Sarah scrunched her eyes and tried to remember more about that woman, more about her past.
There was nothing else.
Just darkness inside her head.
She huffed out a big sigh and opened her eyes.
Just as Ambrose and Barbara reentered the room.
Sarah rose from her seat and marched straight to Ambrose.
He smiled at her. “Hey.”
She thrust the book at him.
He looked at the book and back at her. “Uhh. Okay?” He took the book.
Sarah promptly grabbed his free hand and led him back to the armchair. She pointed at him, then at the chair.
Ambrose sat down.
Sarah nodded her approval. She pointed at him, pointed at the book, tapped her fingers against her open mouth and swept her hand upwards, and pointed at herself.
“You want me to read this book to you?”
She nodded emphatically.
His smile grew. “Very well. Have a seat.”
She sat on the floor without any hesitation.
He opened it to the first page. “The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Text abridged by Sameera Garowicz.”
She eagerly clapped her hands.
Jealousy flamed inside of Barbara as Sarah took Ambrose’s hand and led him over to the chair.
I want to touch him like that.
Jeff came over to her. “Are you okay?”
She sighed. “Yes and no. Ambrose and I promised that we wouldn’t touch each other until we get married.”
Jeff arched an eyebrow. “Not touch each other…Are you talking about a strict no touching policy? Like, no touching at all?”
“No touching at all. I thought it would be an easy promise to keep, at least easy for me to keep.”
He smiled sympathetically. “Not so easy, huh?”
She shook her head. “It’s multiplied our desire for each other by at least 12,000 percent. And, if that weren’t bad enough, I’m jealous. Jealous that Sarah can touch him whenever she wants while I’m stuck playing Hands Off. It’s stupid for me to feel this way. This whole no touch thing was my idea and I agreed to it. I wasn’t forced into it and neither was Ambrose. This was our choice. Our mutual decision. And I know, deep inside, that it was the right decision to make.”
The former hunter and the vampire’s fiancée watched Ambrose read to Sarah.
Sarah stopped him and made a series of fast hand gestures.
Ambrose laughed. “Okay. I’ll read it in a deeper voice.” He cleared his throat and tried the line again in a voice that seemed to come from deep inside his chest.
His voice rumbled in the tiled floor and rose up through the soles of Barbara’s shoes.
I feel so…
“He’s very good with her, isn’t he?”
She nodded. “mm. I need to get some fresh air. I…I feel…dizzy.”
Jeff took Barbara by the elbow and guided her out of the room. “Sit on the floor. Put your head between your knees.”
She obeyed him without question.
He sat beside her and patted her back. “It’s okay. It’s okay. You’re okay.”
Ambrose should be the one out here with me.
Ambrose should be the one touching my back and comforting me.
No one else.
I don’t want anyone else.
No matter what horrors he has committed in his past, I want just him.