Some of the vampires held their ground and held on to Hildreth.
The rest gave up on Hildreth and charged at Elsie.
She was more than ready for them.
Despite his pain, Hildreth couldn’t help himself. He smiled.
My lovely fierce Elsie.
I love her so much. I want to take her into my arms. I want to kiss her. I want to marry her. I want…
I want to survive this. I want to have children with her. I can just see them. Our children with her frizzy hair. I want this to be so. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to be changed.
His eyes refused to stay open.
He could feel the vampire’s hot breath on his neck’s bare skin.
I don’t want to die.
I don’t want to be changed.
Elsie staked the last vampire, who fell to the ground.
Hildreth fell along with him.
Elsie turned pale. Did I accidently stake him? “Hildreth?” She dropped to her knees and shook him. “Hildreth! Look at me. Talk to me. Come on, you babble headed idiot. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Please. Please.”
He opened his eyes.
“If you say anything about me being worried about you, I will slug you. I swear I will give you a good reason to be unconscious.”
“Elsie. I want to have twenty-five children with you.” He fell back into unconsciousness.
One dream blurred into another. Some were sad. Some were poignant. Most of them were confusing and nonsensical.
Hildreth couldn’t remember one from the other.
It was like trying to recall the different patterns inside a kaleidoscope that was constantly spinning. The seeds and beads shifting and falling through space. And he was inside that space with the seeds and beads falling on him, all around him. Clinking and clattering.
He opened his eyes to white ceiling tiles and politely dimmed fluorescent lights.
Smell of hand sanitizer.
A thin sheet blanket spread across him.
A bag of red hovering above him with spirals of tubing connected to his bared arm.
Some glowing light thing clamped on his right index finger.
He tried to sit up only to woozy back down to the pillow.
Where am I?
The door opened.
Elsie came in.
He smiled. “Elsie.”
“It’s about time you woke up, you—”
She came over to him and kissed his head.
He stroked her arm. “Am I alive?”
“Don’t even ask questions like that. Of course, you’re alive.”
“I haven’t been changed?”
“No. I stopped that vampire in time.”
“And the Master?”
“She got away. But so did we.”
“How did you get me out of there?”
“I carried you, of course.”
He laughed. “You really are stronger than you look.”
“Ha. Ha. Ha. Thanks for the backwards compliment.”
She fell silent.
“You almost died. You lost so much blood. Hildreth, I almost lost you.”
“But I’m alive and you’re here. My Elsie. You’re here.” He grinned. “And…Elsie Vansing. You were worried about me.”
“Oh, shut up.” She kissed him.