John took a sip of his coffee. “Wow. This conversation moved onto a completely different track real fast.”
“Sorry.” Ambrose returned to drinking his water.
“Don’t be. I’m just happy sitting here, watching you two. It makes me happy to see you both so happy.”
Ambrose smiled. “Just a whole lot of happiness, huh?”
John laughed. “Absolutely.”
“Sir. I mean, John. Is there anything I can do to help with the wedding preparations? I feel like I’ve done so little.”
John gave him a kindly, warm-hearted smile. “Thank you. From my understanding, the groom doesn’t have to worry too much about the preparations. It’s all on the bride and her family to get things organized.”
“But I want to help. What can I do?”
John took a bite of his grilled chicken sandwich and chewed it.
“There has to be something I can do. Even if it’s something as mundane as me using my vampire mind control to keep the flowergirl urchins in line.”
John swallowed. “You can do that?”
“Most vampires can to some extent. I’m able to manipulate people by sending my thoughts into their heads and making them believe that those thoughts are their own.”
John set his sandwich down. “Have you done it to me or to Barbara?”
“No, sir. I would never disrespect either of you in such a way.”
“Hmm. But you would do it to the flowergirls?”
“Only if you ask me too, sir.”
John smiled, which took Ambrose by surprise. “I’ll keep that in mind. As for what you can do to help…” He picked up his sandwich. “Barbara says you’ve been keeping tabs on Kevin for her.” He took a bite.
“I can’t do much to help him. I’m just…” He shrugged. “…there. I sit with him and try to comfort him. It isn’t much.”
“But it means a lot to her.”
Ambrose looked at Barbara.
“It does.” She set her fork on her plate. “I can’t be there for him. I’ve thought about it, but I can’t do it. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep it together and that won’t help him. You were right about that.”
“Don’t be. I’m just…I don’t know. Happy? Relieved? Glad? that you’re there with him. That he isn’t alone.” She thought about it. “Well. He’s alone right now.”
Ambrose smiled. “I’ll go to him after we’re all done here.”
“How many more days does he have left?” asked John. “Can you tell?”
“It all depends on what’s changed tonight. But I think…” He looked at Barbara and focused completely on her.
Carolyn. Do you see how he looks at her, as if she’s the only person in the whole room? Do you remember? It was like that for us too. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. Do you remember how it was?
“I think two days at the most. And that’s including tonight.”
She bowed her head. “So soon?”
He wrapped her up in a comforting hug. “I’m sorry. I wish I could…I wish…I’m so sorry.”
Carolyn. Do you see them together? Our little girl. Our Barbara with her Ambrose. He will take good care of her. We don’t have to worry anymore.
“Just keep doing what you’ve been doing, Ambrose.”
The two lovebirds reluctantly separated and Barbara finished eating her ravioli.
“Watch Kevin for her. It may not seem like you’re doing anything important, but you are. Trust me on this one. You’re saving Barbara a lot of grief and worry by just being there with him.” He smiled. “And, after his transformation’s all done and over with, then I’ll have stuff for you to do.’
Ambrose smiled. “Thank you, sir. I will do what I can to help you.”
Carolyn… “You got a good one here, Barbara.”
She smiled up at her fiancé. “I know.”