Ambrose stood before Elsie.
His black eyes looked at her.
His hands reached for her.
His mouth opened and he said her name.
“Elsie.” His voice was warm and dark and alluring. Elsie wanted him to say it again.
And so he did. “Elsie.”
His hands traveled through her hair.
He kissed her throat. Her neck.
His kiss became a bite.
And she could do nothing to stop him.
So, she didn’t try.
Elsie shot up into a straight-backed sit and glanced around the room.
She was alone.
“It was just a dream. And nothing more. It didn’t mean anything. It didn’t.”
She rubbed her neck. Her fingers trailed across the marks that other vampire had left behind.
I don’t want him.
I don’t love him. I don’t like him. I don’t want to be anywhere near him again. I don’t!
She picked up the phone and selected Hildreth’s number.
“Hello. Good. You’re still awake. Nothing’s wrong. Nothing! I needed to hear your voice.”
He sounds so tired and worried.
“Really. It’s nothing. I want. I need you to say my name. I know it’s a weird request. I know you’re tired. I know Master Shinowa’s going to give you another thrashing tomorrow. I know you need to get your sleep. I know. I know! Just say it. Not like that. Not so full of concern. Say it like you love me.” Her posture slumped. “I’m not saying you don’t. Just say it. I need to hear it.”
She smiled. “Hildreth. Say it again. Say my name.”
I don’t understand any of this. “Elsie. Elsie. Elsie.”
But oh. I wish she were here. “Elsie. Elsie. Elsie.”
If only I could reach through the phone and pull her here. “Elsie. Elsie. Elsie.”
If only that vampire hadn’t killed Mark Caten’s daughter. “Elsie. Elsie. Elsie.”
If only that vampire had never been born. “Elsie. I love you so much.”
“Hildreth.” Ambrose’s voice lightened into Hildreth’s voice.
“I love you.” Ambrose’s face transformed into Hildreth’s face.
“I love you.” Ambrose’s hands became Hildreth’s hands, reaching for her.
“I will always love you.” Hildreth’s hands touched her and embraced her.
And she felt peace. “Good night, Hildreth.”
He smiled. It doesn’t matter what or why that all just happened. “Good night, Elsie.”