Father Landover cleared his throat again.
Barbara and Ambrose returned from Lover’s Cloud #9. “So?” asked Ambrose. “Are there any more questions?”
“I think I’m set. What about the two of you? Any questions for me?”
Barbara laced her fingers with Ambrose’s fingers. “If the DNA tests come back negative, will you grant us your permission to marry?”
“At this moment, I don’t see any reason to tell you no.”
Ambrose felt like he was going to faint with relief.
“Thank you!” said Barbara.
“As soon as the results come back negative, you two crazy kids can start planning your wedding.”
“I do have a question.” said Ambrose. “What if they come back positive? What if I’m somehow her great grand fill in the blanks relation? What then? What do we do?”
“You can’t get married.”
“Can’t get married.” Ambrose couldn’t swallow. “So? I’d just…we…I can’t?”
The priest shook his head. “It would make the marriage null and void.”
Ambrose’s posture slumped into a hunch.
Barbara rubbed her hand on Ambrose’s back in a soothing pattern. “What are the odds of us being related? It can’t be that great? Right?”
“I don’t know. I only know that it’s possible.”
“It never occurred to me. Ever.” Ambrose looked up at him. “So. I. That would be it. That would be the end. She. And I. Sh—she would. Go her own way. I would. Go mine. And that would be it. That would. That would.” His breath caught in his throat.
He stood and walked over to the bookcase on the other side of the room. I can’t. I can’tIcan’tIcan’tIcan’t.
Barbara came over to him. “Hey.”
He stared hard at the Latin-titled books in front of him.
“It isn’t certain. Not yet.”
“But it’s possible. And that possibility scares me. If I can’t have you,” Tears trailed down his face. “what will I do? How will I spend my days and nights? Will I fall back into my old ways? What will I do?”
“Look at me.” Her voice was soft magic that he willingly obeyed. “I’m scared too. After everything we’ve gone through to get to this point, to be told we can’t just because we’re related…That would hurt so much. Because there’s nothing we can do about it. I’d have to forget you. I’d have to forget all of the memories we’ve made together. I’d…”
She stroked away his tears.
“Barbara.” He saw his own fears reflected in her eyes. He hugged her. “It will be all right.”
She held him as tight as she could.
He leaned his face against the side of her head. “It will be all right.”