She’s still here with me.
She’s still here.
My Barbara is still here. Despite all of the stupid things I’ve done, despite the times I’ve made her cry, she’s here.
She wants me here. She loves me. She isn’t going to abandon me. She isn’t going to push me away.
It’s going to be so hard to leave her tonight. But it can’t be helped. I will never bite her again. Not even if I were starved and desperate.
“Barbara.” He sucked in a sharp breath as she stuck her hand between his abdomen and the sheet. “Huuuh…naughty girl.”
She giggled. “Who? Me?”
“Mmmnn. Always trying to be provocative when I’m trying to sleep.”
“Well.” She paused as if she were thinking about it. “You are terribly cute.”
“Mm-hmm. Especially when you’re asleep.” She tried to move her hand but it was pretty well-stuck under him. The best she could do was wiggle her fingers.
The movement felt strange and weird and good all at the same time. “Hmmm. Definitely a naughty girl.”
She raised her head. “What? I’m not a brat?”
He rolled onto his back in the opposite direction of her hand and looked up at her.
Her rumpled hair hung over her shoulders and down her back. A very appealing blush still colored her face.
Her bare skin looked so soft and lovely.
Ambrose reached up and gently twirled strands of her hair around his fingers.”You’re beautiful.” He smiled. “And a brat.”
She giggled. “Well, that’s good to know.”
“Hnnn? Which one?”
“Both. Of course.”
Ambrose released her hair. “Of course.” He sat up and kissed her.
I love this. Barbara projected into his mind. It will be a pain to go back to the regular scheduled program of jobs and assorted dramas.
He reluctantly broke off. “Assorted dramas?”
“Mm. You know, the usual things. People we know getting threatened and kidnapped and tortured. Separation drama. Anxieties.”
“Bad memories. Bad nightmares.”
He kissed the side of her neck. “Lucky we don’t have to deal with any of that yet.”
She turned her head and moved her hair out of the way.
“hmmm…” It was a warm, soft sound against her skin.
Barbara leaned up into the sound.
“Because we get to go on our honeymoon and escape from it all. No Mark Caten. No Hildreth.” He kissed her neck in the same spot and subtly licked it.
She huffed out a soft breath. “oh. Ohhh.”
Her semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla bean scent pleased his taste buds. He licked her skin again. “Just us. Just you and…” His voice trailed off as Ambrose vaguely remembered something.
Ambrose frowned. “Did I really talk to Robin on the phone earlier or did I dream that?”
“Nope! That really happened.”
“Oh. Good.” His frown deepened. “There was something wrong about it. I don’t know what it is. Something didn’t…feel right? Sound right? I don’t know.” He thought back on the conversation. “It sounded like him. It was his voice, but something he said…Didn’t seem like him somehow. Who knows? Maybe he was tired. Maybe he really was distracted by Isellta.”
“Are you going to call him back?”
Ambrose thought about it. “Nah. I’ll let him get his sleep. It is day time.” He smiled a sleepy flirtatious smile at her. “Time for all good vampires to be asleep, you know.”
“Hmm.” She smiled back at him. “Good vampires…. Ohhh, I don’t think that includes you.”
“And why not?”
“Because—” She spread her hands on his thighs. “We both know that you’re a naughty boy.”
He burst out laughing, which got her giggling. “So, I’m a naughty boy, am I?”
He kissed her. “And you are an outrageous brat.”
“Mm-hmm! And I probably will always be one.”
Ambrose laid his hands on top of her hands. “I hope so.”