Ambrose abandoned the two aunts without so much as a “Sorry” or “Gotta go”. He walked straight to Barbara as if he were being magnetically pulled.
He broke into a full out run.
She ran to him and they met half-way. They embraced each other.
“Don’t talk. Just kiss me.”
“Okay.” And he did.
Raven stood in the doorway and watched them reunite.
If he touches her hair again, I will march over there and slap his hands.
He surveyed the rest of the scene.
The vast array of men and women wearing their best.
The warm buzz of their voices and of their laughter.
The mad variety of their scents.
Missy would be agog.
He pulled out his phone and took pictures of everyone and everything.
His heart ached, yet he smiled.
I cannot wait to show these to her when she wakes.
“You know what?” Jamboree stuffed her hands into her parka’s pockets. “I don’t really care about the bet. It was stupid and disrespectful and did I mention stupid? Because, yeah.” She kicked Devin’s shin again.
“Stupid. But the thing is yeah. I want to kiss you.” She whipped her hands out of her pockets and grabbed the front of his jacket. “I’m not really sure how to go about this. So, brace yourself. This could be a disaster.”
He smiled. “So? Let’s make it a disaster worth remembering.”
Jeff handed the book to LM. “Your turn.”
The half-fey shook his head. “Keep going. I like how you read.”
Jeff smiled. “If you insist.”
Jeff snapped to attention. “Tessa?”
LM looked down at her. He gasped.
Her eyes moved under her closed lids. Her lips moved in unspoken words. Her hands twitched. But that was all nothing new. And that was not what he had gasped about.
There was a change.
Fiery letters rippled down the strands of her hair. Fiery letters that spelled one word. Just one name.
Over and over just that one name.
“Jeff. I think she’s going to wake up.”
The former hunter shot a quick look at him. “What? How do you know?”
“She’s thinking.” He leaned over the rail and stroked the closest Raven. “She’s thinking about him. I couldn’t see it before. Her mind was blank. But now…”
“What should I do? Should I call Raven to come back?”
“So strange. It looks like fire, but it doesn’t feel like anything.”
“LM, should I call Raven to come back?”
The half-fey pulled back. “I don’t know. Maybe she’ll wake up in a few minutes. Or maybe it will take a couple more days. I don’t know.”
“What should I do?”
LM’s stiff wings rustled.
He’s asking me for advice. It could be that he’s too rattled to think straight. So, he wants someone else to do the thinking for him.
Or maybe my opinion matters to him.
“Wait. Just wait and see. Call Raven when she actually opens her eyes.”
Jeff nodded. “That makes sense.”