Part 1738 – Long Distance Comfort And A Beautifully Lethal Dance

Barbara stopped at a red light. She turned in her seat and looked back at Sarah.

The little girl was still sound asleep.

Hm. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Raven about his plans for her. I guess I’ll have to—-


She sat up straight. Ambrose? What’s wrong? Are you hurt?


Ambrose raised his head.

Barbara. I.

He panted as he tried to pull his thoughts into something coherent.

Talk to me, Barbara. Let me hear your voice.

Tears trailed down his face.

Call me. I need to talk to you. Please call me.


Barbara pulled out her phone and quickly called him.

He answered half-way through the first ring. “Barbara. Barbara. Barbara.”

“What’s wrong? Where…Are you safe? Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry. I just. I.” He huffed out his breaths.

“Ambrose. You’re freaking me out. Talk to me.”

“I just. I.” He shivered. “Memory. Bad memory. Cold. Olessa. Hot. Mark Caten.”

“But you’re safe? You are safe?”

“Yes. At the hospital. Safe. Talk to me. Doesn’t matter what you say. Just. Just talk.”

I wish I were with you.

She looked up at the red light. “If I were there with you, I’d sit beside you. I’d wrap my arms around you and hold you close. I’d whisper complete nonsense in your ears. I’d sing soft melodies to you. I’d whisper how much I love you. And I would still hold on to you for as long as you wanted. I would tell you that nothing has changed. I still love you. And my answer is still the same. Yes, Ambrose Smith. I will marry you.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, kitten.” She grinned mischievously. “And, no matter what you may think or say, you are not a big black kitten. You are a soft, fluffy gray.”

He sputtered out a laugh. “You brat.”

She giggled.

“Oh, I love you. I love you so much.”

“Ambrose. Jet adore.”

“Barbara Addleston, je t’adore.”


Elsie and Hildreth fought through a crowd of vampires in the bad side of Havaton. Their moves matched perfectly. Each kick. Each duck. Every punch. Perfectly timed.

Each blow.

Every staking.

Equally focused.

It was like a dance.

A beautifully lethal dance.

The vampires fell before them. They tried their best to fight back. They put every bit of their effort into it.

But they fell.

Every one of them.

Until only Elsie and Hildreth were left standing.

Elsie side-glanced at him.

Hildreth stood still, posed and ready for action.

Her gaze ran down his body.

Oh, I wanna punch him so bad. I want to—

He looked over at her and grinned. “Thinkin’ all sorts of smut about me, aren’t you?”


He chuckled and went to work tagging the dead vampires. “Elsie Vansing thinks I’m all that. Elsie Vansing wants to kiss me and make out with me. Elsie Vansing wants to see me get all nekkid.”

“Idiot. Complete idiot.” She helped him with the tagging and activating.

“Little does she know that I think she’s all that. I want her to kiss me and make out with me. I want to see…”

She looked up at him. “Are you really going to finish that sentence?”

He gave her a teasing look. “If you insist. Do you insist?”

She resumed her tagging.

“Do you, Els?”


“Tsk. Maybe is such a weak sauced, soggy noodled—”

“Maybe I don’t want you to say a word.”

He stopped.

“Maybe I just want you to kiss me.”

“Kiss you. Hm? Is that all you want, Elsie Vansing, my fierce Marauder?”

She looked up at him. The tracker buttons flashed red and green on his clothes and skin. “You know full well what I want, Hildreth Mayhew.”

“But not here?”

“Among all of these dead vampires? Seriously? Just how morbid and gross do you think I am?”

He laughed. “Not at all, which is one of the reasons why I love you.”

“There are other reasons?”

“Plenty. From your frizzy hair to your fierce personality to, you know, your generalized hotness.”

The buttons went black and The Collectors came in a cloud of soft sea-green glow.

Hildreth turned serious. “I love all of you, my Elsie. Both your good and your bad.”

She laid her hands on top of his.

The Collectors gathered up the vampires and carried them into the sky.

“Likewise, Hildreth. My Hildreth. My Hildreth and mine alone.”

Hildreth couldn’t resist and she didn’t try. He kissed her and laughed softly as she grabbed his hair. “Elsie. My Elsie.”

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