“I simply do not understand why you need so many tank tops, sir.”
Ambrose buckled his seat belt. “Because they’re comfortable to sleep in.”
“But, sir. You bought fifteen of them.”
“What? They were on sale.”
“That is no excuse. You could have bought another dress shirt.”
Ambrose gave Raven an annoyed look. “I don’t need fifty-nine dress shirts.”
“It was not fifty-nine, sir. It was six.”
Barbara leaned forward. “Not to have a Missy moment, but it’s too bad you didn’t model any of those tank tops for us.”
Ambrose smiled at her. “You like seeing my bare arms and shoulders?”
She blushed. “Umm. That’s part of the appeal.”
“Only a part of it?” His smile grew into a grin. “So, what’s the rest?”
“Umm. It looks good on you.”
“Care to get into details?”
“Mm. Nope. I don’t want to scandalize Raven.”
“Ha! You naughty girl.”
Raven backed out of the parking spot and pulled out of The Cardboard Box’s parking lot. “I am not so easily scandalized.”
Ambrose scoffed. “Yeah. Tell that to my cargo pants.”
“Those things were hideous and unfit for public display. Especially at such a formal event.”
Ambrose huffed out a sigh. “It’s not like I wore them to the Met Opera Gala or something like that.”
“I would not put it past you to try something so obtuse, sir.”
“Well. That’s just mean. I do have more sense than that.”
“I wonder, sir.” He muttered some dark words about bare feet as he focused on his driving.
Ambrose put his dark mutterings on ignore and turned his attention back to Barbara.
She looked at him with wordless love. It made him want to climb into the back seat and curl up with her.
It also made his fears resurface.
She loves me so much, but what if? What if she decides she doesn’t want to be with me? What if she wants our marriage to be a separate bedroom marriage? What if she hates what she sees? What if she pushes me away? What if I hurt her? What if—
Barbara rested her hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry.”
He surfaced out of his thoughts.
“I love you. You don’t have anything to be afraid of.”
“Was I…being that obvious?”
“Very obvious. I love you, Ambrose. I love you and I want you. I’m not going to kick you out of our house and tell you to go live in a Motel 6.”
“You don’t understand. You are the first woman since Rebecca that I have wanted like this. Everyone else…They were just meaningless one night stands. It scares me to want you so much. It leaves me open to a deeper hurt if you reject me. And I can’t help it. I’m so scared that you will reject me.”
“What can I say or do to reassure you?”
He shrugged. “I don’t think it’s something you can fix. It’s me. It’s just me. It’s just how much I love you.”
A small part of Raven felt scandalized by such an intimate discussion happening right next to him.
Such conversations should not take place where others may overhear. It isn’t proper or decent.
It is vastly inappropriate.
Missy wouldn’t think so.
He drove through a stop sign and a red light.
I should have let her come with.
Yet, I will be home soon.
I hope she’s safe.
He turned the corner.
Miss Farlington stood in the middle of the road.