“And that is the last shot.” the photographer said. “You all have been beautiful subjects!”
Master Shinowa smiled as Elsie grabbed Hildreth’s hand and pretty much ran down the aisle with him.
“You look like the mouse that trapped the lion.” Kaneshiro said.
“Mayhew and Vansing have much love between them. Much hard-earned happiness.” Master Shinowa lapsed into memories of Elsie’s uncertainty and Hildreth’s anger and frustration. “Yes. Very much hard-earned happiness.”
“Oh. So, you weren’t being smug.”
He grinned at his younger brother. “Not smug. Greatly satisfied to be right about them.”
Kaneshiro grinned back. “So, you aren’t smug. Just very self-satisfied.”
“It has been too many days since we been like this, Shiro.” He patted his younger brother’s back. “Come. Let us go to restaurant and party.”
Hildreth quietly admired Elsie as she drove to Gendarme Kicker’s.
She’s mine and I am hers. I never thought that this would happen. I never really believed that she could want me more than she wanted that vampire. That she would ever choose me over that vampire.
And yet here we are.
Her in her wedding gown and me in my fancy tux and we are off to our wedding reception.
We are married. My Elsie and I are married.
What would happen if I were to touch her face? Her arm? Would she get all hot and steamed up about me and accidently crash the car? I hope not. That would be a supreme overreaction.
His phone rang, pulling him out of his thoughts. “Hello? Is this Jeff Farsigh?”
“I don’t know. Is this Hildreth Mayhew?”
“If you want the answer to that question, you must deposit fifty-nine dollars and eighty-four cents.”
“Huh? Is that all? I expected it to be more.”
Hildreth shrugged. “Well, you know. I just got married today to a super hot chick. I’m feeling pretty darn generous.”
“Well, good for you.”
“Even better for you.”
“That’s true. Hey. Where are you guys?”
“On our way to the restaurant and we’re gonna beat you there. Don’t hate me for having a head start.”
“Well.” Jeff said. “If you get there first, you’ll have to eat five lemon custard doughnut holes.”
“Uhhh, you didn’t buy any. I KNOW you didn’t buy any.”
“I didn’t buy any. Yet.”
“Oh, man. You are a brute.”
Jeff laughed. “Oh! Here are the other guys. We’ll see you there.”
“See ya!” He ended the call.
“Was that Jeff?” Elsie asked.
“Yeah. Now I’m terribly conflicted. I want to get to the restaurant as fast as we can.”
“If we get there before Jeff, he’ll make me eat five of those horrible lemon custard doughnut holes.” He shuddered.
Elsie smiled and shook her head. “Two idiots, the both of you.” She cast a glance at him. “So, how long did it take you to talk him into the whole weapon detail?”
“Not as long as you’d expect. I mean, once I had the scene all painted up in his head, he just couldn’t resist. And really? How could he resist such an awesome plan?”
“Come on. Just admit it. It was awesome. You want to admit that it was awesome. We were all a sight to see and it was awesome.”
Elsie stopped at a red light. She put her hand on his knee “Hildreth, you are awesome.”
He shrugged. “I’m just me.”
“And that is why you’re awesome.” She slid her hand upward. The movement threw shocks into his nerves and muscles.
He inhaled sharply. “Els. Elsie. Elsie baby.”
The light turned green.
“Please.” He leaned his head back. “Please…”
Her hand stopped moving. “No.”
“Not here.” Her hand abandoned his leg. “Not yet.”
“Trust me, Hildreth. When you see what I’ve had planned, what I’ve been working on—” She kissed the side of his face. “—-you’ll understand. You’ll agree with me that it was well worth the wait.”
“I know, but do you have to make it so darned difficult for me?”
Elsie pinched him.
“Do you really think you’ve made it all that easy for me? Do you have any idea how much just you sitting next to me affects me?”
Hildreth’s heart glowed. He couldn’t see its golden light, but he could feel its warmth radiating throughout his chest.
“Do you know how much I want to fling myself at you every time we’re together? Do you have any idea, any clue how—”
“Els.” He unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned into her space.
“—how much I want to—-”
He leaned in closer. “Elsie baby, don’t talk.” His gaze dipped down to her lips. “Just kiss me.”
She obeyed without any further complaints.