Part 1803 – So Many Steps To Make Before I Can Finally Sleep.

Father Landover drove Veronica to her parents’ house. He spent a couple of hours there, talking and comforting and commiserating. Then, someone called Alex’s parents and the whole commiserating and comforting cycle started all over again. Alex’s parents wanted a funeral. Veronica’s parents didn’t understand how one could have a funeral with no body to bury. It just didn’t make sense to them. It was up to Father Landover to make sense of it all and get all of the mourning relatives into agreement.

The whole time he kept his focus on what needed to be said and done. He didn’t give a thought to how tired he was or how soft and comfortable his bed was. He quietly offered up his exhaustion to God and stayed focused.

Father Landover eventually found the right moment to take his leave and head home. He prayed all fifteen decades of the rosary – from Joyful to Glorious – as he drove. It kept his mind from fuzzing out.

It felt like a whole half day had gone by the time he pulled into the church’s parking lot. He parked the car and stopped in the church to say a prayer of thanksgiving for a safe return.

Father Landover uncovered his face and looked towards the flower-overloaded sanctuary. He smiled and said one more prayer. This one was for John and Clarice. From there his thoughts turned to Ambrose and Barbara’s upcoming wedding.

“Dear Lord. Grant that their union will be a happy and blessed one. May they always be there for one another to uplift each other in love and Thy good grace. Be their comfort when sorrow and crosses come their way. Be their light. And, as always, dear Lord, may Thy will be done always and ever. May Thy name be forever praised. Amen.” He made the Sign of the Cross and left the pew.

Father Landover headed out of the church and towards the rectory with one thought in mind: sleep.

Just sleep.

He went into his office and checked his voice messages. Much to his relief, there were no new ones.

He ran to his room and went straight to bed.

***

Ambrose shoved Barbara down on the bed.

She looked up at him, wide-eyed and fearful.

But his desire ruled his mind and his body. He pinned her to the bed and bared his fangs.

“Ambrose, please! Please don’t hurt me!”

“I can do whatever I want to you. You’re mine now.” Ambrose chuckled. “All mine. You no longer have any say in the matter. Your body belongs to me.”

Tears fell down her face. “Ambrose.”

He came down on her, hard and forceful.

She cried out in pain, but he didn’t relent.

“You’re mine. Mine. MINE! ALL MINE!”

Mark Caten appeared next to the bed and gave him a thumb’s up. “Good! You show that little wench what’s what.” He sat on the foot of the bed and filed his fingernails. “Oh, and when you’re done with her, give her to me. I’m sure I can show her a few things too.”

***

Ambrose quickly raised his head. “LIKE HELL I’LL LET YOU DO THAT!” He sat up and ran his hand through his hair.

Robin grumbled and flopped onto his back. “wazz all the yellin’, stupid?”

“Bad dream. Robin. I’ve always been selfish. It’s what has kept me alive for all of these years.”

“Uh-huh.”

Ambrose laid his hands in his lap. “I just had a dream that I assaulted Barbara. I raped her and I didn’t care. She screamed and cried and I didn’t care.”

Robin sighed. “Just a dream. Ain’t even real.”

“Obviously. But what if it becomes real? What if I give in to my selfishness? What if…What if she doesn’t want to and I—”

“Hold on.” Robin sat up. “You’re freakin’ out about Barbara not wantin’ you? Really? You must be thinkin’ about a whole diff’rent Barbara than the one I know. Because let me tell you what. The Barbara I know has mentally done it with you like three hundred and forty-seven times by now.”

Ambrose stared at him. “What?”

“Oh, come on. Don’t tell me you ain’t seen how she goes undressin’ you with her eyes whene’er you two are within handshakin’ distance of each other.”

“She…she does what?”

“Stupid. Stupid stupid. How can you be as ancient as the skies AND blind? That just ain’t right.”

“So. You don’t think—”

“It ain’t a thinkin’ matter. It’s a knowin’ one. And trust me. I know stuff. I know plenty of stuff.” Robin dropped back into his spot on the bed. “So, quit bein’ all weird and irritatin’ and go back to sleep or I’ll go tossin’ you at the freakin’ wall.”

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