Ambrose followed Barbara and Sarah to the door. “Be safe, Barbara. Please be safe.”
Touch me one more time. Doesn’t matter where. Just please touch me.
Barbara started to raise her hand.
She shook her head and lowered her hand. “We’ll be back shortly, kitten.” She smiled. “Stay out of trouble.”
“I love you, Ambrose. Don’t you ever forget that.”
He smiled back at her. “I don’t t think I ever could.”
She blew a kiss at him, opened the door, and left the room.
He stepped out into the hall and watched her until she disappeared around the corner.
Jeff contemplated the black-haired vampire. “You really do love her, don’t you?”
Ambrose turned to face him. “Yes.”
“Hm. Interesting.” He walked past Ambrose and entered Missy’s room.
Raven stood by Missy’s side, holding her hand. His focus was completely on her.
Where is the light? Is it really here inside these creatures of death and darkness? Have we hunters been wrong all along?
Jeff remembered the vampires he’d fought and defeated.
We have fought for the light.
We have fought the good fight.
We have saved lives.
Besides, if we did nothing, what would happen? The vampires would take over with minimal effort.
Our cities would fall. Our people would be killed, changed, or kept as blood letters. There would be no happy balance between us and them. They would be our conquerors.
He put his hand on his chest.
The light is here within me and with Elsie and Hildreth and all of the other hunters.
“I am here, Missy.” Raven said. “I am here.”
But maybe a small flicker of that light is inside of him too.
“I sent Barbara and Sarah to the library. I told them to borrow some books for me to read to you.” Raven rubbed his thumb over the smooth skin on the back of her hand.
Over her veins’ blue lines.
Ove her hand’s bones.
She was so silent.
Raven wanted to scoop her into his arms and hold her as close as he could. “Missy.”
Memories flashed through his mind.
Memories of him and her from the very beginning.
He choked up. “Missy. Can we start over again? Can we be just you and I in an abandoned school, slowly discovering each other?”
Her fingers moved restlessly in random patterns.
“I miss you.” He exhaled a hard breath. “I miss you so much.”
Come back to me. Hear me. I am here, Missy. I am here beside you. Come. Come to me.
Jeff patted his back. “Nothing has changed?”
Raven shook his head.
“She’s going to wake up, Raven. You’ll see.” He patted Raven’s back again. “You’ll see.”