Part 2580 – A Wonderfully Wholesome Shower Scene.

“Yeaaah! I’m getting water everywhere.
Yeeeeeeaaaaah! Goin’ splish splash splashsh everywhere!”

Hildreth aggressively shook his head like a confused head-banger in a rock band.

“And the water is swishing off all my—”

The shower door slid open and Elsie barged on in.

He schluffed his hair back. “Hey there, Elsie baby. Di—” Before Hildreth could properly brace himself, Elsie flung her arms around his chest, knocking him back a step. “Whoa! Careful there, Els. Ah coulda slipped and cracked mah purty lil’ skull.”

Elsie didn’t respond to that. The falling water sat on her frizzy strands, like dewdrops on frayed strings.

Sensing that Something Was Amiss, Hildreth stroked her hair. “What’s wrong?” he asked gently.

“I woke up and you weren’t there.” She sounded embarrassed as if she were confessing a mortifying secret. “You weren’t there.”

“Elsie. Elsie Mayhew was all worried about me.” he murmured to the side of her head.

“Go ahead. Make fun of me. I know I’m being ridiculous. There are plenty of good reasons why you’d leave me sleeping in our bed. Good reasonable reasons. It’s stupid for me to panic about it, especially since I don’t even know what I was expecting. I just mindlessly, thoughtlessly, instinctively panicked.”

Hildreth tenderly embraced her. “Elsie.” He held her as close as he could without squishing her. “I’m here. Right here. I’m not going to abandon you. Even if I have to go to the store to buy us three full pounds of bacon in the middle of the night, I’ll return. Why wouldn’t I? This is our home. I am your husband, which is still a mind-blowing fact that I’m still trying to wrap my mind-blown mind around.”

He kissed the top of her head. “And I love you, Elsie. My amazing, wonderful Marauder. My frizzy-headed wench.”

She held onto him.

“I’m here, Elsie baby.”


Elsie pressed her forehead against his chest and closed her eyes. She quietly absorbed the moment.

The feel of his chest.

The smell of him.

The pressure of his arms around her.

The sound of the water falling on them both.

The heat of the water.

The warmth of his skin.

Hildreth kissed her head again. “And, just so you know, I would never make fun of you. Tease you, yes. But teasing is not at all the same thing as making fun of you. It may seem like the same thing, but it really isn’t.”

Her mouth twitched in a small smile. “So, you don’t think I’m being ridiculous.”

“No. Maybe a teeeeeeeeny pinch paranoid—”

She looked up at him and he smiled down at her.

“—but not ridiculous. I understand your fears.”

“Do you? Because I really don’t.”

“I do.” Hildreth kissed her forehead. “You’ve been ditched by two of the most important men in your life. Fortunately, not at the same time. That would stink.” He chuckled softly. “I will admit it isn’t easy for me to call that vampire one of the most important men in your life, but—” He shrugged. “—what can I do? It’s true. He was your first real love and the second man to break your heart.”

Elsie didn’t ask who the first man was. She already knew the answer to that question.


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