Sarah tugged on Ambrose’s sleeve. As soon as she got his attention, she yawned in a very pointed way.
He smiled. “I guess it is getting late. At least, late for someone like you.”
She tapped her wrist a couple of times, pointed at him, and frowned with a slight head tilt.
“Late for me is…any time between seven in the morning to noon. Anything after noon is just irrational.”
Her frown deepened as she seemed to think about it. She pointed at him, tapped her teeth, and pressed her fingers against her neck.
Ambrose raised his eyebrows in surprise. “You are a bright little thing, aren’t you? Yes. I am a vampire.”
She scowled and stomped her foot.
She drew a furious air X on him, tapped her teeth and her neck, and drew another air X on him. Flames flared out on her shoulders and down to her elbows.
“I might be misunderstanding you, but no. You have nothing to fear from me. I will not bite you.” He knelt before her. “I swear it. No matter what, I will not hurt you.”
Her flames died down.
Her frown lifted.
Barbara came over to the young girl.
Ambrose looked up at her.
She started to reach for his hair.
His scalp tingled in anticipation of Barbara’s touch.
He let out a soft, hurt grunt as she pulled her hand back. “Barbara.”
“If you want, you can come home with me.” Barbara said.
Ambrose’s pupils widened.
She blushed. “I meant Sarah. Sarah could come—”
And she lost her words.
There’s so much I want to say, Barbara.
But not in front of an innocent six year old girl.
“Of course.” Ambrose said. “She should go home with you. I’ll let Raven know.”
Sarah yawned again. This time, it was a genuine yawn.
Barbara took the young girl’s hand. “I guess we should go, then.”
“Barbara.” Ambrose’s voice trembled. “This is real, right? You. And me. Here and now in this moment. Only two days away from our wedding. It’s real, isn’t it? This isn’t a dream that I’ll wake from and find myself alone and still pining for Elsie? Or I’ll wake and find myself still locked up in Mark Caten’s wretched amusement park?”
“No. This is real. Oh, darling! If I could touch you, I’d show you just how real I am.”
“Then, touch me. Barbara, touch me.”
She bowed her head.
He reached forward. The aching need to touch her radiated from his fingertips to his elbows.
That isn’t what she wants. If I do this against her will, she will be angry at me. She’ll be disappointed.
He pulled back and lowered his arms. “Don’t be afraid, love.”
She looked up at him.
“I will wait.”
“Don’t be. I understand your reasons. I know.” He held his hand just inches away from her face. “There is fire between us. Can you feel it too?”
She nodded. “And I don’t even have to raise my hand.”
She giggled. “So, I’m a brat. What are you going to do about it, Mr. Smith?”
He chuckled. “I can’t say. We are in mixed company, you know.”
“mm. True. Sooo, you should call me when I get home and tell me then.”
“That would be very inappropriate. After all, love, we aren’t married yet.”
Barbara checked her watch. “It’s after midnight.”
“Two more days, love.”
She blushed. “Only two more days.”