Part 1985 – Hey! We’re All Going To The Chapel And We’re Gonna…

John rose from his seat. He came over to his daughter and hugged her. “My baby.”

Barbara returned the hug and held onto him. “I thought it over. I thought about your question and I have an answer.” She released him. “I love Ambrose. I can’t help it. He’s the one I want in my every day life. I want to marry him. I do.”

”You’re sure?”

“Very. I couldn’t possibly be more sure.”

He released her. “I just want you to be safe and happy.”

“I will be. I know it. Daddy, you don’t have anything to be afraid of. Ambrose will never hurt me. He will love me. He will take good care of me.”

He smiled. “Then, we should head on over to the church. We don’t want to keep our guests waiting.”

****

Robin fidgeted. “You’re choppin’ a whole lot of hair.”

“Only because you have such a tremendous amount of hair.” Raven said distractedly. “Must even out this side. So much hair…When was the last time you had it cut?”

Robin scoffed. “What? You think I remember all my hair cuttin’?”

“Why not? I do.”

“Oh. Oh, big surprise there. I bet you write it down in your diary.”

Raven trimmed around Robin’s ears. “Maybe.”

“Figures.” Robin slid down into a slouch and stared ahead at the bathroom mirror. He watched Raven’s steady progress as he whacked Robin’s mountain of hair into a stylish molehill.

He sat up a little straighter. “Actually, it don’t look all bad.”

“Is that meant as a compliment, sir?”

“You bet your ol’ granny’s sweet secret cigarillo stash it is.”

Raven stopped in mid-cut and looked straight ahead at the mirror. “I beg your pardon, sir, but…my what?”

“Tch. Such an old man fuddy-duddy. Yeah, it’s a freakin’ compliment, ya big dummy.”

“Ah.” Raven resumed his hairdresser fun activity.

Robin watched the other vampire’s reflection. The expression on his face. His carefulness. His precision. “How you learn to cut hair like that? Is it a butler thing or what?”

“My father taught me. It was an important skill for a butler to know, especially a butler to a family like the Farlingtons.” He pulled Robin’s hair between his fingers and snipped, snipped, snipped. “The Farlingtons expected their butlers to be more like valets.”

“Valets?” Robin thought about it. “So, what? It was up to you to get all the cars parked?”

Raven chuckled. “Hardly, sir. It was my responsibility to ensure that my Farlingtons always looked their best, in particular Mr. Farlington. I made sure that his clothes were cleaned and properly pressed. I shaved him, dressed him, brushed his hair, and—-”

“Whoa! Hold on there! You didn’t do all that stuff with the girl you crushed on, did you?”

Raven stiffened his posture. “That was not my place, sir. May Rose Farlington had her ladies to assist her in such matters.”

“Huh. I ain’t sure if I should feel relieved or disappointed for you.”

Raven silently went back to work.

Huh. Ain’t no wonder he is the way he is. I guess I shouldn’t get too bugged about his mother hen ways. He can’t help bein’ that way. It’s all ingrained into him to be weird and fussy about stupid things.

“As a small aside,” Raven said. “I will take you shopping when you return with Isellta.” He looked up at the mirror and his red eyes glinted dangerously. “I WILL buy you proper and decent clothes, sir. No more tatters and beggar rags.”

“Oh, come on! You still goin’ on about them jeans?”

“It was quite a traumatizing experience, sir. One I hope you will never know.”

Robin snorted. “Dumb freakin’ idiot. Those were my clothes!”

“I am well aware of that, sir.”

***

Ambrose smiled at his reflection. “Mrs. Barbara Smith.” He bowed. “May I have the honor of this first dance?”

In his imagination, Barbara said yes. Or maybe she said nothing at all. She simply took his hands and moved them to where they needed to be. She looked up at him with love and trust. “Dance with me.”

He led her out of the bathroom and into Robin’s bedroom. Their steps were perfectly synced. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. They glided across the floor. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. She felt divine in his arms.

His heart raced and his feet tried to match the beat. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. One—-

The door banged open and Robin entered the scene.

Ambrose stopped dancing. “What? oh.” He lowered his arms and gave Robin’s hair a thorough inspection. “Nice. He did a good job on you.”

Robin ruffled his hand through his hair. “Yeah, it ain’t all bad. I kinda miss its normal messiness, though. Will ‘sellta still recognize me without it?”

“Robin, you are you. He’ll know you as soon as you say ‘Hi’.”

Robin nodded.

Raven entered the room, fully dressed in his tuxedo. “Sir. I have taken it upon myself to repack your luggage.”

Ambrose shot a sharp glare at him. “You did what?”

“And I have already put it in the car. I have your rings. Is there anything else you need before we leave?”

Before we leave.

Barbara.

Ambrose’s heart seemed to beat too fast and too slow. He felt delirious and dizzy and on the verge of either fainting or laughing hysterically.

“Sir? Is there anything else you need?”

Ambrose shook his head. “Just Barbara.”

That clearly was not the answer to his question, but Raven did a slight head bow. “Very good, sir. Let us be on our way.”

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