Ambrose closed his eyes as she hugged him.
“What can I do?” Barbara whispered. “There has to be something. There’s always something. Tell me, Ambrose, what to do.”
He wrapped his arms around her. “I’m sorry, love. This change is a lot like death. You can offer him comfort by being there and speaking to him and touching him. But that is all you can do. He will go through this transformation essentially alone. Neither of us can stop the transformation nor share it with him.”
She buried her face in his neck and cried. “It hurts.”
He stroked her hair. I should tell her I told you so, but this is not the moment for obnoxious gloating. “I’m sorry.”
It surprised him how much he meant those two words.
I’m sorry that she had to see him like this.
I’m sorry that I can’t change anything about this situation.
I’m sorry that I can’t help him.
I wish I could help him.
He smiled. “You’re a dangerous woman, Barbara Addleston.”
She raised her head.
“I used to be so self-centered and hard. What I wanted was what I wanted and I didn’t care what anyone else wanted. I was all that mattered. It is how I’ve survived for so long. But you’ve gone and made me soft. I wish I could help Kevin. I do. If there was a way to do it without killing him, I would have done it already. I would have done it for you.” He kissed her teary eyes. “Just to make you happy.”
Ambrose winced as his stomach announced that it was empty and unhappy about it.
His mouth watered as her scent teased and taunted him. He released Barbara and backed away from her. “Go.”
“Are you all right?”
He walked over to the porch railing and dug his claws into the painted metal. “Don’t come to me. Don’t touch me. Just go.”
“Okay. Call me when you get home.”
“I love you, Ambrose.”
He bowed his head and clenched his teeth.
She walked to the porch stairs.
She smells so good.
She walked down the three porch steps.
Hungry and she smells so good.
He licked his lips.
She walked to her car.
She opened the car door, got in, and closed the door.
He raised his hungry gaze and watched her pull out of the driveway. “Barbara.”
She drove away.
He bowed his head and waited until her car was gone and long out of sight.
I know I said I wouldn’t bite Kevin.
But I could.
But I don’t want to drink garbage-tasting blood.
I’m not that desperate.
He released the rail.
I hope I never am.
He walked down the porch steps.
I hope I can find something that tastes good.
His stomach growled.
I’m willing to go with half-way decent.
Just NO garbage.
Kevin closed his eyes and he saw her.
Wavy honey-blonde hair.
A familiar face.
He had no idea who she was.
He whimpered softly and fell asleep to the sound of her voice inside his head.