Ambrose lay all curled up in his bed, but he was not asleep. His face burned as if he had a fever.
I was not good enough for her and I have no idea why.
What did I do wrong?
It felt so good. It felt…right?
What more did she want from me? I did everything I could. The way I touched her…She enjoyed that. So, what did I do wrong? Why would she not tell me?
He scowled as he remembered her words. “A lady of good breeding does not speak of such matters. Yet, oh. Oh, she will gladly do them.”
Someone knocked on the door.
Ambrose buried his face in his pillow as the door opened.
Someone entered the room.
The door closed. “Ambrose.”
No. I cannot talk to him about this. How could I? What I did was dishonorable and shameful and…utterly meaningless. I gave myself to her and it meant not one thing to her.
His father sat on the bed. “Son, we need to talk.”
She does not love me.
“You have not been the same since Anna’s funeral. You have become sullen and withdrawn.” He paused. “I know Anna was your good friend. I know her death hit you hard.”
Ambrose raised his head, but he did not look at his father. “I do not wish to speak of it.”
“Ambrose, I am worried about you.”
But she does not care. The one woman I want. The only woman I want. Rebecca.
“I know you must be hurting. To lose a friend like her—”
“This is not about her.” Ambrose snapped.
“Then, what is it about?”
Ambrose laid his head back down. “I am tired. I do not want to speak. I do not want—” She appeared in his mind.
Beautiful, vivacious Rebecca. She had known how to touch him, how to draw passion out of him. Passion that had surprised and delighted him.
But I was nothing to her. I was not good enough for her and I do not know why.
“Please just leave me alone!” he cried out in anguish.
“Ambrose. Come to me, son.”
Ambrose raised his head and looked at him.
His father held out his arms.
The invitation was impossible to resist.
Ambrose all but flung himself into his father’s arms. He broke down into hard sobs.
“Shh. It is all right. I’m here, my boy.” He kissed his son’s head. “I am here.”
Ambrose kissed Robin’s head. “It’s okay. I’m here, Robin. I’m here.” He pulled the younger vampire into a hug. “Go to Isellta tonight. Even if it means skipping out on attending my wedding, go. Find him. Rescue him. Bring Isellta home.”
“‘sellta.” Robin’s crying died down. “My ‘sellta.”
He pulled Robin closer. “Bring him home.”
Barbara entered her room and found Sarah sitting Indian-style on the bed. The Phantom of the Opera was spread across her lap. Her finger moved across the lines as she read it.
Barbara approached the bed and stopped beside it. “Hey.”
Sarah looked up at her.
“I’m sorry. I know you want him to come. So, do I.”
Sarah tilted her head. She tapped her index fingers together.
Barbara blushed. “Yes, I do want to kiss him. I want him to kiss me. But we can’t be left alone. It could be dangerous.”
Sarah frowned and pounded her fist against her forearm.
“No, not that kind of dangerous. It’s kind of difficult to explain. All I can say is you’ll understand when you get older. It will make a lot more sense when you get older.”
Sarah pointed at her own chest.
She pressed her fist against her chest.
Sarah nodded and tapped the corner of her eye.
“I want…see? To see? You want to see him?”
Sarah nodded emphatically.
Barbara sighed. “So do I. But I’ll have to wait until tonight.”
Sarah flopped back on the mattress.
Barbara sat on the bed and twirled the emerald studded ring around her thumb.
I should get it resized, but I won’t. I like how it feels. It feels…like him. Like it still belongs to him and I’m just borrowing it. But the truth is I will never give it back.
She thought about the wedding ring.
His mother’s wedding ring will become my wedding ring. I wonder if, further down the line, our daughter or grand daughter will claim it as her wedding ring.
She laid back on the mattress and let her mind drift and wander where it pleased to go.
Huh. I wonder what Elsie’s wedding ring looks like.