“Thank you for calling Sammy Borscht’s office. We specialize in helping extraordinaries find jobs that match their talents. How may I help you? What? Police?”
Barbara’s face went pale. “Why? What has he done?”
“But…it couldn’t have been him. He’s a vampire. He sleeps all day. Where?”
I can’t very well tell them I don’t know, because I do know. I’d get into trouble if I don’t tell them. But if I do, they’ll arrest him and take him away. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure.” Her face turned redder with each new lie. “He is a vampire. So, I imagine he’d sleep somewhere dark. Like, I don’t know, a cave? Do we have caves around here? Oh. Yes.” A bad case of jitters came over her. “Yes, I’ll put you through to Sammy right now. Please hold while I transfer your call.”
She dialed Sammy’s extension. “Sammy? The police are on the line. They want to talk to you. About Ambrose Smith. What? I’m completely shaken. I wasn’t expecting a call like that. Certainly not about him. Oh! Oh, can I? I’ll come right back, I promise. I just need to step away and calm down. Thank you. I’m going to transfer the call now. So, hold on.” She transferred the call and hung up the phone.
Barbara pulled out her cell phone and dialed his new number.
A flat dial tone.
She shut down her phone.
She imagined Ambrose lying in bed in a day exhausted stupor while the police broke through the hotel window and piled into the room.
They’d slap handcuffs on him and drag him to their squad car. He won’t be able to resist or anything. He’d wake up tonight in a jail cell.
She imagined his fear turn into anger turn into despair.
I can’t let that happen.
I must do something.
I need to warn him.
She smiled. Well. Sammy said I could step away from my desk. So, I’ll do that. I’ll step away from my desk.
Far away from my desk.
Elsie contemplated the manhole cover in the middle of the street.
I seriously doubt that he’d go that far. But it is dark and cool down there.
An aggravated series of car horns blared at her.
I’ll investigate it later. Only if I absolutely have to. She returned to the sidewalk. On to the train station. But if the police are searching that area…I seriously doubt that Ambrose would be brainless enough to stay where he could be easily caught.
So, what if he isn’t there?
Where would he go?
Elsie stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and considered her surroundings. So many buildings. So many places to hide. I can’t search them all.
But I don’t have to.
All I have to do is search the right place. That one place where Ambrose is sure to go to hide.
It would have to be somewhere nearby. A public place that doesn’t require invitations.
A place he can curl up and sleep without fear of intrusions.
Somewhere he can lock the door.
The logical answer occurred to her.
Elsie resumed walking.
She turned the corner. Only to stop again.
The sign for the Ol’ Bailey’s Comfy Inn stood on the other side of the street.
Could it really be that simple?
She walked across the street.
What if it is?
Ambrose pulled his key card in and out of the scanner.
The door unlocked.
He turned the handle and went inside his hotel room.
“What am I doing here? I want to be at Sammy’s.” He rubbed his forehead and moaned. “Since I’m here, I might as well change my shirt. Get into something that doesn’t have day heat all over it.”
He unzipped his hoodie and took it off.
The hotel’s frigid AC felt great against his heated skin. But the combination of the cold air and his day exhaustion was just too much for him to handle.
He wobbled over to the bed and dropped into it.
I’ll find another shirt in just a second.
He fell into a deep sleep.
A peach colored Mini Cooper pulled into the parking lot as Elsie headed towards the front lobby entrance. She glanced at the car and raised her eyebrows in surprise. Huh. I’ve never seen a car that color before. Must have been a customization.
She smiled. It’s probably a little old lady with a poofy pink wig or someone outlandish like that.
She pulled the front door open. “No normal person would want a peach car.”
Barbara saw a woman with frizzy black hair walk towards the front entrance. For a moment, she sat still, almost petrified. “No. It can’t be Elsie. That would be just too unlikely.”
She got out of her peach colored car and locked the doors.
She headed for Ambrose’s room.
“Hi! Is there an Ambrose Smith staying here?”
The receptionist gave her a disapproving up-down look. “Maybe. Why do you ask?”
“Well.” She searched her mind for a decent reason. All she could come up with were indecent reasons. “I had agreed to meet him at a hotel, but I forgot which hotel it was.”
“Hmph! You don’t look like the type to be mentally sloppy. You’re spying on someone, aren’t you?”
“Please. Is he here?”
“I’m not supposed to say, but I sense an interesting intrigue. I’ll give you his room number if you agree to tell me the details.”
“Good. His room number is…” She did a search on her computer. “Room 105.”
“One-oh-five. Thank you.”