The vampire behind the jewelry counter at The Cardboard Box had a missing fang on the right side. As soon as Ambrose noticed it, he could not unnotice it. It was there. A blank space where his fang was supposed to be. It was so obviously not there.
Ambrose focused on the jewels the vampire laid before him, but his thoughts kept going back to that blank spot.
It bothered him.
How does he eat like that?
I wonder if he can get a fang implant. But would he be able to retract it or would it always be out for all to see?
Tacky. Might as well make it a gold fang while he’s at it.
“Is there a problem with my selection?”
“No. I was thinking of other things. I’m sorry. I like this one here.”
“It’s expensive. You sure you can afford it?”
Ambrose picked up the diamond and held it up to the light. He smiled at its radiant beauty. “I’ll find a way to pay for it.” He set the diamond outside the tray. “I want it.”
The jeweler shrugged and put the tray of sparkling lovelies back in the drawer down by his knees.
Ambrose pulled out the small black box and removed both rings. “I expect you to reset the diamond into this ring here and clean both of these rings until they shine like new.”
The jeweler sighed. “I’m a vampire, not fey. These are old rings. They’re not going to shine like new.”
“I know. So, make it happen.”
“Are you usually this difficult?”
“No. I’m actually being nice right now. I’m usually a whole lot worse.”
The jeweler sighed again. “I’ll see what I can do. But don’t go staking me if they don’t meet your expectations.”
Ambrose laughed. “You know full well I couldn’t stake you even if I wanted to.”
The jeweler smiled.
“Our hands don’t like wood. They fear stakes – can’t even touch those things. For me to stake you, it would require divine intervention on an colossal scale.”
“Indeed. What day do you want them done by?”
“What day?” Ambrose thought about it. “I want it to be done right. I want these rings to be beautiful. Make them beautiful. Then, give me a call.”
“I can do that. Give me your name and number and I’ll call you when they’re ready.”
Ambrose wrote it down in neat, tight letters. “There. Thank you.”
Ambrose stepped outside The Cardboard Box.
The two story building had been designed to look like an honest to goodness cardboard box, complete with open flaps – one on each side of the building. They kept the snow from falling on Ambrose’s head. For the most part.
Ambrose fluffed the snow out of his hair and contemplated his next move.
I want to propose to her. Right now.
But not yet.
I want to surprise her. I want the horse-drawn carriage. I want the ring. I want to see if that diamond sparkles as bright as her smile.
He smiled and stepped into the falling snow.
I know what I want.