Ambrose put all of his cleaning supplies away and punched out for the night.
I should wait till I get home.
Yeah. Let’s delay the inevitable.
He stepped outside and pulled out his cell phone. He flipped it open. “If I’m remembering correctly, I have to push the…green? button and hold it down.” His expression brightened as the phone booped and bleeped on.
“Now loading. Of course, you’re now loading. Why would you go to the main screen right off the bat? That would be far too convenient. Must do your now loading thing first. Good. Main screen. Okay.”
He dialed the number.
Maybe he won’t answer.
Maybe his phone’s dead.
Maybe he moved.
Maybe he’s out of town.
Maybe his phone got stolen.
Maybe he lost his phone.
Maybe he has his ringer on mute.
Oh shoot. “Hello.”
“Who is this?”
“I…” He stood taller and straightened his shoulders. “This is Ambrose Smith. I want to talk to you about your daughter.”
Is this good or bad?
Maybe he doesn’t remember me. That would be nice. We could just start all over from scratch.
“Ambrose Smith. You’re a vampire, aren’t you?”
“Yes. I’m dating your daughter.” Wait. What if I have the wrong number? “I am talking to Mr. Addleston, right? You are Barbara Addleston’s father, right?”
“Good. I…” I can’t ask him this over the phone. That’s just uncivilized. “Could you please come to The Red Envelope? I have a question I must ask you.”
“Ask me now.”
“No! I can’t do it that way. Please. Please come. This is important.”
More dead silence, which annoyed Ambrose.
“I’ve already fed. So, you have nothing to worry about.”
“You could be lying.”
Ambrose face-palmed. Couldn’t I just go ask Sammy again? “I am not lying. I will not harm you.”
“I don’t like The Red Envelope.”
Oh, of course you don’t. “Where do you prefer to meet me?”
Lots and lots of silence.
“Meet me in front of Sammy’s Place.”
Ambrose shrugged. “That’s convenient. I’m already there.”
“Will you come?”
Thirty-five minutes of silence.
Ambrose bit back his impatience.
“Yes. I’m coming.”
He sighed with relief. “Thank you.”
Snow fell in hearty clumps. Each clump was fifteen flakes away from being a full snowball.
Ambrose leaned against the building.
I hate Sammy. Plain and simple.
I hate him for not giving this building an awning.
I hate him for locking the doors and stranding me out here.
I hate him for not leaving a space heater out here. Preferably a large space heater.
I hate him for not giving me any sort of chair to sit in. So, I’m stuck standing here like a hobo or some sort of thief or—
A white Dodge Durango made its way through the falling snow. It pulled into the parking lot.
Ambrose stood up straight.
The driver pulled up close to the building and shut off the car.
Ambrose unfolded his arms. His mind raced with possible escape routes just in case it wasn’t Barbara’s dad. Just in case it was a hunter with a Bossman 550 all ready and set to go.
The driver’s side door opened.
A man in an old suede coat and a patched leather driving hat stepped out of the car. He walked towards the building.
Any hopes that it was someone, anyone else were dashed to bits. Ambrose recognized his scent of warm sea air. “Mr. Addleston.”