Raven led her down the sidewalk, all the while nonchalantly watching for a convenient alley to pull her into. He kept imagining her barbequed spare ribs scent staining his white gloves with peaks and glops of mesquite honey sauce, but he held on to her.
Not too tight.
Not too strong.
Not too intimidating.
He didn’t rush his steps.
He didn’t pull her along.
To everyone passing them by, they looked like an odd couple out on the town. He in his old fashioned butler uniform. She in a cropped orchid-colored turtleneck and a flouncy gray skirt. Neither of them were giving off any “I don’t want to be with this person. Please send help!” vibes.
As a matter of fact, she kept giving him very hungry looks, like she wanted to pull out a knife and fork and just eat him. Not even cook him. Just eat him raw.
Raven noticed how she was looking at him, but thought nothing of it. Junie Jane Peterson had given him the same exact looks.
She grabbed his arm and dragged him into the first available alley. She shoved him against the closest wall.
“Pardon me, but—“
“Shhh.” She put her finger on his lips. “Don’t speak.”
“Miss, I believe that—-“
She bared her fangs. “I said, SHHH!”
He sighed heavily and bared his fangs as well.
She released him. “What? You’re a vampire too? But. But you smell so good!”
“Indeed on both counts.”
“Oh, that just isn’t fair! Now, I have to go find someone else to bite! Great.” She shoved him again. “Just great.” She stormed away.
He straightened and smoothed out his jacket. “Indeed, it is not fair at all.”
“It’s interesting.” Isadora tapped her finger on the zipper for Ambrose’s hoodie. “Your idea of Hell is so different from mine.”
“What is yours like, my lady?”
She tapped the zipper several times. It clinked against its clenched metal teeth. “Fear.”
She looked up at him. “Isn’t that enough?”
Ambrose turned pale as he remembered the snow falling. “Yes. It’s more than enough.”
“My dear child, I know you’ve given me your answer. But let me ask one last time.”
He folded his arms across his chest. “Go ahead, but I already know my answer. And so do you.”
“Will you come away with me?”
“My wife is waiting for me to come home. How could I leave her waiting indefinitely? How could I leave her for another woman? Even if that woman is my lady.”
Isadora smiled sadly. “That is why you are special to me.”
He flinched as she stroked his face.
“You will always be special to me, my dearest child. Go hunt, Ambrose, and go home to your wife.”
He winced at the direct command.
“I’ll see you around, Ambrosia.” She walked away.
Ambrose turned away and hurried off to go hunt. He huffed out an indignant breath. “She didn’t need to make it a command. I was going to do both of those things anyway.”