I love him.
I love him so much I could slap his face and punch his stomach. I want to be with him. I want to feel his bare arms looped around me. I want to hear the steady sound of his breathing as he sleeps. I want to feel the intimacy of his touch.
Elsie looked down at her switchblade.
But I will wait.
I will wait for him.
I will wait for us.
I will wait for our first time.
“Hmm. You’re being terribly quiet on your end, Vansing. Could it be that—” He did an over-dramatic gasp. “—you’re thinking smut about me?”
She smiled. “Maybe.”
“Oh my Lawwd! And here I am just a pure innocent thing who would NEVER think such things. Never never never!”
“You’re so full of boloney it’s amazing you can even walk.”
“Oh! Gasp! Gasp! Gaspity gasp! Elsie’s talking all dirty about me! Oh, dear! I’mma gonna get the vapors. Someone fetch me my smelling salts.”
“You think that’s something? Wait until you find out what I was doing with those dress shirts.”
“Ooo. You make that sound so naughty. I might be blushing over here. Blushing like an absolute maiden.”
I’m fully committed to waiting for Sunday, but oh. Oh, I want to run to him and show him exactly what the word ‘lovering’ means. I want to shove him up against a wall and…
“I should let you go.” Elsie sighed. “We both need to get some sleep.”
There was a small pause. “You could come here.”
He laughed. “Could you say that a little flatter? I heard a little too much emotion in there.”
“Sorry. I’m just tired. Need to sleep.”
“Then, get your sleep. I’ll see you later. I love you, Els.”
“I love you too.”
He ended the call.
Elsie put her phone away and contemplated the results of her handiwork.
The pile of sliced dress shirts.
The pile of sliced belts.
The overly thawed out chicken plastered all over her new punching dummy.
She looked into the paper shopping bag and found one last dress shirt.
“Let’s try it one more time without a belt. Just in case.”
Hildreth flopped down on the mattress.
She apparently has a big and awesome surprise planned for me. I don’t know what dress shirts have to do with it, but okay.
He thought about his plan for their wedding.
That will definitely surprise her, but I’m thinking she may not like it too much. I want to do something more.
Something that will make her laugh and go “Whaaaaaaat?” in a good way.
Something that will make her say out loud, “Oh, thank God I’m marrying you and no one else.”
Something that will get her hormones all revved up and.
He sat up with a big grin on his face.
It will be insanely uncomfortable, but the look on her face will make it all worthwhile.
He got out of bed and admired his reflection in his dresser mirror.
He rubbed his hands down his hips.
“Yeah, I can totally rock a pair of leather pants.” He laughed as he imagined her reaction. “Oh, her mind is going to be so blown.”
It’s a good thing Sarah isn’t a mind reader. If she were—
Barbara shook her head.
—it wouldn’t be good. I’d either have to give her an early birds and the bees talk or I’d be unable to think about Ambrose when I’m around her.
But she knows what lovers are. How? Who told her? Why?
Her blush faded.
Would they do something like that to her? I don’t know. They were willing to hurt her and turn her into an XQ.
What else were they willing to do to her?
The young girl crawled out from under the desk. She dusted off her hands and knees and gave Barbara a questioning look.
“When you were at The Institute, did they ever…touch you inappropriately?”
Sarah frowned as if she had no idea what the young woman meant.
“Did they ever put their fingers or anything else down here?” Barbara pointed to her crotch.
Sarah wrinkled her nose and shook her head.
“Good. Don’t ever let anyone touch you like that without your permission. No one. Not even people you know. Not even if they promise to give you some sort of reward. Do you understand?”
“Good. And just so you know, if anyone, and I mean anyone, touches you like that against your will, you come to me and tell me. Even if they threaten to do more bad things to you, you have to tell me. I won’t yell at you or punish you or be mean to you. I will, however, make sure that the person who hurt you like that gets punished.”
Sarah clenched her fists and made a throwing at the door gesture.
Barbara giggled. “Yes, I’ll personally make sure they get thrown out the door.”
Sarah grinned and clapped her hands. She gave Barbara a quick hug before returning to her station under the desk.