Raven stopped outside The Red Envelope. He glanced around and sniffed the air. There was no trace of Ambrose or Barbara. He frowned and mentally projected Ambrose’s name as far as he could in all directions.
The response was immediate, terse, and tense: NOT. NOW.
“Ah.” Raven blushed as he put two and two together.
There was no response to that. Not that he had expected one.
Raven examined the stitching on his gloves as he considered his next step.
I had hoped to see him one last time before he leaves, just in case. Yet, perhaps it is better if they just leave without bothering with additional stops. The plane will not wait for us to say all of our farewells.
He entered The Red Envelope.
The server, a young man with bright eyes and an even brighter smile, smiled at Raven. “Hello! Table for one? Or are you expecting more people?”
“None, sir. I would like to leave a message with you, if I may.”
“Certainly!” The server pulled out a pen and a small pad of sticky notes from the server’s station. “What is your message?”
“I expect a gentleman to come here looking for me. He is an attractive young man with black eyes and well-trimmed black hair. He will undoubtedly be dressed in—-” Raven huffed out a sigh. “—very ordinary clothes. A hoodie and very plain slacks.”
The server nodded and wrote this all down.
“I wish for you to tell him that Raven has returned to the hospital to be with Missy. Tell him that there is no need for him to come to me. Tell him to go on his honeymoon and to be safe.”
“And what is this gentleman’s name?”
“Is there anything else he needs to know?”
Raven thought it over. “No. I believe that will be quite sufficient. Thank you, sir.”
“Not a problem!”
Raven bowed slightly to the server and left the restaurant.
Ambrose slowly and deliberately buttoned up the front of Barbara’s shirt. There weren’t even that many buttons, but he made it seem like there were 45 of them.
Barbara raked her fingers through his damp hair. “I know I already said this, but I’ll go ahead and say it again.”
He peeked up at her.
Ambrose smiled. “No. Thank you.” He buttoned the last button. “Thank you for loving me, for wanting me the way you do.”
“How could I not want you?”
“It’s easier than you think. You know how I am, Barbara. How selfish I can be.”
“True enough.” Barbara said. “I can’t deny that. But I will say that you make me happy.” She blushed. “You satisfy me.” Her blush deepened. “If that is the word I want.”
He kissed her. “I believe it is.”
She looked into his dark eyes.
This is my husband. He is my husband. This amazing, handsome man is mine. All of his good. All of his bad. All of his hidden traumas and damages. He is mine and I am his.
She smiled blissfully.
And that is the most amazing thing.
Ambrose kissed her again — just a quick flirt of a kiss. “We should get going. We don’t want to miss out on our honeymoon.”