Part 2153 – “Let’s Do This!”

Jeff picked up a random box and opened it. “One cuff link.” He closed it and did a sweeping glance over the other boxes. “Where’s the other one? It must be in a small box. But which one?”

His phone rang. “Hey, Dweeb.”

“Hey, Dork. I have arrived!”

“It’s about time. Come on in. The door’s unlocked.”

“Where are you, anyway?”

“In the back room here.”

“All right. I’m comin’ in. You’d better not be naked.”

Jeff chuckled. “Dweeb.” He ended the call and resumed his search for the other cuff link.

Hildreth entered the room just as Jeff located the other small box.

“Ah! Here it is.”

“Yes, here I am. You missed me, ri—Whoa.” He looked over the cavalcade of gift boxes. “Did you lose a bet or something?”

Jeff smiled. “Looks like it, doesn’t it? You see why I needed your help?”

Hildreth nodded. “It makes a lot of sense.”

“You don’t have your Bossman.”

“It’s in the car. I didn’t want to completely overwhelm you with my all around awesomeness. I mean, it’s overwhelming enough for you to see me lookin’ oh so fine in my shiny new tux.”

Jeff looked him over. “You do look pretty spiffy.”

Hildreth choked out an appalled laugh. “Spiffy?”

Jeff grinned. “Spiffy.”

“I’m not sure if that’s really a compliment, but you know what? I’ll take it.”

“Good.”

“Okay!” Hildreth clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “Let’s get this all figured out.”

Jeff pumped his fist. “Let’s do this.”

“Yes!”

****

Elsie pulled into her mother’s driveway. She sat in the car, trying to collect all of her thoughts and gather them into something sensible.

They assembled into one word, one name: Hildreth.

Hildreth.

If I were a vampire, I’d be able to call his name with my mind. And he would come running to me.

But I don’t want to be a vampire. I never want to be a vampire.

Elsie shuddered as she remembered the changed hunter and her husband.

I will never want to be a vampire.

She sighed. “If Hildreth could hear my thoughts, he’d jump to the insane conclusion that I’m thinking about Ambrose or wanting Ambrose to change me.” She unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the door. “Furthest thing from the truth. I never want to lose myself like that. And I never want that to happen to Hildreth.”

It would be a nightmare if he were changed.

I hope it never happens.

I hope that I die first.

Elsie got out of her car and ran to the front door. It took her a moment to realize that she’d left her car door open. She ran back, closed the car door, and hurried back to the porch.

Clarice opened the front door. “Well, well, well! Look at you.” She hugged Elsie. “Mmmm!” She pulled back. “My, you are glowing so bright today. No gray. No black. Not a touch of a storm cloud.”

“Are you really surprised?”

Clarice smiled. “Not at all. Hildreth Mayhew is some super hot stuff. Why if I were a few years younger, I’d be glowing bright about him too.”

“Mom!”

Clarice laughed. “Oh, you are so easy to appall. That’s why I love you. Come on. Let’s get you all prettied and gowned up.”

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