“Ambrose! What are you saying?”
“You’re comin’ with us?” asked Thug #1.
Ambrose nodded his head.
“This ain’t a trick?”
“Ambrose, you can’t.”
He awkwardly went down on his knees before her. “It isn’t a matter of can or can’t. I must. I love you. Oh, Barbara. Oh, I love you.”
Thug #1 put his weapon away. He stepped behind Ambrose and fiddled around with the cuffs until he somehow unhinged them. “There ya go, lover boy. Just remember. You try any fancy tricks, she’s the one who gets it.”
Thug #1 grabbed Thug #2 by the collar. “Let’s get them some privacy.”
“Sure thing, bro.”
“Ambrose, you ca—”
He hugged her.
Her scent enveloped him, filling his mind, but he did not attack her.
“Ambrose.” she whispered. “Don’t leave me.”
“I love you. Promise me. You won’t forget. Promise me you won’t forget me.” The pain was too strong. It stole his voice away. I won’t forget you.
Barbara half-laughed, half-cried. “There you go again. Telling me what I want to do.” She held onto him. “Don’t go. Please don’t go.”
My hands are free. I could tackle them. Take them down. Kill them.
They’ll kill her.
“I’ll find a way back to you.” He kissed the side of her neck. “I will. I promise.” He inhaled her scent. Up to the point where it was too much, too tempting. He opened his mouth and panted. Every inhale pushed him further into temptation.
He released her and turned his face away from her. Not now. NOT now.
She stroked his face.
He leaned into her touch and laid his hand on top of hers.
“I love you, Ambrose. I love you.”
Tears fell down his face. “Why does it have to be like this? Why can’t I…Why can’t…”
“All right. All right.” Thug #2 grabbed Ambrose and forced him up to his feet. “Enough love stuff. You’re makin’ my bro weepy.”
“Barbara.” He started to reach for her, but Thug #2 stepped in between them and pushed him forward.
“Let’s go, vamp.”
“No!” Barbara stood up. “You hear me, you big fat lummox? I said no!”
Thug #1 and #2 gave her equally confounded looks. “Wha?”
“Yeah, like bro said…Wha?”
“You can’t do this! It’s not fair. You hear me? It is not fair!”
They looked at each other. “Snapped her noodle, she did.”
“Sure did, bro.”
She marched up to Thug #1. “I haven’t snapped anything. But if you don’t release him now and hand him over to me, I will give him the word and he’ll snap both of you ugly boatnecks.”
Ambrose gaped. There were so many things he could have thought and/or said, but he just gaped.
“Don’t sweat it. She’s bluffin’.”
“I am not. I know him. I know that he’s in a particular mood. It won’t take much to set him off. Only reason why he hasn’t killed you billy goat faced yokels yet is he’s worried about you killing me. THAT is the only thing stopping him.”
“Shut up! I’m thinkin’.”
She looked at Ambrose. “He will do anything to protect me.”