Part 1715 – Ambrose Tells Barbara His Whole Truth.

Ambrose touched his forehead against the hospital window.

I should have gone with her.

What if she’s hurt?

What if Mark Caten…

He shuddered and hugged himself.

What if Caten knows about her? What if he knows about how much she means to me?

What if he has her?

He shuddered again.

I know him.

I know what he’s capable of.

The things he ordered me to do…and I did them.

He frowned.

What does that make me?

What am I?

I’ve changed. I am no longer that man I was. I’m better than that.

I know I’m better.


Ambrose unfurled his arms and examined his hands.

The things I’ve done for him.

The people I’ve hurt and killed for him.

The heartlessness.


I am not that man anymore.


Does Barbara know? Have I told her? Is she aware of what she’s marrying?

If I told her…

When I tell her, will she still love me?

Will she still want me?

He shuddered again.

I need to tell her.

She needs to know.

She deserves to know.

Even if it means she will reject me, I will tell her my whole truth.

Someone knocked on the door.

“Come in.” Jeff said.

Ambrose turned around as the door opened.

His heart leapt as Barbara entered the room.

She carried a plastic shopping bag that was weighted with books.

Sarah followed her into the room. She clutched a hardback book to her chest as if she were convinced that someone was going to steal it from her.

“Woo!” Barbara set the books on the foot of Missy’s bed.

Raven drifted out of wherever his thoughts had taken him. “Miss Addleston.”

She smiled at him. “I bring you books. Some of them were my idea. Some were Sarah’s. I will give you a fair warning: Some of her choices were highly questionable. Read them at your own risk.”

He smiled a slight smile. “Thank you for the warning. I will proceed with caution.”

Sarah curled up in the armchair near the bed. She stroked the book’s hard cover a couple of times and hugged it again.

Ambrose approached Barbara. “You’re back. You came back. You’re safe. No one hurt you? No one—”

She started to reach for him.

His pupils widened.

She caught herself in time and lowered her hand. “Yes, I’m safe.”

“Barbara.” His gaze fixated on her exposed neck.

Her bare throat.

In his mind, he fastforwarded the hours to their wedding night. His lips on her neck. Her bare skin. Kissing her. Inhaling and luxuriating in her sweet scent as it turned him.

He quickly looked away. “Barbara. We need to talk.”


He considered the wisdom of Yes versus No.

He shook his head. “I need to talk to you. Just you.”

“Do you think we can behave ourselves?” she asked teasingly.

“When you hear what I have to say, yes. I think we will.”

“Ambrose?” She sounded concerned. “What’s wrong? What is it?”

“Let’s step outside the room and I’ll explain.”

She hesitated. “Okay.”

Ambrose headed towards the door. He could sense her following him. Her scent curled against his back and slithered over his shoulders, caressing his chest and burrowing up against his throat. A moan escaped him.

He left the room and stood against the wall.

He closed his eyes.

Keep it together.

Don’t lose control.




Breathe calm.

Stay calm.

Barbara left the room. “Ambrose. What’s wrong?” She closed the door. “Talk to me.”




“Barbara.” He opened his eyes. “Have I ever told you that I used to work for Mark Caten?”

Barbara frowned as she apparently thought about it. “I think so? Why?”

He looked away from her. “Did I ever tell you what I did for him? The kind of work I did?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

He watched a nurse enter one of the other rooms. She seemed to be in a very good mood. “I was his enforcer.”

The nurse chirped at her patient and closed the door.

“Do you know what that means, Barbara?”

“Um. Maybe.”

“I hurt people, Barbara. It was my job to hurt them. For him. For Mark Caten. He told me to find this or that person for him. I obeyed. He told me to torture this or that person. I obeyed. He told me to break this or that person. I obeyed. He told me to kill this or that person. I obeyed. I obeyed him and it meant nothing to me. It was my job. Just a job. These people…they were nothing. They. They were nothing but marks. Not even humans. Just nameless, faceless marks to be caught and brought in and hurt and destroyed. It was…it was a game to be played and won. And I always won.”

He paused to give her a chance to say something.

She said nothing.

How could she want me after this?

“And, Barbara. Some of these people…They weren’t adults, Barbara. Some of them were just children. And I hurt them. I slashed them with my claws. I tore into their minds and thoughts. I…I damaged them beyond repair. These children. Those poor children.” He took a breath. “Can you still want me? Knowing all of this, Barbara, can you still love me? Can you still think of me the same as you did yesterday and the day before? Do you still think I’m any good? Do I really deserve you, Barbara? Do you still want to marry me?”

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