Part 1924 – Giving Ambrose A Chance To Say, “No, Thank You.”

A sense of deja vu came over Ambrose.

I couldda sworn we’ve had this conversation already.

He rubbed his palm across his forehead. “Why you asking me? You know the answer.”

She didn’t respond.

“Bar’ra?

Still no response.

Ambrose lowered his hand. “Bar’ra, I love you. Not just your body. You. The kind-hearted woman I know you are. Ageanwrinkles won’t ever take tha…take…” He closed his eyes. “…take thaway. Iovyou.”

“Do you want to turn me into—”

He opened his eyes and his mind sharpened into clarity. “No! I would never do that to you. It would be cruel and selfish. It would be only for me and my benefit. Not for you.”

“But what if it’s something I want?”

“You don’t want this. Believe me. Trust me. I know.” His moment of mental clarity passed. He yawned. “I been vam’ire long enough to know…toknowabou….”

“Will you ever regret marrying me?”

Ambrose smiled drowsily. “Ne’er. You be more likely to regret marrying me than the round the other way.”

Wait. Did that even make sense? I don’t know and I’m too tired to figure it out.

“Any more questions?”

Barbara paused before asking, “Are you really willing to do this? It’s such a big step. Ambrose, is this what you really want? Do you really want to give up every woman out there just for me?”

“Inna heartbeat and less than that. I love you, Barbara Smith. I adore you.”

****

Barbara noticed the name slip up and it warmed her heart. “I love you too, Ambrose Smith, and I will marry you.”

****

Ambrose rubbed his thumb along the side of his phone. “And I will marry you.”

****

I want to run to him.

I want to touch him.

“You’ll be mine to the end of our days.”

***

If only she were here with me.

“And you’ll be mine to the end of mine.”

Tonight.

It will happen tonight.

“I may wind up regretting many things, Barbara, but I will never regret marrying you. If you knew. If only you knew.”

***

She closed her eyes and imagined him kneeling in front of her.

I would touch his face.

I would run my hands through his hair.

I would kiss him.

I would touch him.

“I know.”

I need to touch him.

“If you didn’t want to marry me, I would respect your decision.”

“But it would hurt.”

“Yes.” she said softly. “It would hurt so much. I don’t know how I’d ever be able to cope with it.”

“If you didn’t want me, I would spiral. I know I would. Barbara, I love you so much. Marry me. Marry me tonight.”

There wasn’t a second’s hesitation as she said, “I will.”

***

“Barbara.”

If she were here, I’d hug her. I’d want to curl up in her arms.

“Nothing in this world or beyond it will ever make me sorry that I married you. You are all I want. You are my greatest desire.”

“And you are mine.” Her voice was so soft as if she were embarrassed to admit such a thing out loud.

He smiled. “Are you blushing?”

“Maybe.”

“You are, aren’t you?”

She giggled. “Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not going to say.”

“Ha! Brat.”

She giggled again. The sound of it made him feel like he should be glowing from the inside all the way out. It made him feel helpless.

It made him feel the distance between them.

“Barbara, tonight.”

***

The sound of his warm, tired voice gave her goosebumps in the best possible way. It made her leg muscles twitch with the need to run to him. It made her feel helpless.

He’s so far away from me.

I wish he were here.

“Ambrose, tonight.”

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