It’s going to be so hard to do.
Darius cast a quick glance at his wife. “Ara, are you sure?”
“Me leaving.” He stopped at a red light. “If you want me to stay. If you need me to stay—”
“I need you to be safe and that will be enough.”
He shifted in his seat. “I know our four boys can be a crazy handful. I don’t want you to—”
“Darius. Look at me.”
“I love you. I will be honest with you. I don’t want you to leave me—”
“Then, I won’t go.”
She smiled. “I wasn’t done talking. I don’t want you to leave me, but I know that this is important. I know and understand that you need to do this so you can come home to me safe and alive at the end of every hunt. So, do this. Go to your master and learn what you need to know. Become a better hunter. Do what it takes to survive.”
“And I will come home to you.”
She looked lovingly at him. “I will always wait for your return.”
Darius couldn’t resist a moment longer. He leaned towards her. The seatbelt pressed against his neck, but he didn’t care. He barely gave it a thought.
She leaned towards him.
They kissed. Even though it was probably their three millionth kiss, it enthralled him. He knew that it always would.
They reluctantly separated.
The light was green.
“I guess we should keep going.” he said. “I mean, to the church.”
He drove through the intersection and his thoughts were full of her.
Hildreth’s thoughts kept turning and turning. He tried to fluff them off and shoo them away, but the thought remained.
There’s nothing wrong with what he said, but there was something. Something in the sound of his voice.
Maybe I’m hearing things.
Maybe I’m just imagining it.
He glanced at his friend.
But what if I’m not imagining it.
He noticed how Jeff’s hands tightened on the steering wheel.
I should ask.
“As a hunter, she should know better than to tango with one of those creatures.” Jeff said. It was an innocent enough statement, but it sure sounded like a deflection to Hildreth’s ears.
But what happens if I do ask? What if he says “Yes, I am in love with your fiancée”? It will change something between us. It will drop a whole wall of awkwardness between us. But if I’m ever going to ask, this would be the right time to do it.
But I don’t want to ruin our friendship. So, I won’t acknowledge it. I won’t ask.
“Ahh.” He opened the box of doughnut holes. “Mmm. So many different kinds.”
I wonder if I should ever ask him.
He poked through the vast assortment.
Of course, I can’t blame him if he is in love with Elsie. She is pretty hot and amazing. Who wouldn’t fall in love with her?
Hildreth found just what he was looking for. A blueberry white chocolate one. “Ooo! I love this kind.”
Jeff smiled. “Dweeb.”
Hildreth smiled back at him.
I have nothing to worry about. I trust him. I know him. He would never say or do anything to endanger our friendship. Besides that, I know Elsie. If he came to her and made wild declarations of love and such, she’d slap him upside the head and tell him to go soak it somewhere. Or she’d punch him good and hard.
Unless I’m being hopelessly naïve…
He thought about Elsie beating up Ambrose in the men’s bathroom.
He couldn’t help smiling at the memory.
No, she would never cheat on me with anyone.
Hildreth looked over at Jeff.
And he would never ask it of her.
I trust him.