Ambrose smiled and hugged Barbara again.
I could stay here just like this with her in my arms. She feels so right in my arms.
Barbara wrapped her arms around his chest.
I want this.
I want this every day and every night.
The lyrics for an old French love song ran through his mind. He couldn’t remember the melody. So, he whispered the words.
She raised her head and smiled at him. “I assume you’re not reciting your list of choice swear words.”
He laughed. “Not at all.”
For a few minutes, they got lost in each other’s eyes.
“Barbara.” His voice caressed her name. “It’s silly of me, but I want to hear it once more. Just so I know I’m not hallucinating or dreaming. Barbara Addleston, will you marry me?”
“Yes.” She grinned. “You are very silly. And yes.” She kissed him. “I will marry you.”
I want to stay here.
I don’t want to leave.
But I must.
“You look tired.”
She shrugged. “Busy day.”
I could stay just a little longer. I’ll sleep on her couch. I won’t do anything.
But I’ll want to.
How long could I resist such a temptation?
“Then, I’ll go and let you get your sleep.”
Ambrose walked out into the street. He looked back to see her standing on the front porch waving goodbye.
He smiled love and waved back at her.
I want to run to her.
I want to hold her in my arms again.
Ambrose unzipped his coat’s collar, exposing his neck to the cold air, and walked away.
The cold air blew against his throat, cooling his heated skin and his heated thoughts.
He pulled out his cellphone, went into his Contacts, arrowed down to Hell Opnj ewatrh, and pressed Call.
He strolled down the street as he waited for someone to pick up the phone.
“Hello, this is the STD Clinic at The Cardboard Box. My name is Steve. How can I help you today?”
“Hi. This is Ambrose Smith. Are my results back yet?”
“Oh. Let me see. Are you Ambrose Smith the vampire?”
“Yes. What are my results?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir. They haven’t come in yet.”
“Three to five busin—”
Ambrose ended the call and put his phone back into his coat pocket.
Three to five business days. He growled. “Why does it have to take so long? Why can’t they just tell me now? I want to know now, DARN IT!”
Isellta teleported right in front of him.
So, of course, Ambrose bumped and tripped and fell all over him. “Rraaah!” He bashed his fist on Isellta’s chest. “Stupid fey.” He rose to his feet. “What’s the big idea? Jumping in front of me like that. If you’re trying to get my attention, there are easier ways to go about it.”
Isellta sat up. “I was aiming for a different location, but I wasn’t paying attention. My thoughts were elsewhere. Are you mad at me too?”
“Why? Who else is mad at you?”
“Robin. He yelled at me.”
The fey stood and dusted himself off. “He doesn’t like me.”
“Why? Did you jump in front of him too?”
“I don’t know. He yells at me. I helped him escape Olessa and he…That doesn’t matter to him. He’s just mad at me all the time. I don’t understand him. He doesn’t make sense. He refuses to make sense. His inability to make sense gives me a headache. What does he want from me? What does he want me to do? What am I supposed to say to him?”
Ambrose sighed. “Sounds like this is going to be a long conversation.” He looked up at the night sky. “The cold air feels good, but it won’t for long. It will become too cold. I’ll become too cold.”
The snow landed on the muzzle, obscuring his vision.
“I don’t like being too cold. Let’s find a warm place to sit and talk.”
“Great! I know just where to go.” He threw himself at Ambrose and hugged him tight.
“Gaaah! What the—”
Isellta smiled. “You want to put your arms around me.”
“I most certainly do not.”
“If you don’t, you’ll leave them behind.”
Ambrose understood his meaning. He clenched his teeth and put his arms around the fey’s slim body.
Isellta closed his eyes.
The air around them twitched.
Just like that, they were standing in front of The Red Envelope.