Ambrose felt incredibly young and stupid as Rebecca walked towards him. He wanted to drop to his knees and yell, “Look at me! Notice me! Want me! Love me!”
She strode past him without even a side glance. It was as if he weren’t even there.
“What will it take?” he asked softly. “What must I do to catch your eye?”
Ambrose staggered up to his feet as Barbara approached him. She looked right at him. She focused completely on him.
He grabbed the back of his chair to keep himself from falling.
She sees me.
Barbara ran to him.
I don’t care if I fall.
He released the chair and ran to her.
They caught each other in an embrace.
“Barbara.” He pressed his face against the side of her head. “I love you. I love you, Barbara. My Barbara. I love being able to touch you, to hold you like this, and to have you touch me. Oh, Barbara. I love you being able to touch me.”
“I love it too. Promise me, Ambrose, we won’t ever play hands off ever again.”
He laughed, a deliriously happy laugh. “Easiest promise I’ll ever make.”
The hostess put her violin in the crook of her neck and played the Backstreet Boys’ “Safest Place To Hide”.
Ambrose smiled at Barbara. “I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like an invitation to dance.” He released her and offered her his hand. “Will you dance with me?”
She took his hand. “I can’t imagine ever turning down an invitation like that. Dance with me.”
“I will.” He took her into his arms.
“What is it?”
“Do you think she knows how to play ‘Bad Romance’ on her violin?”
He grinned. “It doesn’t hurt to ask. But first thing’s first.” He led her into a slow dance.
“Mmm. I agree. This definitely comes first.”
Can I trust myself with her? Can I trust that I won’t make our first time together a complete disaster?
Can I trust me?
Barbara looked into his eyes with happiness and love.
So, I’ll try.
Raven put his phone back into his pocket.
“What’s wrong?” Missy asked.
“Nothing.” He picked up the cup of broth. “Ambrose called. He was concerned about Robin.”
“Why? What’s going on with him?”
Raven sighed. “Robin went to Mark Caten’s home in Henspence. He wants to rescue Isellta from Caten’s clutches.”
“Okay? I don’t see why that’s a problem.”
“Neither Ambrose nor I have heard from him yet.”
Missy shrugged. “He’s probably playing it cool and trying to keep a low profile so he doesn’t get caught. I wonder, though, would he really mind being caught there? He’d be able to see Isellta like non-stop, right?”
“In theory. Yet, Mark Caten is a cruel man. If he captures Robin, I am certain he will make it as unpleasant as he possibly can. That will undoubtedly include keeping Robin from feeding and from seeing Isellta.”
“Maybe you’re misjudging him?”
Raven frowned. “I could be, but I know I am not.”
“I wonder about that. Would he hurt Robin the way Olessa did? Would he scratch up his other eye?”
Raven shuddered. “I hope not. Yet, I do not know if there are any limits to Mark Caten’s cruelty. I hope Robin is safe. I hope he rescues Isellta and returns home without any difficulties.”
“Is that really all that likely?”
“I am uncertain, miss. Yet, I will hope for it all the same.”