As Raven put his phone away, the thick, messy, sticky scent of barbequed spare ribs captured his attention. His mouth watered. He could almost feel the red-brown scent on his fingers, under his fingernails.
He followed it without any hesitation.
Ambrose walked down the sidewalk through a crowd of people. It was the normal mix of teenagers and adults. All of them had their own place to go, their own reasons for being out so late, their own individual scents.
Red and green peppers.
Dirt and ashes.
Ambrose thought about hot fudge and whipped cream. He ran his tongue along the edges of his teeth.
I should turn around. I should go back to him. I should disregard that other boy. I should take what I want. Justin won’t fight me. I want—-
Blueberries and inkwells.
Chokecherries in strawberry juice.
Sugared violets and red wine.
He frowned and kept walking forward.
Always what I want.
Popcorn and cheese.
Something that could only be described as armadillo breath.
Pepperoni and sausage pizza.
Still there inside of me.
That selfish brute I’ve been trying to silence.
Sawdust and sage.
Talcum powder and shoe polish.
Barbequed spare ribs.
Maybe I’ll never be able to get rid of him. Maybe I can’t. Maybe he’s too much a part of who I am as a man. Or as a vampire.
Antique roses and lavender.
Ambrose stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. Fear sluiced through him as he searched the crowd for a woman with doll-like beauty.
Raven found her.
She sauntered down the sidewalk with a group of her friends. They were all talking and laughing at the same time. Yet, her barbequed spare ribs scent stood out from all of the scents surrounding her.
It is a risky thing to approach one among so many.
Raven resumed walking to keep himself from looking needlessly suspicious and/or creepy. He did not want to attract the attention of any nearby vampire hunters.
Yet, I have not the time to waste searching for anything better. Ambrose will be waiting for me. I will not delay him unnecessarily.
He kept his pace natural and easy. No pushing. No straining. No rushing. Just all nice and casual. He was just a gentleman in an old fashioned suit going for a late night stroll. Nothing to see or wonder about.
Nothing at all.
Ambrose’s pupils widened as he caught sight of her standing on the other side of the street. She was as picture perfect as usual. Not a hair out of place.
He frantically glanced around for an escape route. But it was too late. She looked straight at him and smiled. Her voice whispered soft inside his mind: Ambrosia, my dear child.