Hildreth opened his eyes.
Only to find himself lying face first on the floor.
He sat up and rubbed his nose. Darn it all. I was hoping I’d wake up in her lap. That would have been a pleasant surprise.
He looked up at her and smiled.
She’d taken over the entire couch. Her long, lean body all stretched out with her face smooshed up against the arm rest.
“Now, isn’t that a pretty picture.” He grinned mischievously and pulled out his cell phone. “She’s going to totally kill me for this.” He snapped a picture of her face and saved it as his main screen picture. “Lovely.”
“Mnn.” She opened her eyes.
He quickly put his phone away. “Well, good mornin’.”
“Mnn. Oh!” She sat up. “Oh, was I here all…What are you doing on the floor?”
“Doing a photo essay of your toes.”
“You are so seriously weird. I hope you know that.”
“Oh, I do.” He sat beside her on the couch and stroked her face. “Elsie.”
She laid her hand on his leg. “I know you think we should wait, but Hildreth.” Her hand slid upwards.
A memory of Tiffany/Gabby doing the same thing flashed in his mind. Her on the train. Her as a vampire. Her powers turning him, arousing him.
He quickly shook his head.
He shivered. “Elsie. What we do. What we fight for. All of the battles we must endure every night, every sleepless night. Is it all for nothing?”
“We stake so many vampires. Every night we stake them and we stake them and we stake them and they never…Every night.”
“We’re hunters, Hildreth. It is what we are. It is what we must do. It isn’t something that’s optional.”
“I know, but…Elsie. Is it a losing battle? Is it one we can never fully win?”
“It is one we have to fight. If we don’t, our city will become overrun with vampires. There will be no humans left outside of you and me. We can never let that happen. As long as we breathe and walk in the sunlight, we will never let that happen. Do you understand me?”
He thought of that stupid, fluff-and-slut-brained girl on the train. So certain that she was everyone’s idea of hot. He thought of her lying dead under his stake. “It hurts.”
“I know. It hurts sometimes. Those vampires. Those horrible vampires. They have no respect for any human life. They will take whatever’s alive and bite it and ruin it. That is why we fight, Hildreth. Maybe we will never rid Havaton of them. Maybe it isn’t possible to do so. But we will protect our city. We will stop those vampires we can stop. We will stake them. We will end them. One at a time. No matter what person or form they may be, we will kill them because we must. Do you understand?”
“Good. Let’s get out there and kick vampire tail feathers.”
He smiled. “I love you.”
She kissed him. “And I you.”