Barbara ended the call.
Ambrose put his phone back in his pocket. He leaned his head against the bed.
He closed his eyes and she stood before him. Her eyes bright with happiness and love.
He folded his arms across his chest and she was enfolded in his embrace.
He smiled and they danced.
He sighed happiness.
Kevin’s breathing changed into a hard, fast pant punctuated by pained cries. Bones creaked and broke and joints popped.
Ambrose snapped to attention.
His good mood promptly crashed.
He covered his mouth with his hands.
Kevin’s arms were changing. His arms. His hands. His fingers.
Kevin stared straight ahead at nothing. His eyes were completely unfocused.
Ambrose fought against a wave of nausea as he crept closer to the werewolf. “It’s okay. It’s okay.” He petted Kevin’s hair. “You aren’t alone. I’m here. I’m here. I’m here.”
“And here we are.” said Hildreth. “Usual place, usual time.”
Elsie sat next to him on the mausoleum’s flat roof. “Almost dawn.”
“So, where’s breakfast gonna be today? There’s this Mexican place I’ve been quietly obsessing over.”
“No. I don’t want Mexican.”
“Oh, you don’t, huh? Okay. I’ll bite. What do you want, Ms. Elsie Vansing?”
She smiled at him. “Pizza.”
He burst out laughing. “Will wonders never cease?” He rose to his feet and shouted out for everyone to hear, “HEY! ELSIE VANSING WANTS PIZZA FIRST THING IN THE MORNING! WOOO! I HAVE CONVERTED HER TO MY EVIL BAD EATING WAYS!”
“Oh, you idiot.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him back down. “I don’t want just any pizza.”
“Of course not.”
“I want you to make it for me.”
Wonder lit his face.
“And I’ll make breakfast for you tomorrow morning.”
“That is the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.”
“If you’re teasing me—”
“I mean it.” He leaned forward and kissed her.
It was a light feather-duster of a kiss that left her wanting so much more.
“So? My place or yours?”
She stared at him in a wordless blank.
He laughed. “Now, Vansing. You shouldn’t get such perverted ideas about me.”
She came out of her daze. “Who’s being perverted? Mr. Chasing After Hot Girls In Mini-Skirts?”
“Ahh, the jealousy is strong in this one. Hm! There is a simple solution, you know?”
“What? Stop being jealous?”
“Oh, no. Not at all. It’s even simpler than that.” He grinned. “You’ll just have to start wearing mini-skirts.”
She bonked her fist on his head. “You are such a perv.”
He laughed. “What? You’d look good in it. I can just see you in a flouncy little number that’s bordering on slutty.”
“Oh, yeah? Fine. Then, you get to walk around in short shorts.”
“Nope. Never happening. The world isn’t ready to bear witness to the ghastliness that is my pale bare legs.”
She laughed. “They can’t be that bad.”
“Oh, they are. It’s terrible. They glow in the dark, Elsie. Glow. Like flashlights. This one time I went biking in my shorts late at night. The police station was flooded with calls reporting sightings of a ghost/alien.”
“Wait. Are you serious?”
Hildreth grinned. “Not at all.” He stood and helped her up. “If I’m gonna make you a pizza worthy of the name “Hildreth’s Pizza”, we’re gonna have to stop at the store for some key ingredients.”
She kissed him.
And it was no feather-duster.
It left him breathless.
Elsie smiled. “Then, let’s go.”