“Thank you for calling Sammy Borscht’s office. We specialize in helping extraordinaries find jobs that match their talents. How may I direct your call? I’m sorry. Sammy isn’t in. Can I take a message? Mm-hmm. mm-hmm. Okay! I’ll let him know when he comes in. Have a wonderful day! Bye!”
It’s so peaceful now.
Ambrose is back with me. He isn’t hurt, blinded, insane, or in evil vampire mode. I no longer have any fears or doubts about him running back to Elsie. I know he won’t run back to her.
Because he loves me.
Ambrose Smith loves me.
And we’re free to get married.
Hmm. Maybe things are too peaceful. I think we’re due for some sort of disaster. Something big and bad is going to happen and it’s going to threaten our happiness.
Or Mark Caten is going to leap out of the bushes and create an unfortunate scene.
Barbara sighed. Why does that seem like the most likely disaster?
I’m not going to worry about it.
Things are peaceful. We’ve worked so hard to win this peace. I’m not going to ruin it all by worrying about what ifs.
And I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the sword or stake to fall.
She smiled. “I’m going to plan my wedding.”
Sammy sat in his car, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
I should go inside.
I have to go inside. I’m sure there are messages I must attend to and people waiting to be interviewed and…
I have to face her.
And smile at her.
And wish her well.
And tell her what a great guy Ambrose Smith is and how lucky she is that they found each other and…
I can’t say that out loud.
I can barely stand to think it.
I have to go inside and work.
I can do this.
I can be calm.
Barbara is my employee.
Barbara is my treasure.
But we can never be. Even if Ambrose Smith weren’t around, we just…
He got out of the car and went inside.
“Good morning, Ms. Addleston. Any messages?”
“The Dorbyshire Element called again. I took their name and number. Ms. Kaleido called. She had to cancel her interview with you. She has some sort of wing fungus going on. Umm. Oh! And…”
He kept his expression completely calm and neutral as she ran down her long list of messages..
His feelings stayed buried deep in his gut. “Thank you, Ms. Addleston. And, if I may, congratulations.”
Her smile was like daylight on brand new snow.
“I wish the both of you well and all happiness.”
Barbara rose from her seat and came around to him. She hugged him.
Her chair rocketed all the way to the wall behind her desk.
She released him. “Thank you, Sammy. It means so much to me. We haven’t chosen a date yet or anything, but will you come?”
The question stunned him.
I didn’t expect her to ask me. It honestly never crossed my mind.
“I…I would love to come, but I’m not sure if I should. You know how my emotions are. I don’t want to accidently burn the church down or—” He shrugged. “—or anything.”
“Oh. So, you won’t come, then.”
She looked over at her chair and smiled. “I think I do.”