I made her cry in front of her father.
Just what I wanted.
“I’m sorry. I…I shouldn’t have called you. I shouldn’t have told you to come here. I should have know it would upset you.”
John came over to him and patted him on the back. “You did the right thing.”
Ambrose shook his head. “I didn’t. I hurt her.”
“Ambrose. Come with me.”
“She can stay here.”
Ambrose frowned. “That isn’t safe. He could snap. He could—-”
“He isn’t even conscious. Please. It won’t be long. Will you come with me?”
He looked down at Barbara.
Her head is too close to his mouth. If he wanted to attack her—- “Barbara.”
She sat up.
“I’m going to step out into the hall with your father. I’m leaving you here. Be careful. Be on your guard. If he tries to bite you, punch his teeth down his throat.”
He smiled and laid his hand along the side of her face. “You never cease to amaze me, Barbara Addleston.” He kissed her.
Just a light, gentle, parent-friendly kiss.
“That’s one of the reasons I love you. I’ll be back.”
Ambrose walked out into the hallway.
John followed him and closed the bedroom door.
“Can’t you leave it open a little?”
“She’ll be fine. Ambrose.”
The vampire tore his paranoid gaze from the door. “Yeah?”
“You did the right thing in calling her here.”
Ambrose opened his mouth to protest, but John kept talking.
“I know it doesn’t feel like it. I know it feels like you called her out here just so you could tear her heart out all over again. But you haven’t. You have shown her a wonderful mercy.”
Ambrose closed his mouth.
“You’ve given her a chance to say good-bye to someone she used to love.”
Ambrose smiled. “I know how soft-hearted Barbara is. I don’t think she ever stopped loving him.”
“Are you jealous?”
Ambrose shrugged. “Obviously. I’ve never liked him because of my jealousy. But now. I’ve watched him change before my eyes and I can’t hate him anymore.”
John glanced at the door. “What happens tomorrow night? What will happen to him?”
Ambrose looked long and quiet at the door. “I guess he’ll complete his transformation and then.” His voice softened. “I don’t know what will happen next, sir.”
“Will he stay in Pinkerlee?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he will run off to find a pack to join. Maybe he’ll attack people in town. I have no idea.” He looked at John. “Keep Barbara safe. Don’t let her go outside tomorrow for any reason. Not even to fetch a cup of sugar from the neighbors.”
John nodded. “Let’s go back in there.” He smiled.
And for the first time, Ambrose noticed that John’s smile was so like hers. It made him happy and he couldn’t even understand why.
“Barbara’s probably worried about you.”
Barbara rubbed away her tears and managed a seasick smile as Ambrose knelt beside her. “You’re back.”
He didn’t respond.
He simply held out his arms.
She dove into them and melted into tears.
He held her close and sang Zazie’s “J’envoie Valser” to her from beginning to end.
Even though she didn’t understand the words, she felt their meaning by the way he sang.
And she fell a little deeper in love with him.