Hildreth looked at the bloodstains on his shirt and sighed.
At least we’re not taking the train back.
He put his shirt on and listened. Huh? It’s awful quiet out there. Maybe they’re doing a whole friendly female embrace. Lovers of Ambrose Smith camaraderie band together type of thing. Yeah. No.
He opened the door.
The silence out there was like that in a tomb.
Unnerving and almost solid.
What if Elsie went full out berserk and killed her?
No. That’s not likely at all.
He left the bathroom and entered the foyer.
Barbara perked up. “Oh, good! You have a shirt on. Thank you so much!”
“Uhh, so? Did she help you?”
“Not at all. But! I am not concerned.”
Her level of positivity made his head swirl. “You aren’t?”
“Nope! Because I believe you can help me.”
“What gives you that idea?”
‘That and you’re Elsie’s…” She made a thinking about it expression. “…significant other?”
“Thanks, but what does that have to do with my ability to help you?”
“Because you are her fiancé. I’m sure you’ve had conversations about all the stuff that happened before your paths crossed and that would have included her knowledge about that place.”
He laughed. He couldn’t help himself. “You’re being very presumptuous.”
“Maybe, but am I wrong?”
“No. To be honest, I used to work there.”
She smiled. “See? I knew you could help me.”
“I can help you, but…”
Her smile fell. “But you won’t?”
“It’s complicated. I know what that place is like. I know how they treat their…exhibitions. I know how they treated him. But as long as he’s there, I don’t have to worry about him showing up at Elsie’s doorstep with a basket of flowers and his vampire charm. I can feel safe.”
“You don’t trust her.”
It wasn’t a question.
“I know her. I know how he affects her. I just want him to leave her alone. To leave us alone.”
“He will. Believe me. I know he will. He’s moved on from her.” Her smile returned. “He has me. You shouldn’t be so afraid, Hildreth. Trust her. Believe in her.”
He chuckled. “Ahh, now I understand.”
“I can see why Ambrose went from Elsie to you. You’re this weird little bundle of positive energy. If I were him, I’d probably go for you too.”
She blushed. “Will you help me?”
He glanced toward the closed kitchen door. If I do, she won’t forgive me. She’ll accuse me of sneaking around behind her back, consorting with the enemy, and on and on. But maybe Barbara’s right. Maybe I need to stop worrying, stop doubting, and start trusting her. “How do you want me to help?”
“You don’t have to do anything.”
He looked back at her.
“All you have to do is tell me where to go.”
I hope I don’t regret this. “Go to Davisburg. It’s a small town about 25 miles east of Havaton.”
“And it’s there?”
“Yes. Mark Caten’s amusement park is there.”
She hugged him, which took him completely by surprise. “Thank you so much.” She hurried on out the front door.
“Why do I have a bad feeling that I will regret this?”