Raven’s phone rang, disrupting the quiet moment.
Raven set the cup of broth back onto the tray and answered the call. “Hello?”
“Have you heard from Robin yet?”
“Yeah. Have you heard from him?”
“No, sir. I have not.”
“Huh. I hope he’s okay. He was so worried about something going wrong.”
Raven sat back. “Do you believe that something has gone wrong, sir?”
“I don’t know. I’d like to believe that we’d know if something happened to him. Maybe we’d hear his voice in our heads. Maybe we’d get that punched in your stomach feeling of loss.”
“Or perhaps we would feel nothing at all.”
“Not likely.” Ambrose chuckled. “Someone as noisy and loud mouthed as Robin would not go quietly. I’m sure of it. We would know.” He paused. “I would know. I’m gonna give him a call.”
“Sir! Wait. Please consider that it would be imprudent to make that call at this time.”
“If he is sneaking about Mark Caten’s mansion, your phone call might give him away. Give him time. He will call us.” Raven smiled. “He will not be able to contain himself.”
Ambrose laughed. “That is very true. I know how he is.” He slouched back in his seat and watched the door. “Barbara’s gone to change out of her wedding dress, which means we’ll be leaving soon. We’ll go about the room one more time, doing all of the face-to-face stuff, thanking everyone for coming, and absorbing all of that wonderful well-wishing. Then, we’ll leave.”
“Will you have a honeymoon, sir?”
“Yeah, but we’re not leaving until tomorrow night, which means.” He sat up and rested his elbows on the table. “It means I’ll be with her tonight. I’ll go home with her. Raven. I will offer myself to her tonight. If she’ll have me. If she’ll even want me.”
He ran his unoccupied hand through his hair. “It’s insane. I feel like this is going to be my first time, but it isn’t. Far from it. Raven, I want to do this right. I want to satisfy her. I want her to enjoy being with me. I want her to want me again and again. I don’t want her to reject me. I’m so scared she’s going to reject me. Rebecca never told me why I wasn’t good enough for her. What if I’m not good enough for Barbara? What if she tells me ‘Hahaha! Nice try, but you lose’?”
“Sir, I understand your fears, but you have to trust her.”
“I know.” He glanced at the door again. “But I guess it really isn’t her I’m doubting. It’s me. What if I hurt her? What if I hurt her so badly she refuses to let me touch her again? If she won’t let me touch her, what will I do?”
Raven didn’t respond.
“Raven, what will I do?”
“I do not know, sir.”
The door slid open.
Ambrose perked up only to be disappointed when Aunt Nora entered the room. She winked broadly at him and returned to her sister’s table.
“Ah. I’m going to let you go. Barbara—”
Barbara entered the room. She wore a red sleeveless swing dress with a thin blue belt around her waist. The diamond in her ring competed mightily with the sapphire tennis bracelet around her wrist.
“And no turtleneck.” Ambrose said softly.
“I beg your pardon, sir?”
“Nothing. I gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.” He ended the call.