“I wonder if that is something I should get down in writing. Just so there’s no big ‘Huh? What did Hildreth want us to do in this case?'”
“Idiot. You don’t need to do that. I know.”
Hildreth checked his watch. “Hey, Els.” He smiled a wide, happy smile. “It’s midnight. You know what that means?”
“The night is half-way over?”
“No. That doesn’t happen until at least three o’clock. Because at three o’clock, it is only three hours before six, which makes it half-way to six o’clock, which makes it half-way to the first hour of the morning, which would make it the middle of the night.”
Elsie smiled and shook her head. “Hildreth Mayhew. Your brain is a never-ending mystery.”
“I don’t even know if that is a good thing or not.”
“Oh, psh! It’s a very good thing. After all, a guy as good looking as me should really have some mysterious elements. Makes me so much more attractive and alluring to the female population.”
Elsie playfully pushed him. “What female population? All you need is me and no one else.”
“Mm. mm. mmm. And we’re back to that whole possessive thing you’ve got goin’ on, Vansing. Naughty, naughty, naughty.”
“I can’t help it.”
He leaned into her face. “Neither can I.” He kissed her – a quick tease of a kiss.
She looked into his eyes.
How many times did that vampire touch her? How many times did he bite her?
How many times did he kiss her the way he did at the Gendarme Kicker…like he owned her, possessed her?
How many times did he say ‘I love you, Elsie’? How many times did she say ‘I love you, Ambrose’?
How many days were they under the same roof? He in the basement, she up in her room? How many times did they come close to surrender?
“Elsie.” He kissed her again, but with a bit more force. His fingers traced the lines of her cheeks.
She grabbed his hair and held tight.
But she’s holding on to me.
She’s kissing me.
She’s loving me.
She’s going to marry me.
Hildreth reluctantly pulled back. “Els.”
She looked at him with desire vibrant in her gold eyes.
It stole his words and doubts from him.
“It’s only two days from now, Hildreth.” She released her hold on his hair. “In two more days, you and I will be married.”
“I will be married.” He held her hands. “Married to the most wonderful woman in the world.”
“And I to you. My Hildreth. I love you.”
She loves me.
Messed up, jealous me.
“You’re perfect, Hildreth.”
And she thinks I’m perfect.
“Elsie. My Elsie.”
He couldn’t resist and neither could she.
And it was perfect – neither too soft nor too hard. But it was full of love.
Simple, joyful love.