“What are you doing here? The note on your door—”
“Umm. So, you’re here because…”
He peeked over her shoulders. “No vampire?”
“Not on my bed! He’s at his own place. I mean, Raven’s own place. I mean, he isn’t here.”
“Oh!” He cleared his throat. “Can I come in? Please?”
“Well.” She hesitated. “Okay. I wanted to talk to you anyway.”
His smile found a way to become even bigger and brighter. “Barbara missed me.”
This isn’t going to be easy. “Maybe. Come on inside.”
He entered the house.
“So, how have you been doing?” She closed the door. “It’s been a long time since—”
He groveled at her feet and started to kiss them.
“Kevin! What on earth—”
He looked up at her. “I missed you. So much. Marry me.”
She staggered back and bumped into the closed door.
He shuffled towards her. “I’ve thought about you a lot. I want you to be my mate.”
Oh. Dear. “Um. You see. That’s why I wanted to see you.”
He sat up and looked so horribly expectant.
Barbara felt awful.
What are the right words? How am I supposed to turn him down? Is there a right formula, a correct spiel? If there is, it’s certainly not in my head. “Kevin.”
She came down to his level. “I don’t even know where to start.”
“Yes is good start.”
She laughed, despite herself. “That would be, but…” She sighed. “Not for me.”
He sat back on his feet.
“I haven’t really…Oh, Kevin. I can’t.”
He bowed his head.
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings. It’s…It’s not that I hate you or anything like that. I like you, but it isn’t enough.”
“Vampire wins again.”
“Kevin, believe me. If I could say yes, if—”
He looked up at her. The hurt on his face crushed her.
“Oh, Kevin. I’m so sorry.”
“I love you.”
“Any chance for yes?”
“Kev. I’m engaged.”
He fell back on his bottom.
“Ambrose asked me.”
“Vampire. That vampire?”
“Kev.” She shrugged in a helpless gesture. “I love him.”
“Not me. Not love me.”
She opened her mouth to say something. Anything.
He averted his gaze. His fingers twisted and bent as he wrung his hands. “Not me. Not me. Not love me.”
What can I say?
What can I do?
I can’t say yes.
“I’m so sorry.”
His hands went still. “Vampire bites werewolf, werewolf dies.” He looked up at her. “Werewolf bites vampire…vampire dies? Maybe?”
She stood. “If you hurt him, if you kill him, if you do anything to him, I will not forgive you. I will not have anything to do with you ever again. You’ll be dead to me. I’ll hate you.”
“Vampire wins. Why? Why does vampire win and werewolf lose?”
His expression changed. “Vampire is not here.” He stood. “I am here. You are here. If I bite you, you’ll become werewolf too. You’ll be like me. You’ll love me.”
He came closer to her. Horribly, uncomfortably close. “Vampire loses.” He stretched his arms on either side of her head and spread his hands on the door. “Werewolf wins.”