Hildreth watched Elsie leave.
His heart yearned to be with her, but he went inside.
He pulled out his phone, turned it back on, and called Master Shinowa.
Master Shinowa answered on the first ring. “Mayhew.”
“Master. Look. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I said. You’re right.”
He closed the front door.
“I was thinking only about myself. I was trying my best to make it all about me and my grievances with that vampire.”
He took off his coat.
“And…and it isn’t about me at all. It’s about you and the brother you lost. If anyone should be seeking revenge, it should be you.”
He tossed his coat onto the couch. “So, I surrender my desire for revenge to you, Master Shinowa. I leave it with you. The revenge is yours to take or to leave.”
Hildreth sat on the couch and removed his boots. “And if you ever need my help in staking him, tell me. Let me know, Master. And I will help you. For you. Not for me.”
Master Shinowa’s voice was choked up as he said, “You still do learn, Mayhew. Keep your eyes and mind and heart open. Do not stop learning.”
“And let Vansing’s vampire go.”
“Yes, Master.” He thought about Elsie. “I will.”
“Look at the vampire!”
Ambrose raised his weak and weary head. The world around him was uneven lines and blurred images.
So many people.
So many that he could bite.
Their combined scents taunted him and mocked him. They swirled around him in a technicolored tornado – each color a different and even better flavor.
He closed his eyes and opened his mouth wide. He inhaled the scents fervently as if they would satisfy his blood lust.
Hildreth’s voice broke through the crowd’s noise. “The vampire.”
Ambrose opened his eyes.
The crowd disappeared.
Hildreth stood barely two feet in front of him with his Bossman 550. He aimed it at Ambrose. “Kill the vampire.”
Ambrose woke to a racing heart. He shivered.
He waited for Barbara to touch him.
To reassure him.
But she wasn’t there.
Why isn’t she here?
I need her.
I need her here.
I need her in my arms.
He rolled onto his back.
I need her in my—
Isellta’s face came into view.
“Rrraaah!” Ambrose unsheathed his claws and took a swipe at the fey.
Isellta teleported away from him in time.
Ambrose carefully sat up. “What are you doing in my room?”
“I’m bored. When I was with Olessa, there was always something to do. It never was anything pleasant, but I was never bored. This house is too quiet, too…I need something to do.”
Ambrose’s head wobbled. “Go somewhere and DIE.” He face-flumped into his pillow again.
He sighed – a warm, tired sigh.
“Give me a job.”
It would be so much fun to just punch him and punch him and…an…
“Ambrose.” Poke. “Ambrose.” Poke. “Ambrose.” Poke.
“You poke me one more time I’ll break your fingers.”
“Why are you mad at me?”
“Because I’m tired. Because I want to sleep. Because you’re BOTHERING me. Why don’t you…” He sighed. “I don’t know. Go downstairs and watch tv. I don’t know. I don’t care. I…I…”
Ambrose fell asleep.
Isellta flittered out his wings in irritation.
I was hoping that we’d have an understanding moment like I had with Robin.
I don’t think that will ever happen.
He went downstairs and snooped.
He opened doors, peeked into canisters, opened and closed cabinet drawers.
He even checked out the dishwasher. That kept him fascinated for forty-five minutes.
Then, he was back in motion again.
Isellta opened the silverware drawer and became enchanted with a corkscrew. His wings flapped in a lazy, happy gesture as he traced his finger over the curled metal. He put it in his pocket.
Hm. I wonder what sort of treasures Raven hides in his room.
He teleported into Raven’s room and resumed his snooping.