LM dragged the armchair into Missy’s hospital room and set it next to Ambrose. “I don’t know how long we can keep these chairs, but—”
Elsie grabbed the chair from him and forcibly escorted it all the way to Robin.
He tilted his head. “Don’t you want it over here?”
“No.” Her tone was like a door slamming shut. There was no use in debating the issue.
So, he didn’t even try.
LM looked down at the two black-haired vampires.
They’re alike but different.
They are both vampires. They both have black hair. They both have well-ordered faces, even though that one has uneven hair.
I don’t understand that. Why would he cut his hair in such a displeasing fashion? It doesn’t make sense.
LM contemplated the shapes of their faces.
I wonder if they’re related at all. It’s hard to tell.
But easy to find out.
LM whispered into his hands and pushed his magic at Ambrose.
A beam of dark blue light burst out of Ambrose’s chest and shot straight across Missy’s blanket-covered feet. Maroon light came out of Raven’s chest. crossing Missy’s waist.
I’m glad my master at the freak show didn’t know I could do this. He would have made me do it for the paying masses.
Nothing good would have come of that.
Elsie came over to him. “What are you doing?”
“Satisfying my curiosity.” He twirled his hands.
The two beams of light twisted into DNA strands.
“Speak to me.” he whispered.
The strands vibrated one at a time, sounding out musical tones – one note per strand. But it was all discordant. Ambrose and Raven didn’t match up at all. Not even close.
“Interesting.” LM made another hand gesture and the DNA strands disappeared. “I had expected to find at least one commonality.”
I’m not sure what I just witnessed. Obviously, it was fey magic. But…
She looked down at Ambrose. He slept as soundly and as peacefully as before.
Elsie looked back up at LM. “Did you do something to hurt him?”
“No. I was just curious if these two vampires were related. I was checking their DNA for any commonalities, but I didn’t find any. I find that strange.”
“Don’t do that again.”
LM tilted his head. “That doesn’t make sense. I already got my answer. Why would I waste my time with trying again? That doesn’t make any sense.”
Her gaze dropped back to Ambrose.
I want to kick his ankles.
I want to punch his face.
I want to throw him out of this room.
I want to throw him off the top of the hospital’s roof.
I don’t want him.
And that is the truth.
Yet, she couldn’t help remembering…
“Elsie. Do you love me?”
The question was so sudden. It caught her off guard.
Love him? Of all the people out there, why him?
“We stand on opposite ends of a spectrum.” she said. “I want to protect lives. You want to take them and ruin them.”
“Don’t waste your breath with what I already know. Tell me what I don’t.”
Yet, when I look at him, I see him. Every day I see him. And all I want to do is kiss him. But I can’t tell him that.
“I couldn’t possibly love you.” she said.
“Of course. Do you?”
She turned away from him. “I didn’t come down here to have this discussion. I—“
He pulled her hair away from her ear and whispered gently, “Do you love me, Elsie?”
Desire warmed her, making her shiver as if she had a fever. “I shouldn’t.”
“I do. It’s stupid and irrational and it just…It just shouldn’t be.”
She looked at him.
“Let it be.” He cupped her face in between his hands.
He’s going to kiss me! I want him to kiss me. Kiss me. Darn it, Ambrose! Kiss me!
Ambrose kissed her.
Her gauntlet hit the floor with a heavy clank. But that wasn’t the only thing that fell. Her defenses fell in silence.
Elsie wrapped her arms around his neck and returned his kiss several times. And it was everything she had never experienced before.
To be in a man’s arms. To be considered desirable. To feel warm. So warm and so loved. To have a man kiss my lips over and over. To want to be kissed. How did I live until this moment?
Then, in mid-kiss, she remembered why she’d come downstairs in the first place.
I need to tell him about Jane.
And, with that thought in mind, she broke away from him.
Elsie came out of that memory with only one thought in mind: I wish Hildreth had been my first kiss.