn’t her.”
“What if it had been her?”
Ambrose’s smile fell as he remembered.
He knocked her flat on her back. He grabbed the sides of her head and whacked her head on the floor. He lunged open-mouthed at her neck.
He almost relented, but her scent…Her scent beckoned to him in strange, unspoken words. He couldn’t resist its voice.
He touched her neck with his fangs.
All I had to do was bite down. Just one hard, strong bite and she would have changed. Or she would have died. The fire that possessed her. The heat of her blood. That would have been all mine for several glorious moments. And, if she had changed, she would have been mine forever.
All I had to do was bite.
He shivered hard. “I don’t know.”
Sammy drove Ambrose back to the hotel in his own car – a sleek, growling beast with aggressive styling.
Ambrose had no idea what kind of car it was and he didn’t care. All that mattered was the fact that it had excellent tinted windows, freeze your gut air conditioning, and a back seat that a grown man could curl up on with ease and comfort.
He slept the whole way back.
Ambrose closed his eyes as the hotel shower rained hard and sharp on his back. He tried to relax, to let his mind go blank.
He thought about fake Elsie.
What if it had been her? What would I have done?
He opened his eyes.
I would have been happy to see her.
I would have hugged her.
I would have thrown myself at her feet and begged her to forgive me.
But what about Barbara?
She isn’t Elsie.
She’s better than her.
She’s actually good for me.
She makes me happy.
She makes me laugh.
And I care about her.
I care about making her happy.
I care about not hurting her.
What about Elsie?
He straightened his back.
What about her?
I have to let her go.
I need to move on.
He shampooed his hair and let the shower pound out the lather.
The white foam rolled down his face.
I will move on with Barbara at my side. If she wants to be with me forever…I’ll let her make that choice.
He imagined Barbara growing old, growing frail while he stayed always young. It hurt more than he expected.
“I will let her make that choice.”