My ‘sellta’s dyin’.
I gotta go to him.
I gotta run to him.
Robin slouched in his seat and listened to Raven’s speech.
I ain’t no man of honor, best honorable man, whate’er the right term is. Just a groom’s man and groom’s men don’t getta do speeches. At least, that’s my unnerstandin’.
But I wanna stand up too and tell ’em what he means to me…what they both mean to me. I gotta say my say, e’en if I direct it all to just him and her. I want them to know.
‘specially if all my premonitions and fears come true tonight. This’ll be my last chance to tell Am’rose and Barb’ra how important they are to me. I want them to know.
Raven finished his speech and Ambrose bowed to him.
Everyone applauded. Some eager souls picked up their silverware and resumed eating.
Robin stood. “Hey. I don’t wanna keep you all from eatin’, but I got somethin’ I wanna say. Don’t worry none. I ain’t gonna make it all that long.” He shrugged. “At least, I’ll ty to make it short.” He cleared his throat. “All that stuff Raven said ’bout these two crazy lovebirds is all true. Ain’t one exaggeration in there. But there was one thing he said that really hit home with me. What he said about Barbara gettin’ him to open his heart to those in need. I was one of those he opened his heart to. I was in a bad way when they found me. I ain’t sure who decided what, but the two of ’em saved me. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be standin’ here today. And Ambrose…He’s had my back. He’s been the one I’ve turned to the most when I’ve been hurtin’. He has comforted me.”
Robin turned to face Ambrose. “He has been my friend. No matter where I am or what happens to me, I’ll always treasure you as my very good friend.”
Ambrose hugged him.
Everyone aww’ed and applauded, even the people who really wanted to eat.
Robin closed his eyes and hugged him back.
“Robin.” Ambrose whispered. “Go to Isellta. Don’t argue. Don’t fight it anymore.” He released him.
Robin opened his eyes.
“Just go.” He put his hands on the younger vampire’s shoulders. “Call me when you and Isellta are safely far away from that place.”
Robin nodded. “Oh! Darnation! I need to get my phone from Barbara’s dad. I gave it to him so he could take a thousand pictures of this whole shebang.”
Ambrose gave him a slight shove. “Don’t stand around making explanations. Get your phone and go.”
Robin gave him a long look, taking in all of the small details of his face, his hair, every little thing about him in that moment. “Just so you know, I prob’lly won’t come back right away. I know I said this before, but I wanna spend some alone time with him. I wanna figure out what he wants, what he needs, what he likes, what he expects from me. I’m thinkin’ he’ll wanna figure me out too.”
Robin looked at Raven. “Don’t go thinkin’ I’m gonna forget you all. We’ll come back when we got us all figured out.”
“Take as long as you need, sir.”
Robin turned his attention back to Ambrose. “Promise me you won’t forget me too.”
Ambrose smirked. “How could I possibly forget someone as pushy and as obnoxious and as noisy and as exasperating as you?”
Ambrose kissed the middle of Robin’s forehead. His voice was soft against Robin’s skin as he said, “I’ll never forget you, Robin Hastings, no matter what happens to either of us. Go.”
Robin hugged him one more time and held him as tight as he could.
Ambrose stroked the younger vampire’s brown hair.
I’m scared to let go.
Scared to move on.
Robin released Ambrose with a slight shove.
But ‘sellta’s dyin’.
“I’m sorry, Am’rose. I gotta go.”
“Then, go. Or I’ll throw you out the door.”
Robin laughed. “What? Not the wall no more?”
“Consider it an upgrade. Go.” He pressed his fist above Robin’s heart. “Be safe.”
Robin returned the gesture. “You too.” He gave Ambrose and Barbara one last look, committing every detail to memory, before running to John’s table. He reclaimed his phone and ran out of the room.