Part 2025 – Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Nope! Lover.

Barbara couldn’t help smiling as Raven fussed with her hair.

Missy would be so jealous if she saw us right now. Maybe she would mess up her hair on purpose just so he’d have to fix it too.

Would she really do something that immature and petty? I don’t know.

I don’t think so.

Ambrose would definitely be jealous. He would want to be the one touching my hair.

He would want to take it down.

A dizzying pleasure came over her as she imagined his touch.

His hands in her hair.

Ambrose standing so close to her and kissing the rim of her ear.

His fingers brushing against the back of her neck.

She quickly looked away from her reflection.

What I feel…

What I want…

I never knew I would.

I never thought I would.

Barbara thought about Ambrose’s fears and smiled.

Oh, darling! You have nothing to be afraid of. I want you. I will always want you. We will not be a one night dance with a thank you and good-bye in the morning.

I love you.

Ambrose Smith, I love you.


“One last hair clip…annnd done.” Raven admired his handiwork. “Does this meet your approval, miss?”

She looked at her reflection and smiled. Raven had smoothed all of the bunched up areas. He had soft curled the hair hanging along the sides of her face. He had rebraided her entire hairdo and set it into the same style with very slight alterations. “Yes. Oh, yes. Thank you so much! It looks even better than it did before.”

He did a slight head bow. “I appreciate the compliment. If I may have the veil, I will put it on for you.”

She handed it to him. “I know you’ll make it look perfect.”

He bowed again. “Thank you, miss.”


Robin slouched back in his seat and watched Ambrose get ambushed by Aunt Nora and Aunt Maura.

Hmph. It’s his own dang fault. If he had stayed over here with me, they wouldn’t have pounced on him so fast. But no. He had to get up and go work the room.

Robin sighed.

Guess I oughta do some of that myself. If ‘sellta were here, it would be a whole lot easier. How would I innerduce him? What would I say? “Hi! I’m Robin Hastings and this here’s my boyfriend”?



He shook his head. “Gotta come up with a better word than that. It sounds so freakin’ weird.”

I don’t know. I guess it sounds like I oughta be the whole freakin’ gay stereotype with plaid ribbons in my hair and shiny nail polish and I don’t know…I guess a belly button ring or two.

Robin zeroed in on Sammy and his date. He strode over to them.

Maybe it won’t be so weird once I have ‘sellta with me. Maybe it’ll all feel natural and right to call him my boyfriend. Hm. Maybe fey got a better word for it.

Prob’lly not. Based on their mate selection process, it ain’t at all likely they’d even know what a boyfriend is.

He scratched his head.

How would I explain that whole concept to him?

Robin smiled. “I can’t wait to give it a try.” He stopped at Sammy’s table. “Hey, there! Long time no see.”

“It has been a while.” Sammy said. “I’d like you to meet Deliosa Hrrananath. She’s my lover.”

“Wow. That’s pretty darn direct. Just gonna skip o’er the girlfriend label and go all the way to lover?” He friendly punched Sammy’s upper arm. “Good for you.” He sat next to Deliosa. “Hey. I ain’t ne’er seen a girl with hair like yours before.”

She laughed at that. “You mean to say you’ve never seen a girl like me before and that is true. I am unique. I am me.”

Robin shrugged. “Ain’t gonna deny none of any that.”


Aunt Nora’s eyes sparkled as she rattled on with her advice, “So, then! What you do after that is you need to shift into a more comfortable position.”

Aunt Maura nodded energetically. “Always a good idea.”

“Once you’ve repositioned yourself, pull out your—”


Ambrose looked over at the doorway.

Barbara was there.

He grinned. “Barbara.”

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