Preyuna stirred next to Mark Caten. “Mmn. What are you doing?” She lazily rubbed her eyes.
“Playing a game on my phone.” He smiled. “And I think I’m winning. Slowly but surely.”
She laid her hand on his back. “Sleep.”
He set his phone on his nightstand and settled down beside her.
Elsie did a quick spin-kick-stake maneuver and the vampire fell. She attached the tracker button to his ratty overcoat and activated it.
She looked up at the sky.
The Collectors will be here soon.
And dawn will come too.
I’ll be able to go back home and cook breakfast for the man I love.
It won’t be anything fancy. Certainly nothing as impressive as making fresh pizza.
Scrambled eggs. Bacon. Orange juice. Toast.
She smiled, even as another vampire came careening out of the nearest alley.
French toast with butter and extra syrup.
“Oh, no! It’s The Marauder!” The vampire ran in the opposite direction.
Elsie chased him.
Hildreth will love that.
Maybe that was a bad dream.
Maybe that didn’t really happen.
He glanced at the other side of the couch.
His phone was all the way over there. Right where he’d thrown it.
Maybe he was lying.
He’s Mark Caten. There’s automatically a good chance that he was lying.
But what if he wasn’t?
What if he knows where she lives? What if he does send that vampire after her? I won’t be able to protect her with only one good foot.
If only I could turn back time and smack the back of my own head. It would probably create a time/space paradox and my past self would turn into a zombie and start the zombie apocalypse and civilization as we know it would crumble and fall and the monkeys would take over the world.
Wow. That was a needlessly tangled up scenario.
I think I need to get some more sleep.
Ambrose looked up at the sky. “Dawn’s coming. I can feel it in the air. I can smell it.”
Barbara released him. “Are you going to stay here with Kevin?”
“Do you need me to stay with you?”
He turned to face her. “Really? You’d stay. With me. In Kevin’s bedroom.”
“Well,” She gave him a teasing look. “You’d be too tired to do anything.”
“Ha! You little brat.”
“I love that sound.” His gaze travelled all over her.
I want to take her into my arms.
I want so many things that can be boiled down to one simple sentence: I want to show her how much I love her. I want her to see it. To feel it inside my skin. Inside every heartbeat.
And I want her to be happy. I want to make her so crazily happy.
He kissed her.
His body urged him to kiss her deeper, to kiss her longer, to move against her in deliciously provocative ways.
He released her and reached back to grab the porch railing. “Your father’s waiting for you.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
He shook his head.
“What?” Her face fell into disappointment.
“Kevin will be fully transformed and out on the loose. Stay home.”
“Please. I don’t want him to touch you.” He tucked her hair behind her ears. “My Barbara. I want you to be safe.” He kissed the rim of her ear and whispered, “Please be safe.”
She shivered. “Well. If you’re going to put it that way.”
She kissed him one more time and walked away from him.
She stopped on the porch steps and looked back at him.
“Are you really all right with what you saw in there?”
“No. I may seem fine fight now, but I’ll be a sobbing wreck as soon as I have a quiet moment to process it all.”
“If you need a shoulder to cry on, just call me.”
She smiled. “Even if it’s the middle of the day?”
Ambrose couldn’t resist. He walked over to her and kissed the middle of her forehead. “Especially if it’s the middle of the day. I’ll listen.”
She laid her hands on his chest. “And that’s one of the reasons why I love you.”