Ambrose opened his eyes.
He was lying on the ground.
Barbara wasn’t there.
He sat up quickly and glanced around. “Barbara? Barbara!”
He looked at the gate.
It was open.
He didn’t give it a thought – first, second, or third.
Ambrose ran through the gate.
She wasn’t anywhere in the yard.
The mansion’s front door stood open.
He ran inside into a narrow brick-lined hallway. “BARBARA!”
She stepped out of a side room. “What?”
He snarled. “What were you thinking? Why did you come in here? Why did you leave me alone? Why didn’t you tell me where you were going? Why…Why…Why…”
“My bottom was cold from sitting in the snow.”
“You could have told me. You could have waited for me. You could have…”
She hugged him.
His anger melted into her arms. “I hate this place. Can we please go?”
“Have you been here before?”
“No. But bad things have happened here.” He glanced around, finally noticing the all brick all the time interior. “Vampires have died here. They’ve been tortured here by a vampire hunter named Olessa.”
“Oh.” She released him to nervously twirl her hair. “Do you think there’s anyone still here?”
“I hope not. I have to get out of here. Please, Barbara. Let’s get out of here.”
She smiled brightly. “Okay!”
She took his hand and led him to the front door.
Something isn’t right about this.
It’s too easy.
She looked back at him, all wide-eyed innocence. “What’s wrong, Ambrose?”
“You have no scent.”
She blinked in rapid succession. “Of course, I don’t. I…uhhh, took a shower this morning and—”
He growled. “Scent is bone, skin, and blood. No amount of showering can remove it.”
“Maybe I’m using a really good deodorant. Tee-hee!”
He slapped her across the face. “You think I’m stupid? Scent can’t be concealed by anything. It is.”
She made a pouty face. “Filthy vampire brute.”
“Where is she? What have you done to her?”
“I was going to tell you until you slapped me.” She transformed into a male fey with black lace-edged wings. He disappeared.