He loves her.
This vampire. He loves my daughter.
“You don’t have to stay, Raven.” Jeff said. “I’m here. I’ll stay by her side.”
Raven looked like he wanted to object.
“Trust me. It’s fine. If anything happens, good or bad, I’ll call you. Give me your phone number and I’ll call you.”
“But, sir. I do not wish to leave her.”
“I know. But you need to do this.”
“You’ve been with her these past couple days. You need to give yourself a break before you crack and go nuts.”
“You need to spend some time with your friends/family/whatever you consider those two other vamps. You can come running back after the wedding.” Jeff smiled at him. “I’ll be waiting for your return.”
“Sir! You are assuming that I intend to take up your offer.”
Jeff laughed. “I’m not assuming anything. I’m insisting on it. Furthermore, it is not an offer.” He turned serious. “If you don’t go, I’ll tie you up as soon as you fall asleep. I’ll toss you into my car’s trunk and drive you to the church myself.”
“What does it matter to you, sir, if I may ask?”
Jeff turned away from him and watched Missy. “Because you matter to her. Because she would not want you to miss out on your friend’s wedding for her sake. She would tell you to go for her. Take pictures of everything. Flowers. Cake. Ambrose. Robin. Barbara. The priest. The church. All of those picture perfect moments. All of those messy, informal moments. That way, when she wakes up, you can go over the pictures with her and she can be there in her imagination.”
Raven took a few minutes to reply, “That is very much something she would say.”
Raven didn’t respond at all.
Jeff looked back at him. “So?”
The vampire traced the edges of the clear tape on the back of her hand. “I will go for you.” he said softly. “Just stay strong. Do not go. Do not leave me, Missy. You will be in my thoughts the whole time. Keep breathing. Do not stop. Do not leave me. Please do not leave me.”
In that moment, something shifted and changed. Jeff stopped seeing Raven as a vampire who was easily a hundred years older than Missy.
He saw him as just a young man who was hopelessly in love.
His heart went out to him.
Jeff patted Raven’s back. “She will recover. You’ll see.”
“I hope so, sir.”