Hildreth couldn’t help tensing up as Ambrose glided into the room. “What do you want?”
Ambrose flicked an annoyed glance at him. “I’m not here for you. Jeff, come with me.”
“Why?” Jeff’s calm devolved into panic. “Tessa. Is she okay? Is…Is she still breathing?”
“To the best of my knowledge, yes. But that is not why I’m here. Elsie wants you.”
Jeff grabbed the bed rail. “Me? Not Hildreth? She wants me? For what?”
Ambrose shrugged. “No idea. Could you please hurry up? I’m tired and I don’t want to fall asleep on the floor again. Hardly comfortable, you know.”
Darius perked his head up. “You! I knew I recognized your smarmy voice.”
“Smarmy?” Ambrose smiled. “Don’t worry, hunter. You’re safe. Stay out of my way on the streets and you’ll be plenty safe.”
Darius furiously pulled his blanket aside.
Arabella stopped him before he could escape the confines of his bed. “Mi corazon. You are in no condition to fight. Stay.”
He settled down and covered himself up. “If I had my DevilsDare 90000 on me—”
Ambrose laughed. “It would probably explode in your face. Like I said before, DevilsDare produces inferior products.”
Arabella asked her husband a fluid question in Spanish.
“He’s a vampire.” Darius touched the claw-shaped scars on the side of his face. “He’s the one who did this to me.”
She gasped. “Oh!”
Hildreth marched over to Ambrose.
The vampire glared at him. “If you punch me, I will return the favor. Just so you know. Yeah, I scratched his face. But really? So, what? That is not why I’m here now.” He raised his hands. “I come in peace, believe it or not. Mainly because I’m too day exhausted to do anything else.” He smirked at Hildreth. “But I’ll keep your name on my dance card.”
“What does Elsie want from me?” Jeff asked.
Ambrose lowered his hands. “No idea. She told me to go sniff you out and drag you back to her.”
Hildreth folded his arms across his chest. “Let me guess. You told her that you’d do it for a price.”
Ambrose growled softly. “Sorry. I’m not talking to you right now. So, stay out of my conversation.”
Understanding dawned in Hildreth’s head. He unfolded his arms. A smile stretched across his face. “Ahh, I get it. You’re still sore about Elsie beating you up in the men’s room.”
Ambrose’s eyes glazed over a little. “Not in the mood, Hildreth. I am so not in the mood for that conversation. Jeff. Are you coming or what?”
Jeff looked at the scars on Darius’ face and shook his head. “I don’t like being ordered about by a vampire.” He turned to face Ambrose. “Especially a vampire like you. But you’re just following Elsie’s command.” He walked over to Ambrose. “So, let’s go.”
Hildreth grabbed Jeff’s arm.
“It’s okay, Hildreth. If he tries anything, I’ll beat him senseless.”
Hildreth smiled kindly at him. “I know you will. Just be careful, okay?”
“Okay. You planning to follow me?”
“I probably should, but I have some questions I wanted to ask our bosom friend here.”
Jeff chuckled. “I sure hope you’re talking about Darius. Because if you’re calling Ara our bosom friend—”
Hildreth burst out laughing.
“—Darius will kill you dead.”
“Well, it’s a good thing I wasn’t even thinking about her.”
Jeff soft-punched Hildreth’s shoulder. “Good man. Keep yourself out of trouble.”
Hildreth pulled a mock-surprised look. “Me? Get myself into trouble? Where do you come up with these wildly salacious ideas about me?”
Jeff laughed. “From many late nights playing hooky with you. Don’t take too long. I’ll miss you.”
“Aww, you do say the most heartwarming things.”
“I do my best.”