Hildreth knelt on the floor and helped him round up the escapees. “Such a waste of good food. Aw man! Look.” He picked up a lint and hair-fuzzed chocolate frosted doughnut hole. “I could have eaten this one.” He tossed it into the garbage. “Such a waste.”
“Your fighting technique has improved.” Jeff tossed a handful of strawberry creams and glazeds into the garbage. “It’s more focused.”
“Thanks to Master Shinowa pounding some valuable lessons into my block head.”
“You always were a blockhead. Getting yourself stuck inside your own skull.”
The two men said in unison, “And thinking way too much.”
“Yeah, I went to Master Shinowa…What has it been? A couple months ago?…to help me improve my fighting skills. I was struggling with some vampire issues.”
He saw a quick flash of Elsie yielding to Ambrose’s kiss. “Bad vampire issues.”
Jeff sat back on his feet and gave his friend a questioning look.
“Elsie had…I don’t know what to call it. A fling? Romantic alliance? Red hot steamy—-”
“Whoa. You’re gonna have to start at the beginning.”
“Are you sure?” Hildreth smiled. “It’s a long story.”
“So? We’ve got roughly half a box of doughnut holes on the table and I have a cup of coffee. I’m good for a nice long story.”
“Then, we better make ourselves comfortable.”
They cleaned up the last few doughnut holes and sat at the table.
“All right, Hildreth. Start.”
Elsie opened her eyes and checked her alarm clock. She scowled at the time and flopped back onto her pillow.
Only two hours.
She rolled over on her side and closed her eyes.
But sleep did not return.
Her thoughts tumbled in words and images of Hildreth. His voice whispered lovely things in her mind’s ear.
She opened her eyes again.
But he was not there.
She grabbed her cell phone off her nightstand and called his number.
After a couple of rings, he answered, “Hello? Mayhew here.”
She let out a sigh of relief without even knowing what she was relieved about. “Hildreth.”
“Oh! Hi, Els! Funny thing is, I was just talking about you with Jeff Farsigh. I told him all about your supreme hotness and he’s dying to meet you.” He laughed. “Jeff says I am so exaggerating your finer qualities. He can’t believe that a woman can be a powerful hunter and hot at the same time. I told him that he has clearly never seen you before.”
Elsie smiled as he rattled on and on.
She closed her eyes.
She fell asleep to the sound of his voice in her ear.
Hildreth listened to the sound of her soft, sleeping breaths and smiled.
I should probably be offended that my talking put her to sleep. But it makes me feel happy for reasons I can’t even explain.
He air kissed into the phone. “I’ll see you later, Elsie. I love you so much.”