He did those sort of things to children.
He hurt and tortured children.
What am I supposed to say?
How can I say anything to that?
Am I supposed to pretend to be okay with this revelation?
Ambrose shuddered and sat against the wall. He brought his knees up to his chest.
He wrapped his arms around his legs.
This is something he isn’t proud of.
This is something that he is ashamed of.
Ambrose pressed his forehead against his knees.
I want to touch him.
I want to kiss his head.
I want to pull him into my arms and comfort him. I want to tell him that I believe in him, that I trust him.
“Ambrose.” She knelt in front of him, but she kept her hands at her sides. “I will be honest. It is a shock to hear you confess such things. I understand why you haven’t told me about it before. It can’t be an easy thing to admit.”
He sighed a heavy sigh.
If only I could run my hand through his black hair.
“It should make me reconsider our engagement.”
He tightened his embrace around his legs.
If only he were hugging me instead.
He raised his head. His expression was somewhere between hope and despair. “Do you still love me? Do you still want to marry me? If you don’t—”
“Don’t even go there. I know you, Ambrose Smith. I know the kind of man you are. I know how much you love me. And I love you. I still want you, kitten. I still want to marry you. Maybe I’m a fluff-headed fool for feeling that way. Maybe it will be my doom. Maybe it will be my downfall. But I trust you. I will trust you with my heart, with my body, and, yes, our children.”
“Do you mean it? Barbara, if…if…”
I wish I could silence his fears with a kiss. One more kiss. Or at least with a touch of my finger on his lips.
“I love you, Ambrose. I do. This Sunday, I will stand before you, before God, before our family and friends, and I will say our vows. I will solemnly promise myself to you. I will accept you as you are. Your past. Your present. Your future. All of your good and all of your bad. I will surrender myself to you. All of the men I could have met and loved…I will completely reject for you. Just for you. I want just you, Ambrose Smith.”
“And I want you. Barbara. Please.”
He didn’t need to say more than that. She understood.
Her gaze ran over him.
Where could I touch him that would not provoke us?
The lovely inky black of his hair?
Maybe his feet? That could work. But his feet are so ticklish. Soooo, maybe not?
I could grab his ankles, but that’s just weird. I think that would confuse him.
She stood. “We should go back in there.”
I want to grab his hands and pull him up to his feet, but that’s really asking for trouble.
Ambrose stood on his own. He looked down at her.
He opened his mouth. Maybe to speak. Maybe in hope of another kiss.
It would be so easy to touch him. It’s so tempting.
My hand on his face.
My hand on his skin.
My lips on his lips.
She bowed her head.
“You’re right.” he said. “We should head back into the room.”