The photographer finished his session with Hildreth and Elsie and sent them on their way. He roped the other hunters and Master Shinowa into taking more pictures.
Elsie counted heads and frowned questioningly at Hildreth. “Jeff isn’t back yet.”
“I’m not overly concerned.” He kissed her head. “Don’t worry, baby. He’ll be back. In the meantime, I guess we have to do the whole meet and greet.”
“Didn’t we do all that at the church?”
“For the most part? Yes, but there were some people who zipped over here before we could even say hi to them. So, yes. We have to do the meet and greet thing all over again.”
“What a bother. I just want to sit down with you.”
“And eat some food!”
She laughed. “And yes. Eat some food.”
“It’s amazing how something as passive as getting one’s photo taken multiple times can really build up a person’s appetite.”
Elsie took his hand. His wedding band pressed against her skin. “Hildreth, can we fast forward time to us getting into the car and driving home?”
He smiled lovingly and shook his head. “No, I want to enjoy every single moment of this day. I want us to remember every detail, to have and to hold onto when death finally does its thing and parts us.”
“Hopefully that will be far into the future.”
His expression turned serious. “You never can tell, Elsie baby. Life can be unpredictable for a normal human. You and I aren’t normal humans. We’re hunters, Els. We tease and flirt and dance with death every night of our lives. There’s a 50/50 chance it’ll get us in the end.” He put his free hand on her shoulder. “So, let’s take this nice and slow.” He moved in closer to her. “Okay?”
Elsie loosened her grip on his hand and stroked the gold ring around his finger. “I don’t want to lose you. You hear me? After everything we’ve gone through to reach this point in our lives, you need to outlive me.”
“Because why? Do you think I want to lose you, my Elsie? My fierce Elsie. My Marauder.” He kissed her forehead. “My warrior queen.” A teasing glint sparkled in his eyes as he added, “My beautiful virginal angelic fantasy.”
She laughed. “You couldn’t resist, could you?”
“Nope. Not at all.’
“Well, at least I’m not a sinister archangel.”
“Too bad you aren’t. You would make a fabulous archangel, sinister or otherwise. I can just imagine you with black eye makeup applied liberally, of course. Mm. With your eye color and the black eye makeup, mm. mm. mm mmmm. So much hotness. You’d HAVE to wear one of those long, sleeveless toga dresses. It would tragically cover up your legs, but—” He shrugged. “—archangel. Archangels can’t go about in minidresses. It’s against the dress code. However, you would get an amazing sword of fire. So, that is a definite bonus. My Elsie with a fiery sword.” He wolf-whistled.
“Come on.” She tightened her grip on his hand. “Let’s go do our meet and greet.”
“Lead me onwards, oh fair angel.” he said with dramatic flair.
“Most certainly.” She gave him a teasing look. “My lovering machine.”
He burst out laughing.