“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ambrose asked Olivia.
She nodded. “Just badly shaken. But I’m okay.”
He relaxed. “Good.” He glanced back at Franny, who was sleeping in the back seat. “I guess I should let you guys go.” He focused on Olivia. “Thank you again for coming. Barbara and I appreciate it.”
“You’re welcome. Be good to her. Take care of her.”
“I will. I promise.”
Olivia’s husband checked his watch. He let out a soft whistle. “Is that really the time? We should get going.”
Ambrose backed away from the driver’s side window. “Drive carefully.”
“I will. Be careful out there, Ambrose Smith.” She turned the key and backed out of her parking space.
He stood still and watched her leave. “I am always careful.”
As soon as Olivia’s car hit the road, Ambrose turned to run back to the restaurant.
Just as Father Landover and Aunt Nora stopped at Barbara’s car.
Curiosity got the better of Ambrose. He headed over to them.
Father Landover laughed heartily as Aunt Nora concluded her story, “So, needless to say, we never, ever went there again.”
“Ahh, I can see why.”
She opened the back door of Barbara’s car.
Ambrose stopped beside them. “Hello.”
Aunt Nora eyed him up and smiled. “Hello back to you, you gorgeous drink of water.”
Ambrose smiled back. “Is there a reason why you’re poking around in Barbara’s car?”
Father Landover spoke up, “Barbara wanted to change out of her wedding dress. We volunteered to fetch her second dress for her.”
“Ah. Can I do something to help?”
Aunt Nora closed in on Ambrose. “We’ll manage just fine.” She put her hands on his chest. “You should go back to your bride. She’s missing you like crazy.”
“Did she say so?”
“No, but it’s obvious.”
“Go.” Father Landover said. “And don’t worry. We have this under control.”
Ambrose nodded. “I’ll see you both inside.” He didn’t wait for their response. He ran back to the restaurant.
I’m coming, Barbara.
Ambrose thought about her and he ran faster.
He thought about being with her again and he could have sworn that his feet didn’t touch the ground.
He burst into the restaurant and ran past the hostess station, down the hall, all the way back to the banquet room. He slid the door open and there she was, sitting at their table.
Her face lit up when she saw him.
She rose from her seat and ran to him.
He choked up.
No one has ever run to me the way she does. Not Rebecca. Not Maria.
Certainly not Elsie.
Just my Barbara.
My sweet fire Barbara.
He held out his arms and she rushed into them.
He closed his arms around her. “I love you. I love just you. It’s just you.”
Raven snapped to attention as soon as the nurse opened the door.
“She is all dressed and back in bed. You may come in now.”
That was all the invitation Raven needed. He ran back into the room and jumped on the foot of her bed again without any hesitation. He crawled as close to her as he could go.
LM tsked in disapproval, but Raven didn’t care. “This is not a dream.” His hand breezed against her face. “You are here and you are awake.”
“And you’re real. My pretty shirtless Raven. You’re real and you aren’t mad at me for leaving you like that.”
“How could I be mad at you? You are alive and you still love me. Missy, you still love me.”
“Of course I love you. You’re just so pretty. You may have annoying glitches about Miss Farlington—”
He kissed her forehead. “It is you that I love. Just you. I know this now for absolute certain. Teresa Farsigh, whether we will be able to marry each other or not, you have my heart. You will always possess my heart.”
There was a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Jeff said.
The nurse entered the room with a covered bowl of beef broth on a tray. She set the tray on the rolling table next to Missy’s bed. “Here’s just a light something. We’re going to have you on a liquid diet for a couple of days. See how you tolerate that. Then, we’ll slowly build up to giving you solid food. We also will get you up and moving. Lying in bed nonstop isn’t going to make you any stronger. You have to get up and use those muscles before they completely waste away.”
“Will she be able to come home?” Jeff asked.
“As soon as the doctor feels that she’s stable enough in her recovery, he’ll write up her discharge papers and send her on her way. Did you have any other questions?”
Jeff looked at Raven, who simply shrugged. “No, I think we’re good right now. Thanks.”
“Not a problem.” She left the room.