Part 869 – Ambrose, Elsie, And Hildreth

Ambrose looked up at the night sky.

If I am staked, will they come for me too? What about Barbara? How would she know? If she isn’t there at my side, how will she know that I’m dead? There would be no body for her to find. I would just be gone.

What would she think? Would she think I abandoned her? She’d be hurt. And I would be unable to heal her hurt.

I need to go home.

I want her in my arms.

I want to kiss her.

I just…

He ran out of the alley.

I need to go home.

Barbara.

I’m coming home.

Even if I have to run the whole way.

***

Elsie pulled out her phone for the ninth time and put it away again.

It’s madness.

I’m wrong.

It wasn’t him.

The figure I thought I saw in the alley’s shadows…

It wasn’t Ambrose.

It disappeared.

Maybe it was a ghost.

Maybe one of his distant relatives.

It wasn’t him.

Elsie pulled out her phone again and went into her Contacts.

She scrolled down to Hildreth Mayhew.

I should let him sleep.

She selected his name and pressed Call.

She listened to it ring.

The call went through to his voicemail.

“Hi. Elsie. Hildreth, I don’t know if you’re sleeping or doing who knows what, but…”

She stopped at a street corner.

“…I miss you. I miss knowing that you’re just over there on the other side of town. I miss thinking that in a little while we’ll meet up on top of that mausoleum. Hildreth. Take care of yourself. Don’t do anything that will further injure your foot. You hear me? I know it isn’t easy, but take it easy. I want to hunt with you again. Side by side. I want to see…”

She paused, unable to put into words how seeing him hunt made her feel. “I love you.”

Her mind turned back to the unknown figure in the shadows.

It wasn’t him.

“I love just you.”

***

Hildreth reset all of the hammer plates in his Bossman 550 and replaced all of the stakes. He closed it up.

Elsie would explode if she knew that I was down here. But darn it all! I needed to do something. I need to keep my skills up. I need to stay active. I need—

He winced as his foot started to bother him again.

“I need to get my tailside back upstairs.” He hobbled over to the staircase and cracked his knuckles. “Okay. I got down here. I can sure as heck get back up.”

He grabbed both railings.

I sure hope I don’t fall.

“And here we go.”

He put all of his weight on his arms and hopped up the first step.

“All right! One down! Ten million more to go. I can do it. I know I can.”

***

By the time Hildreth got up to the top, he was pretty well winded. He spread his hands on the nearest wall and panted.

Apparently going downstairs with a bum foot is a lot easier than going upstairs. Who knew?

He raised his head.

His phone was ringing.

“Elsie!” He tucked his foot up and hopped furiously all the way into the living room.

By the time he got there, the phone had stopped ringing.

He picked up his phone and dropped onto the couch. “Ohhh…Much better.” He went into his voicemail and listened to Elsie’s message.

Take it easy, huh?

Yep.

She’s going to explode and then she’s going to kill me when she finds out I went downstairs and came back upstairs.

He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

Such a shame.

I really liked being alive.

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