Part 2571 – Until Death…

Barbara led Ambrose back into the hotel room. “Just keep walking. Don’t stumble. Don’t fall. Just keep walking straight to the bed.”

“Sorry.” Ambrose said in a slushed voice. “Had nightmare. Woke up. You weren’t here. Got—” He tripped on the blanket, but she caught him before he could fall. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay, kitten. I got you.”

He smiled sleepily at her. “Hmmm…Can’t remember what I was going to say.”

Barbara blushed. He looks and sounds so cute! I don’t even know what to do about it. “Um, just keep going forward.” Her blush deepened. Maybe I do know what to do about it, but first thing is first! “We’re almost there. Just keep walking.”


As they approached the bed, Ambrose softened in Barbara’s grip. He lost his hold on the blanket and started to tilt to the floor.

“Oh, no you don’t!” she said. “Come on, Ambrose. We’re almost there. Just hold strong. Don’t collapse on me. Come on. You can do this.”


She hurried the last few steps before shoving him onto the bed.

He rolled onto his back. The blanket fell off his shoulders, revealing his bare chest. Ambrose looked up at her with widened pupils.

Her blush extended up to her ears as she noticed that the blanket had fallen away from more than just his shoulders. She sat beside him. “Sorry. I was worried that you’d fall before I could—”

He reached up and stroked her face. “Barbara.”

She closed her eyes and leaned into his touch.

His hand slid under her hair. “Bar’ra.” He stroked the back of her neck.

She inhaled a soft breath. “Don’t stop. Please. I…I want…”

“Hmm? What do you want, love?”

Barbara opened her eyes. “I want you.” She hesitated at the obvious day exhaustion going on with him. “But you’re too tired. So, I’m not going to push it. You need your sleep, kitten.”

“Huh! Not that…not…too that—” He yawned again.

She kissed his forehead. “Sleep.”

He closed his eyes and murmured something that could have been just about anything. Maybe English. Maybe French. Maybe German. Anyone’s guess.

Barbara stroked his black hair as he drifted off to sleep. “Ambrose. Ambrose. My Ambrose. My husband.” She smiled softly. “You are my husband and I’m your wife. Isn’t it an amazing thing? There is such a large canyon of time between the beginning of your life and the beginning of mine. Your change is the suspension bridge connecting our sides of that canyon. Without it, you and I never would have met. But look at us, kitten. Here we are now. You and me. Husband and wife. Lawfully married. No more pre-marriage hoops to jump through. I am yours and you are mine.”

“And so we will be.” She laid down beside him and spread her hand on his chest. “Until death do us part, my love.”


“Until death do us part.” Elsie mulled that phrase over. Until death do us part. Death. It could happen today, tomorrow, or some distant point in the future. But, considering the risks we face every night, it could happen sooner instead of later.

She sat up in bed and watched Hildreth sleep.

He lay on his side with his right arm stretched out and turned palm-side up. His left arm rested on the right with his left hand curved towards his face. His mouth was slightly open. His hair, completely rumpled.

His facial expression was of rest and blissed out calm. No frown. No indications of worry or of fear.

I know how strong he is. I’ve seen how he fights. But he looks so soft and sweet and vulnerable.

I want to…

I want to…

I want. 

Feelings and emotions and desires swamped her over. She didn’t know how to express any of it in plain words. It was so overwhelming she wanted to let loose a warrior yell and punch holes in her pillow or punch him.

But that was not what she really wanted to do.

Elsie grabbed his shoulder and flipped him onto his back.

Hildreth raised his eyebrows. “Els.” He opened his eyes a crack. “Elsie baby.”

“You’re not allowed to die young.”

“Wha?” He opened his eyes all the way. “Nightmare?”

She shook her head. “I just don’t want to lose you. I don’t. Not now. Not any time soon.”

“Els.” He sat up and took her hands. “I’m here. Just right here.” He kissed both of her hands before releasing them. “I’m not planning on dying young, anyway. Got to get to a ripe old man age, so I can meet all my generations of grandkids. Can’t do that if I’m a goner.” He scrunched up his face. “Hmm. I hope I’m not too ripe, though. I don’t wanna be known as The Stinky Grandpa. Even though…hm. It is an intriguing nickname.”

Elsie smiled and her smile went all the way up into her eyes. “I love you so much, Hildreth Mayhew.”

2 thoughts on “Part 2571 – Until Death…”

    1. Thank you!

      I almost didn’t switch to Elsie and Hildreth. I wanted to stay in Ambrose and Barbara’s POVs for at least a couple more chapters. But this felt like the right moment to switch. (Plus, it’s been MONTHS! since Hildreth/Elsie chapter and I really wanted to get back to them. I totally missed writing Hildreth.)


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