Barbara sat on the ratty recliner and wondered about her life.
Why do I keep encountering shirtless men? Let’s see. So far, I’ve seen Ambrose without his shirt on, Hildreth without his shirt on, and now Kevin. I suppose Sammy’s next.
She shuddered. I hope not. That would be so uncomfortable and awkward. No girl should ever have to see her boss shirtless.
Kevin entered the room in a tank top and cargo pants, but completely barefoot. “Sorry. I’m not used to guests.”
“Don’t mention it. I should have called first.”
“What want? I mean…What do you want?”
Barbara spread her hands on her knees. Well. How do I go about this? I can’t just ask him right off the bat. I need to work him up to it. Somehow. “I’m uhhh…”
He flipped his hair out of his eyes. “You miss me?”
“No!” Gah! “I mean, I was thinking that you were probably out of hair clips. Here.” She handed him a package of 500 bobby pins.
“Oooo! They’re the plastic grippy kind.”
She smiled. “I know you like them the best.”
He pulled a handful off the card and went to work pinning his hair out of his eyes. “I miss you.”
He attached the last one. “Come back?”
“No. I’m sorry. I really can’t.”
He sighed. “Why?”
“Because I love him.”
“Vampires = bad.”
He frowned. “Your vampire = very bad.”
“Sometimes, but not always. I think he’s getting better.”
“Not to me.”
“Sorry. Kevin. I need your help.”
“Ambrose never came back last night. I’m worried about him.”
“I need your help. Please help me find him.”
“If your vampire’s gone, maybe he’s gone for good. Maybe come back?”
“Kevin, seriously. I am not coming back to you. You and I had our moment, but it was only a moment. Neither of us tried to make it bigger than that.”
“I will try, if you give me another chance.”
“That is not why I’m here.”
“Give me another chance, I’ll help you find vampire.”
“No. That is not what I want.”
“Finding vampire not what I want. We’re even.”
She sighed. “Then, I guess that’s that.” She stood. “I’ll have to find another werewolf who’d be willing to help me. Bye, Kev.”
Barbara started to leave, but he grabbed her hand.
“Barbara. Give me another chance. Please. Don’t go to the other werewolves. They aren’t like me.”
She looked back at him. “Then, help me. I can’t give you another chance. I’m sorry, but I can’t. But please help me find him. If you love me still, help me.”
“Not a fair thing to say.”
“Kev, please. This means a lot to me. He means a lot to me. I don’t want to lose him for another six months. I just got him back.”
He released her hand. “It isn’t fair.”
She looked at him and remembered what he was like before he became a werewolf. “No. It isn’t fair at all.”
“Is cold out again?”
He used to be able to speak in consistently full sentences. “Yes.”
“I would if I were you.”
He frowned. “Don’t like boots. Can’t feel ground through them.”
He’s changed so much and not for the better. “Well, you don’t want to get frostbite. Believe me. I’ve seen pictures of frostbite and it is horrible looking. Never look it up. You’ll regret it forever if you do.”
“Love you, Barbara.”
But some things have not changed. “I know you do.” I wish I could tell him “I love you” back, but I can’t. It isn’t true.
He smiled. “Kiss me and I will agree to help you.”
“Only one kiss. Nothing else.”
“You better not bite me. If I turn into a werewolf, Ambrose will kill you. He will kill you so bad.”
His smile fell back into a scowl. “Only want a kiss. Nothing more.”
“You won’t hurt me?”
“Promise not to hurt you.” He cleared his throat. “I won’t hurt you, Barbara.”
She approached him and kissed him. It wasn’t a wild, passionate kiss nor was it a polite peck on the cheek. It was a lovely in-between kiss.
And it made him smile. “Will always love you, Barbara.”