Ambrose and Barbara left The Cardboard Box. He carried the bag with the two ring boxes. Barbara had a cup of hot chocolate that she had talked Ambrose into buying for her.
“You sure you don’t want a sip?” Barbara asked.
“If it were plain hot water, I’d gladly say yes.”
“I don’t believe in flavored hot water. It ruins the experience.”
A rush of not quite warm, not quite cold air blasted him. He closed his eyes and held his face up into the wind, relishing the feel of it on his skin.
“Spring is coming.” He opened his eyes. “It’s finally on its way.”
Elsie gazed up at the night sky. The wind blew through her hair, setting it wild.
Hildreth stopped next to her and closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the not quite warm or cold air. “Spring’s coming.”
She returned to Earth. “This is going to sound like a weird request.”
“Weird away, baby.”
“Could you hunt with me tonight?”
“It’s been a while since we’ve done it side-by-side. I miss it.”
“Elsie baby, you don’t even need to ask. Just grab me by the collar and drag me away. And I’ll be like—” He did a thumbs-up gesture. “—Yay! My fiancee’s gone all cave woman on me. Hurray!”
“Seriously. You are so weird.”
“Mostly to amuse myself. If it amuses you too, well. My mission is complete.”
“Do you have enough stakes?”
“Your Bossman 550 is fully loaded?”
“With extra ammunition stashed in the bottom compartment.”
“Do you have enough tags?”
Hildreth kissed her, taking her completely by surprise. “Don’t worry.” His voice was as soft and warm as a blanket fresh out of the dryer. “I’m a well-armed man.” He kissed her a little longer.
She returned his kiss with a passion. She grabbed fistfuls of his hair, which caused him to laugh.
“I’m just thinking. If you’re this rough when it comes to kissing, good Heavens! Are you going to clobber me senseless when May 21 comes around?”
She let go of his hair. “No. As long as you don’t burst into any giggle fits.”
He pulled an over-the-top shocked look. “As if I would do such an outrageous thing! I happen to be a very serious person.”
She laughed. “So, you say.”
“It’s true. I have a certificate and everything.”
She hugged him. “I love you.”
“Hmm. I don’t know. That didn’t convince me. You have to say it at least….oh. Ten more times.”
She released him. “Let’s go hunt.”