Ambrose sat in the back seat with Robin.
Raven hadn’t given him the chance to ask if he could drive. He had claimed the front seat in a very decided, “Don’t argue with me” sort of way.
Ambrose had conceded defeat in that non-battle.
Raven buckled up, started the car, and backed out of the driveway.
Ambrose silently grabbed Robin’s hand and squeezed it.
He nodded. “I’ve been looking forward to this night for so long. Robin. Is this real? Am I dreaming? After the chaotic mess these past several months have been, am I really getting married to the one I love?”
“Sure seems that way to me.”
He gave the younger vampire a panicked look. “She won’t turn me down, will she? She won’t get cold feet and refuse to show up? She won’t leave me to just stand there like a stranded ox-cart, will she?”
Robin scoffed. “Seriously? Ain’t you been pickin’ up on all of the heat waves she’s been throwin’ at you? The girl’s hot for you, okay? She ain’t gonna turn you down. Besides, Barbara ain’t the kind of girl to ditch a guy without any warnin’. I’m thinkin’ she would have called you by now.”
Ambrose’s phone rang.
He pulled it out and checked the id. His face turned white.
Robin sighed. “Let me guess. Barbara?”
Ambrose thrust the phone at him. “Talk to her.”
“Neurotic stupidhead.” He took the phone from Ambrose and answered it. “Hey, beautiful. Lookin’ for a good time?”
The color rushed back into Ambrose’s face.
“Who? Am’rose? Nah, you don’t wanna talk to that ragin’ mess of sweaty hormones.”
Ambrose punched Robin’s shoulder.
“You oughta talk to me. I’m so worth your while. Why, if I were straight, I’d say ditch the bozo and marry me. And mmmmm. We’d have one crazy—-”
Ambrose grabbed the phone out of his hands.
Robin smirked. “Thought that would get ya.”
All of his anger and irritation deflated. “Barbara. My Barbara. Is your answer still yes?”
She giggled. “As long as your answer is yes, I do.”
His skin broke out into goosebumps. “I love you. Barbara, I love you.”
“I love you too. Oh, Ambrose. Ambrose, I’m not nervous. I’m not scared. I know. This is what I want. Despite the past that you’ve had and the life that you’ve lived, I want you. Ambrose Smith, I want you.”
He closed his eyes and imagined the light of her touch sliding down his face. “There is no one in this world I want more than you.”
“What about Elsie Vansing?”
“No. Not even her. It’s just you, love.”
I want to leap out of the car and run to him. I want to throw my arms around him and hold on to him.
“And it’s just you, kitten. There’s no one else. I love you. It’s the simplest thing to say. Just three words. I. Love. You. Maybe there are more beautiful, more creative ways to say it. Ways that would be quoted and remembered forever. But I don’t know how to talk like that. I can only say I love you.”
Ambrose’s chest hurt.
When was the last time someone spoke to me like this? When was the last time I felt this certain about someone’s love? Maria? No. Her father ruled over her. I was always second place in her mind. Elsie? No. Not Elsie. What we had together was a hot mess with no trust on either side. If I had proposed to her, she wouldn’t have said yes. Maybe she would have wanted to, but she wouldn’t.
It’s just her. This wonderful woman on the other line. This soft, stubborn, willful kind-hearted creature that I will surrender myself to.
“That’s all you need to say, Barbara. I don’t need poetry quotes and fancy words. I just need those three wonderful words. I love you and that is enough.”