Part 2423 – Two In Henspence, Three In Pinkerlee.

Peach-orange street lights lit Henspence’s mostly empty Main Street. There were still a few cars here and there. Some were parked. Some were in motion, pulling out of parking spots, heading on down the street, or turning at the intersections. Not too many people loitered on the sidewalks. If there were any vampires in Henspence, they had slim pickings to choose from.

Ambrose didn’t envy the Henspence vampires at all. He pitied them, especially since they had the misfortune to live in the same city as Mark Caten.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Caten. But exactly how long has it been? When did I last see him? It’s been longer than a month. It’s been several months. I know that for sure. But when exactly?

He frowned as Barbara drove through a flashing red light.

I bit him. That was the last time. I bit him and he handed me off to Olessa.

Ambrose shuddered as he remembered the frozen metal around his neck…around his wrists. He remembered snow. Snow falling on the metal. Snow burying his skin. Even though the snow was gone and the air was no longer cold, he rubbed his hands together as if to warm them up.

Barbara glanced at him. “Are you all right?”


She put her hand on his knee. “We’re almost there, kitten.”

He angled his leg towards her, so she didn’t have to reach for him. “I know.”

“We’ll get this all figured out and go on to our honeymoon.” She kept her eyes on the road, but her hand massaged his knee. “Nothing bad will happen to us. You’ll see. It will all be okay. We’ll be okay. Robin and Isellta will be okay.”

He looked over at Barbara and studied her profile. “You’re nervous too.” It wasn’t even a question.

She nodded.

He covered her hand with his own.

Neither he nor she felt the need to say more than that. He kept his hand on top of her hand and she kept her hand on his knee. That was enough.

Nothing more needed to be said.

Barbara just kept driving forward through the peach-orange colored night.


The call went straight to voicemail.

“Hello, this is Raven. Robin, if you receive this message, please contact either myself or Ambrose. We both wish to know that you and Isellta are safe and well. Please call me back. You do have my number. Thank you.” Raven ended the call and put his phone away.

I ought to tell Ambrose not to come to The Red Envelope, for I shall not be there.

Raven closed his eyes. Before he could project his thoughts to Ambrose, a familiar incense and sandalwood scent caught his attention. He opened his eyes.

Sammy and Lee walked down the sidewalk, straight to him.

Raven decided to speak to Ambrose a little later. First thing came first. He bowed to them as soon as Sammy and Lee were close enough. “It is a pleasure to see you both again.”

“Same here.” Sammy said. His expression was tightly neutral. “Were you the one calling to me?”

“Indeed, sir. I was. I would appreciate if you could come with me to Mark Caten’s residence in Henspence.”

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