Elsie turned on the AC to the coldest possible setting.
Hildreth sighed as things calmed down. “So, what is the battle plan?”
“I’m going to take the car home and we’ll go walking.”
“Sounds like our usual plan. Do you want me to stay with you or are we splitting up for the rest of the night?”
Elsie smiled. “I’m surprised you even have to ask. I would like you to stay with me.” She glanced down at his lap. “Are you okay?”
He nodded. “Oh, I’m just multiple levels of dandy.”
“I’m sorry for getting you that worked up.”
Hildreth smiled. “I think I’m supposed to say ‘Not a problem’, but that sounds wrong in this context. Uhhh.” He scratched the back of his head. “Thanks? That still sounds wrong.”
“I love you. And, if you ever doubt me again, I swear I’ll beat you up.”
He laughed. “And you definitely would.”
“Only because you wouldn’t fight back.”
“And risk hurting you? What the heck, Els?”
“Idiot.” She pulled into her driveway and parked the car. “Are you ready?”
“Bring on the vamps. I’m ready to have myself a good time.”
She opened her car door and the overhead light turned on. “Don’t be cocky. That’s a good way to get killed or changed.”
He unbuckled his seatbelt. “I know.”
She looked into his green-blue eyes and melted inside. “I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.”
He smiled a soft and easy smile. “What do you see?”
“The most beautiful eyes, gorgeous smile, wonderful laugh.”
“Do I have great teeth in there?”
“Obviously. And a warped sense of humor.”
“How about my flawless skin and—” He fake-tossed his hair over his shoulder. “—-my fabulous hair?”
She laughed. “I thought that was a given.”
“Oh, it’s never a given, Els. These are things you should always mention when you’re praising a guy’s looks.”
“Absolutely. There are other things you know you could mention.”
She shook her head. “Not until we’re married.”
“Huh? I was talking about my amazing kissing technique. What gutter was your mind in, Miss Vansing?”
“Ha! Just goes to show you, I was thinking about your chest. So there.”
He burst out laughing. “Oh, you so were not.”
She laughed. “No comment.”
He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.
“Mmm.” Elsie grabbed his hair, which made him start laughing again. She moved her face away from his. “What?”
“Always abusing my hair. Poor, poor me. I’ll have bald patches by the time I’m fifty. But, you know, I love it when you do that. So, never stop.”
He sighed. “I wish we could banter the rest of the night away, but—-”
“I know. Time to get back to work.”
Hildreth watched her get out of the car.
She came around to his side of the car and opened his door.
It’s gonna be worth the wait.
Barbara pulled into her driveway and parked her car. “Sorry, things got cut short tonight.”
Ambrose smiled. “It’s all good. I still got to dance with you.”
She blushed as she remembered the feel of his hands.
His fingers unbuttoning her blouse.
His heated breath on her throat.
“Ummm. About what almost happened…I mean, here in the car.”
“What? No. I was going to say that I’m sorry for instigating all of that.”
“That may be, but I encouraged it. I wanted it.”
Her blush deepened. “Yes, but you stopped it. I was so caught up in the moment, it honestly didn’t cross my mind to stop you. It felt so…” She looked away from him. “I liked how it felt, how you made me feel.”
She didn’t want to say it. Yet, it needed to be said. “I didn’t want you to stop. So, thank you for thinking of me, for stopping for me. I know it couldn’t have been easy.”
“Barbara, I love you. Yes, I wanted to go all the way. The temptation was there. The desire was definitely there. But you would have been disappointed.”
She looked back at him.
“Disappointed that we gave in with only seven days left to go. Oh, it feels like a long time. But it’s only seven days. I can wait. I will wait for you.”
He kissed her – a soft, gentle kiss. “I’ve already waited several lifetimes for you. What’s seven days?”