John and Jeff stood about in the hallway facing the stairs.
John smiled. “We seem to be loitering.”
The former hunter laughed. “Loitering, huh? Sounds about right.”
“Would you like something to drink?”
“What did.” His voice dropped dead as Barbara and Sarah came down the staircase. “oh.”
John looked up at his daughter.
Her hair was down and there was no veil on her head. But her radiance and her joy panged him.
He recognized her joy.
Oh, I miss you.
She came over to him. “Sarah and I are going to get our hair done. Did you want me to come back here? Or should I head straight to the church?”
“Umm.” He cleared his throat. “You might as well head to the church. I’ll meet you there.”
“Oh! I left my change of clothes upstairs!”
“I’ll bring it.”
“Are you sure? I can run and grab it real quick.”
He smiled at his daughter. “Don’t worry about it. You girls get your hair fixed up. I’ll take care of your luggage.”
“Thank you! I have it all packed up in the suitcase on my bed.”
He kissed her forehead. “Drive carefully, pumpkin.”
She smiled at him. “You too.”
Sarah grabbed Barbara’s arm and pulled it as if it were a bell rope.
Barbara giggled. “Okay! Okay! I got the message.”
Sarah released her arm and gave her an expectant look.
Barbara took her hand. “Let’s go!”
Jeff watched the young woman and the small girl run in their formal dresses to the front door. And in his mind he saw her…
He folded his hands and desperately wished that he could find a place to meditate. His hands were too warm inside his gloves. His breathing was too fast. If he didn’t meditate soon, he’d drip too much sweat all over his nice tuxedo shirt.
Then, like the most outlandish miracle, she was there. Laura was there. All the way at the end of the aisle, Laura was there. In a crystal-studded mermaid gown accentuating her body’s shape, Laura was there.
Jeff unfolded his hands. He wanted to hold out his hands to her. He wanted her to run into his arms. But he refrained. He smiled. Even though his eyes teared up at the sight of her, he smiled oh so wide. “Laura.” he whispered.
“It’s amazing how the women we let into our lives can so thoroughly steal our hearts.” Jeff said.
“So true.” John said.
Jeff cleared his throat. “I need to head back to the hospital. I assume Sarah will go with Barbara?”
“That was my impression. You okay?”
The former hunter thought about Laura.
He thought about Missy.
He thought about Sarah.
He thought about Elsie.
He nodded. “I’m fine.”
Raven scrubbed the styling mousse into Ambrose’s hair. A plastic sheet covered Ambrose from neck to feet, protecting his tuxedo.
Ohh, if only I had this wondrous hair product when I was with the Farlingtons. What wonders it could have done for Mr. Farlington.
“Will you be okay when I leave? Will you really be okay?”
Raven went into the bathroom and washed the foam off his hands.
Will I be all right?
Missy is still unconscious. Yet, she is gathering strength. I can see it. I know it is there.
He shut off the faucet and dried his hands.
She will wake.
I am certain of it.
My Missy will wake and I will hold her again in my arms. And I will hear her voice again. That voice I love.
The voice and spirit I treasure.
His eyes teared up.
My Missy and her three thousand word paragraphs.
She will wake.
The plastic sheet rustled as Ambrose approached the bathroom. He stopped in the doorway. “Are you okay?”
Raven looked away from him and nodded.
The other vampire entered the room. “What can I do?”
“Marry Barbara, Ambrose. Marry her and be happy.”
“Will you be okay?”
Push it down.
Push all of the fears as far down as you can.
Do not let anyone see it.
Do not let anyone know.
Raven stiffened his posture. “Yes, I will be fine.” He picked up his styling comb. “As we were.”