Ambrose covered his nose and mouth with his hands, but the scent of rotted garbage slipped through his fingers.
He coughed and he gagged and he retched until he was pretty sure he was going to throw up on Kevin’s head.
And I’d have to clean it up.
He tried to move Kevin’s head off his stomach.
Kevin pressed his head even harder.
stupid werewolf. MOVE!
Kevin raised his head and yawned.
Ambrose scurried off the bed and ran all the way downstairs to the front door. He yanked it open and ran outside.
Right into the vampire who’d tried to bite Barbara’s father.
The vampire’s pupils widened right before Ambrose grabbed him and tossed him out of the way.
Ambrose ran over to the railing and held on to it for dear life. He panted in between his coughing and retching.
“Okay.” The vampire stood and dusted himself off. “I realize now that first impressions are important. I get that. I kind of failed that with you. Um. Let’s try this one again.” He marched over to Ambrose and held out his hand. “Hi! My name is Chet.”
Ambrose coughed and coughed and coughed.
He withdrew his hand. “I’m one of Incandesca’s vampires. She—”
“If you don’t shut up, I’m going to vomit all over you.”
Chet shut up.
Ambrose closed his eyes and focused on the fresh air entering his lungs and purging Kevin’s scent. His breathing slowly returned to normal.
He took a deep breath and exhaled clean air.
“Okay. As I was saying—”
Ambrose pushed past him and headed back towards the house.
Chet followed him. “I relayed your message to Incandesca and she…well. She got pretty violent. Apparently, she thinks that you are the real Ambrose Smith and she’s not taking no for an answer.”
Ambrose stopped in the doorway and bleared at him. “You can tell Incandesca that she can go stake herself.”
“I’m going back to bed.”
“Oh, come on! Can’t we just talk?”
“I don’t know what drugs you’re taking, but I am tired. I need my sleep.”
“Listen. If I go back there and tell her that you told me no again, she’ll throw things at me.”
“Really? That’s all she’ll do to you?”
“She has a very strong pitching arm. And she is very accurate.”
“Uh-huh. Whatever. Good day.” Ambrose turned to head inside.
“Okay. I’ll play my final card. If you don’t come with me, I’ll track down that pretty blonde thing you were with last night.”
Ambrose extended his claws and spun around. “If you touch her, if you go anywhere near her, I’ll make you suffer. I’ll make you long for Incandesca’s abuse.”
Chet smirked. “I’m a vampire. There isn’t a whole lot you can do to hurt me.”
“You’re wrong.” His eyes glazed over as he remembered the holy water burning through his skin. “I was a prisoner of Olessa Caten. She did things to me. Things that broke my skin.” He refocused on Chet. “I’m pretty sure I can duplicate her ‘experiments’ with a little trial and error.”
The other vampire took a nervous step back.
Ambrose strode towards him and grabbed his shirt front. “So, don’t mess with me or the ones I love.”
Chet shrugged. “Incandesca said that this might come in handy.”
He head-smacked Ambrose’s face.
The impact set him reeling.
A sharp pain in his chest made him fall.
Fall through blood-red hoops that smelled of rosemary and witch hazel. He tumbled head over heels and it was exhilarating.
He laughed as he fell through the hoops into darkness.
He landed hard.
And everything was still.