Here it is. The question I’ve been expecting and dreading. I will not react. I will keep calm. I will not set him aflame. Nor will I make him explode. “Have you asked her yet?”
“Not yet, but I will. Do I have your permission?”
How to answer that question? “You’re a vampire.”
Ambrose’s face turned pale.
“You have an unpredictable temperament. You might kill her.”
Ambrose shook his head. “No.”
“You might change her.”
“No! I would never do that to her. Barbara was never meant to be a vampire. She’s too innocent and good. She’d choose to live in starvation. I know she would. I would never hurt her like that. I’d hate myself.”
“But it could happen.”
“It won’t. I swear it won’t. Not even if I were desperate. Sammy, I love her.”
Kittens frolicking in the grass, golden retriever puppies sleeping in a pile, butterflies of many different colors, sunshine on my back and warming my wings, peace, calm, tranquility, calm, calm, calm, pink, blue, sea green, crystals, diamonds, gold, pearls—
“I just love her. She has opened me up and I can see that I am not a monster. I am more than that. She has shown me love, more than I deserve. Sammy. I want to marry her. I want to be her husband. I want to be with her until death separates us. I will treasure her always.”
“I’m sure there will be days or nights when I’ll be a total jerk. I’ll hurt her feelings. I’ll choose my needs over her own. I will make her cry.”
One of the chairs in the waiting area rose up into the air and started bashing itself against the chair next to it.
A WHOLE FOREST OF DAFFODILS, GLADIOLAS, PRIMROSES, BASKETS OF ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT WITH SMALL BERRIES TUCKED INSIDE—
The chair returned to its position in a battered up state.
“But I will make her happy. Sammy, I want to make her so happy. I want to see her laugh.” He smiled. “I want to see her blush. I want to take her in my arms and—” He stopped as he obviously remembered who he was talking to. He shrugged. “I don’t know what more I can say to convince you. So, I guess I’ll just stop.”
So. Now, I must give him my answer. I could be selfish and give him the answer I want to say. But Ms. Addleston and I have reached an understanding.
And he treasures her as I do.
“You have my permission.” But it hurts.
Joy lit up Ambrose’s face. “Do you mean it? You aren’t going to go all Phantom of the Opera on me and try to Punjab lasso me when I least expect it?”
“No. Besides, you know how I am, Mr. Smith. If I wanted to get you out of the way, I would just use my emotions. I wouldn’t bother with rope.”
“That is true. Thank you.” He hugged Sammy, catching him completely off-guard.. “You don’t know how much this means to me. Thank you.” He released him. “A million times thank you.”
His heart hurt, but Sammy smiled. “You’re welcome.”