Part 2023 – So, Tell Me Now And I Won’t Ask Again.

Ambrose waited while Raven buttoned his gloves.

I could tell him that I am fully capable of buttoning my own gloves, but why ruin his fun?

“There!” Raven glared at him again. “And you will keep them on, sir.”

“Of course.”

Raven walked around him and carefully inspected the rest of his clothes. “Very good.” He stopped in front of him. “You are finally presentable. Go in and greet your guests. You may inform them that the bride is freshening up and will be out shortly.”

“Freshening up…That is a very odd way of putting it. Can’t I just tell them that she’s fixing her hair?”

Raven sighed and he made it sound like his soul was fatally wounded. “If you must.”

Ambrose gave him an assessing look. “Raven, are you okay?”

“Of course, sir.” He readjusted Ambrose’s cuff links and fussed with his gloves.

“Raven.”

“There! Your gloves are—”

“Forget about the gloves! Look at me. Talk to me.”

Raven released his hand. “I keep thinking. I cannot stop thinking. I know I needed to get away from the hospital. I needed a chance to breathe. I needed a chance to….Ambrose, I miss her. There were so many moments I wanted to share with Missy. I wanted to see. I wanted her to be here with me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for, sir. I will be fine. I am fine. I have been down this road before. I will undoubtedly travel it again. Perhaps next time it will be you. Or perhaps Robin.”

“You aren’t going to lose her, Raven. She’ll wake up. She’ll be okay. She’ll be fine. I may not know her as well as you and Robin do, but I can tell that she is a fighter. Don’t you go burying her too soon.”

Raven smoothed the front of Ambrose’s tuxedo jacket.

“You’ll be with her soon enough and then you can tell her everything.” Ambrose smiled. “I’ll even let you tell her about my world class panic attack.”

Raven laughed. “Indeed, sir. I will do that.”

“Good. Let’s get inside and have the most amazing wedding reception this restaurant has seen.”

“Very good, sir.”

***

The hostess returned to her station and pulled the take-out menus from their slot. She carefully looked them over to make sure that they were all updated.

The front door opened.

She raised her head. “Hello! Welcome to…” She gaped.

Ambrose Smith entered the lobby dressed in a tuxedo.

He looked amazing.

His black hair.

The black tuxedo coat with tails.

Such a sharp white shirt.

His black eyes.

He strolled over to her desk. “Hello.”

She was almost certain that she was going to pass out.

“I am here for the Smith wedding reception.”

“Yours?” Somehow the word left her mouth. She wasn’t sure how it happened, but it happened.

“Mine.”

“Why?”

He smiled and it did bad things to her heart. “Because I am incredibly blessed.”

She frowned. “That answer does not make any sense.”

He laughed. “I know. If you will lead the way…?”

She dragged herself kicking and screaming out of her Ambrose Smith shock/daze. “I will ask you one last time. Will you join my harem?”

“Never.”

She shook her head. “Hardly a surprising answer. You’re so stubborn. I don’t understand it.”

“I don’t expect you ever will.”

“There is truth in that. Follow me.”

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