Raven uncovered his face and slowly pulled on his gloves.
“What’s happened? Is she all right? Is she safe?”
Raven raised his gaze to Ambrose’s face. “She is fine, sir. She is safe. I have kept her safe.” He stood. “If you’ll excuse me.”
Ambrose frowned. “What’s your problem?”
“I’m sorry, sir?”
“I beg your pardon, sir, but dawn will be here soon. I would like to be—”
“Raven. What’s wrong?”
He didn’t reply.
“Don’t play stubborn. I could always force you to tell me.”
“I am not being stubborn, sir. I was searching for the right way to ask you a particular question.”
“Just ask it.”
“Very well, sir. I arrived at this city via train crash. I would like to know, sir, if you were the one who caused that crash.”
“What makes you think I did?”
“Did you? Sir?”
Ambrose walked up to the front door. “You’re right, Raven. Dawn will be here soon. You should go home.”
“I should search your memories.”
“No. My memories are mine. Whether they are good or bad, they are mine. I will not have you meddling with them.”
“Meddling. Like what you did to Mark Caten. I will not have you do that to me.”
Raven smirked. “I see. Good day, sir.” He turned and walked away.
Ambrose tried to open the door.
It was locked.
I should be glad that she has enough sense to lock her doors at night, but why did she have to lock them tonight?
He raised his fist to knock and stopped.
There were fresh claw marks on the door.
I’m going to kill him!
Ambrose charged after Raven and bulldozered him flat on his face. “How dare you. How dare you!”
Ambrose pummeled him with fists and claws. “I TRUSTED YOU!”
Raven curled into a defensive ball and shielded his face. “I didn’t do anything. I swear I didn’t. I didn’t.”
“THEN, WHO CLAWED HER DOOR? HUH? WHO?” He grabbed Raven’s hair and pulled his head up. “If you’ve hurt her in any way—”
“I haven’t, sir.” Tears streamed down his face. “I would never.”
“If you’re lying—” He touched the tips of his claws to Raven’s throat.
Raven closed his eyes. “I’m not, sir. I never approached her. I never touched her. I protected her. I kept her safe. Sir.” He opened his eyes. “Those marks were from another vampire. And that is the truth.”
Ambrose considered his words.
“If you doubt me, you have my permission to search my memories.”
Ambrose released him and strode back to Barbara’s front porch. He glanced back.
Raven was already gone.