Part 177 – Something’s Bothering Elsie

They patrolled the cemetery for an hour, but no other vampires showed up.

“Guess it’s time to move on.” said Hildreth.


He looked quickly at her. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Let’s search the rest of the city. I’ll take the top half. You take the lower. We’ll meet an hour before sunrise at Mad Swami’s Coffee Crazy Place in the middle of town.  ”

He followed her out of the cemetery. “Something’s bothering you.”

“Nothing’s bothering me.”

He considered the possibility of that being true. “Well, anyway. You sound like something’s bothering you.”

“Ohh, Ambrose, for cryin’ out loud!”

He stiffened and marched ahead of her.

“Hildreth! Wait!”

He stopped, but he didn’t look back.

She caught up to him  “I’m sorry. It just came out. It doesn’t mean anything. Trust me. Hildreth, look at me. Please look at me.”

There are so many things I could say. So many cruel and hurtful things that would make her cry.

I don’t want to make her cry.

He looked at her.

“I was just thinking about something and it’s so inconsequential. It’s stupid and petty and not even worth the words we’d use to talk about it. That’s all. It’s nothing.”

“You don’t trust me.”

She took a step back as if he’d slapped her. “That’s not true.”

“Then, don’t play these sort of games with me. The whole ‘Oh, I’m so angry at you but I won’t say why so you’ll make yourself sick with wondering what you did wrong and oh big surprise you didn’t do anything wrong I just want to mess with your mind’.”

I’ve gone too far. I’ve said too much. She’ll slap me. She’ll leave me.

“You’re wrong. It’s nothing like that and I mean it. You know about Ambrose. I’ve told you about him. You’ve seen us together. You know. But you’ve never told me about anyone else you’ve been with.  I…I don’t know if you have your own personal Ambrose. Some former flame who still owns a fraction of your heart. I don’t know and it kills me. For all I know, you might have fifteen ex-wives.”

He almost laughed, but her expression killed that impulse. “I haven’t discussed my love life with you because you haven’t asked me about it. And I am not going to randomly mention cute Katie Bing I used to date or anyone else I used to date. Because, Elsie. They don’t matter. None of them. I’m engaged to you. I love you. I want to be with you and no one else.”

She wrapped her arms around him.

“And no.” He kissed her head. “I don’t have fifteen ex-wives. You will be my first and only wife.”

“I love you, Hildreth.”

He kissed her again. “And I will love you to my dying day. Come what may.”


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