It’s a good thing I’m not in love with Robin.
Otherwise, I’d be in a very bad state right now. Holding him this close and knowing that he is not thinking about me…
He’s thinking only about Isellta. I don’t have to enter his mind to know that. I just do.
“It’s okay, Robin.”
Robin sighed a hard sigh. “No, it ain’t. ‘sellta don’t love me.”
“‘sellta don’t want me, but I can’t. I can’t not want him. I can’t hate him. Am’rose, it hurts.”
“I know.” Ambrose shifted into a more comfortable position. “Go back to sleep.”
Ambrose sighed. “Lay your head on my chest.”
“Now. Don’t think. Focus on the rise and fall of my chest. My ribcage is strong. My heartbeat is steady and relaxed. My breathing is regular and calm. Can you feel it, Robin?”
“I am calm. I am rested. I am not afraid. I am not hurt. My breathing is calm. My heartbeat is steady and relaxed. My ribcage is strong. Feel it rise and fall.”
Robin’s body relaxed.
“I am not hurt. I am not afraid. I am rested. I am calm.”
Robin’s body went limp as he fell asleep.
“We are home.” Ambrose kissed his head. “We are safe.”
Hildreth reached the top of the Williards’ family mausoleum and strolled over to Elsie.
“Took you long enough.” she said.
“Oh, you know me. I had to take some time to smell the roses people had left on their loved ones’ graves.”
“I hope you’re joking.”
He laughed. “I could be serious.”
“I really hope not.” She sat in the middle of the flat roof. “There’s something creepy and morbid about smelling grave flowers.”
“Grave flowers, huh?” He sat beside her. “I don’t know. It could be romantic.”
Elsie shook her head. “The only way something that creepy could be even remotely romantic is if the flowers are on your loved one’s grave. Otherwise, no. Just no.”
He grinned. “Darn it. I love you.”
She smiled and laid on her back.
Hildreth removed his Bossman 550’s holster and set it on the roof. He looked down at Elsie.
I could take advantage of this situation.
She wouldn’t push me away.
I know she won’t.
I want to come down on top of her.
I want to feel her legs move against mine.
This will be our first time together. Do I really want it to happen on top of a mausoleum? I don’t know. There’s something really perverse about that. Maybe a little too perverse for me.
She would never agree to it. I know she wouldn’t.
He lay down beside her.
It’s only two more days.
And one day.
Then, I’ll be all hers.
She turned her head and blatantly admired him.
I’ll give her all of me and hold nothing back. I will show her in unspoken words how much I love her.
And she will understand. She will hear every word that’s been locked up inside my head from the very beginning.
Hildreth and Elsie turned their attention upwards.
They watched the dawn repaint the sky.