This hunger for him.
For his touch.
For his smile and for his laugh.
Barbara followed Ambrose to the lead table and sat beside him. She gave him an admiring up/down scan.
It is a power that we both possess. Me for him. Him for me. A power that can bring us joy or break our hearts.
But I would never use it against him.
“I will never hurt you, Ambrose.”
He took her hand and kissed it. “I will never hurt you, my love.” He turned her hand palm-side up. “If I ever do hurt you again, it will be because I am clearly not in my right mind.” He kissed her open palm. “I swear I will never, ever deliberately hurt you.”
She stroked the side of his face with her free hand and slid it up into his trimmed hair.
He closed his eyes.
Barbara could have sworn she heard him purr. “Thank you. Thank you for proposing to me. Thank you for marrying me.”
He opened his eyes. “Thank you for wanting me despite it all, for staying with me despite it all, for marrying me despite all of the mess that I am.”
“Hmm. I think I’m supposed to say ‘You’re welcome’, but that doesn’t seem like the right response.”
He smiled lovingly at her. “There’s no need to say anything.”
She gave him a teasing look. “Sounds like a lead up to another kiss.”
“Would you mind so much if it were?”
“Do you really think I’d mind?”
She kissed him. “Never.”
Robin dropped into the seat next to Ambrose and gave the older vampire a friendly arm punch.
Ambrose grinned at him. “You’re officially off duty, Robin. No more love blocking from you.”
“Huh! As if that’s all that great an idea. You two’ve been hands-on crazed from the point you said your vows. If I don’t keep an eye on you two, you’ll go do obscene things in the bathroom.”
“Ha! You wish!”
“Huh? Why the flamin’ heck would I wish for that?”
Ambrose shrugged. “Who knows?”
“Well, that’s just dumb.”
Raven approached them and put Barbara’s bouquet on the table. “You had left this with the photographer.”
“Oh, yes!” Barbara said. “I completely forgot about it.”
Robin scoffed. “I wonder why.”
“Thank you, Raven.”
Raven did a slight bow. “My pleasure.” He picked up an empty wine glass and fork. He turned to face the guests. “Excuse me, please.” He tapped the fork against the glass. “If I may have everyone’s attention.”
The conversations died down again and everyone turned to see what he would say.
“Ambrose and I would like to thank everyone for coming. It was an honor to share this sacred moment with all of you. And, if I may, I would like to say a few words.” He chuckled softly. “I do apologize if I ramble a bit. I had intended to write a proper speech, but…my mind. I was…distracted. So, I am afraid that this speech will be completely unscripted and unrehearsed. Please bear with me.”
He set the glass and fork on the table. “I have not known Ambrose that long. What has it been? A little more or less than a year? When I first met him, he had a great many rough edges. I daresay he was barely fit to marry any woman, much less one as kind hearted as Barbara. Yet, the time that he has spent with her and apart from her has changed him. Barbara has changed him all for the better. She has helped him open his heart to those in need. She has made him laugh and cry. She has given him hope. She has given him her own heart and he has given his heart to her. If I had any doubts about this marriage, I would have spoken up. I would have offered up my objections. I would have attempted to dissuade her from such a disastrous union.”
“I have no such doubts. I believe in Ambrose. I believe in Barbara. I believe in the magic and power of their love for one another.” He turned to Ambrose. “Sir, it has been a great honor to be your best man and your friend.”
Ambrose stood and bowed to him. “Thank you.”