Ambrose ducked into the shadows.
It’s been a long time.
A lot of days.
That seems right.
He watched her in silence.
What would it be like to kiss her again?
Would it feel the same?
Would the same hungry desire still be there?
Or have we moved too far apart?
The vampire pushed her up against the wall. He swooped at her neck. Only to get head-smacked in the face and kneed far below his face. He fell and she dove at him with her stakes ready in her hands.
Ambrose smiled. I will not find out.
Not tonight nor any other night.
The vampire let out a sharp cry as she staked him.
Our door is forever closed, Elsie. I’m not going to touch it. I’m not going anywhere near it.
Elsie snapped a button to his shirt, activated it, and rose to her feet. She sighed and dusted off her red jacket.
Ambrose held his breath as she turned around. He stood as still as possible.
Don’t see me standing here, Elsie.
And I’ll go back home to Barbara.
I need to go back home to Barbara.
“Come out! Show yourself.”
Let her see me.
Talk to me.
He stepped back through the brick wall when she wasn’t looking.
I will not yield to that temptation.
He closed his eyes and saw Barbara looking at him.
Her eyes bright with trust and love.
And I love her.
I will not betray her trust.
He wrapped his arms around his chest.
And, in his mind, she was there, hugging him in return.
He opened his eyes.
She was not there.
I need to go home.
Home to my Barbara.
I need to hold her.
I need to see her.
I need to know that she’s okay.
I need her.
Oh, I need her so bad.
He walked through the wall.
Elsie was gone.
The vampire was still there.
The button on his shirt blinked from green to red.
Ambrose came over to him and touched it.
The clear button felt smooth and cool – a little like metal, a little like plastic.
He scraped it with his fingernail.
It blinked from red to green to red to black.
A strange scent filled the air.
Ambrose raised his head and tried to figure out the scent.
But it isn’t a scent.
It’s many scents all bound together. Dirt, water, fireplace smoke, pine trees, cookies, Moonlight In Paris perfume, cologne, oranges, pecans, and…
Ambrose gasped softly as a whole swarm of luna moths came down from the sky, bearing the scent on their wings.
He stood and backed away from the vampire.
The moths landed on the dead body. All over him.
Ambrose edged closer to them. He crouched and leaned forward.
And he could see that they were more than just moths.
They had faces.
Unnaturally beautiful faces that bordered on terrifying.
Their long thin arms ended in fish-hooked claws.
They dug their claws into the dead vampire and carried him up into the air.
Up into the night sky.
Then, they were gone.