Part 2582 – Food! Food! Glorious FOOD!

The elevator reached the first floor and the door dinged open.

Barbara walked through the open door and headed to the front lobby. The aroma of cooked eggs, sausages, and waffles permeated the air. That wonderful blend of smells made Barbara realize just how hungry she actually was.

She entered the breakfast nook area and admired the lovely selection of food.

Individual packaged servings of cereal that you could add milk to.


Bagels— blueberry, plain, everything, sesame seed.

Danishes—cream cheese, strawberry, and, because Florida, orange.

Scrambled eggs and hashbrowns.

Sausages underneath a heating tray to keep them warm.

Grits with sausage gravy.

A basket of oranges, bananas, and grapefruits.

A tall pitcher of pancake batter that you were supposed to pour into a small cup. That small cup was then to be poured into the large waffle maker.

There were also the standard assortment of toppings for the bagels, waffles, and croissants—butter, cream cheese, honey, wildberry jam, strawberry jam, grape jam, maple syrup, and orange marmalade.

A cold case stood to the far left side of the buffet counter. It housed the milk, orange juice, grapefruit juice, and cranberry juice.

A man in a rumpled linen suit stopped beside her. “Quite the spread, huh?”

“Yes! I almost don’t know what to get first.”

“Well, I’ve been here for a couple of days now. So, I can say with certainty: The grits are good. They’re even better with the sausage gravy. Waffles are good. Scrambled eggs, eh. A little dry, a little stringy. The orange danishes are a must. You won’t find anything like them outside the state. The orange juice is locally sourced. So, it’s probably the best orange juice you’ll ever have.”

Barbara smiled at him. “Thank you for your help!”

“No problem. Always willing to help a damsel in distress.”

She giggled. “I wouldn’t say that I was in distress, but thank you!”

“Any time.” He winked at her and went to collect his own plate.

Barbara looked over the spread again with his advice in mind. Hm. The grits look like hummus. I wonder if they taste like it too. I could pass on it. I mean, I don’t have to take them just because some strange guy told me to. But I’ve never had them before. And these are authentic Southern grits.

I might as well give it a try. If I hate it, I hate it. But at least I would have given it a decent try.

She loaded up her plate with grits, sausage gravy, a couple of the orange danishes, a cream cheese danish, and a couple of freshly made waffles.

What would Ambrose have put on his plate? What kind of foods did he like best before his change? What did he hate? What was he just neutral about?

Barbara smiled as she claimed some butter and syrup packets for her waffles. There are still things I don’t know about him. And they aren’t bad. Just simple, ordinary things.

“Ah!” the man said. “Don’t forget your silverware.”

“Oh! Thank you.” She took a plastic-wrapped set of silverware out of its basket home before sitting herself at a nearby table for two. If Ambrose were here, I’d let him try the grits first. I’d love to see his reaction to them. I’m willing to bet that he’d hate them. But who knows?

I’ll never know. 

Father Landover’s words came to mind—“Barbara, you will have to make meals only for yourself. You will have to eat your meals alone. Will that make you too lonely?”

The other chair at her table was empty.


—“Will you try to find solace in another man’s arms?”


I’ve had solitary meals for most of my adult life. This will not be a novel experience for me. Plus, I won’t be alone. Ambrose will be asleep in my bed. If I get lonely, I can take my plate of food and eat next to him. 

She opened her silverware package. I went into this marriage knowing that it would be like this. I married him, accepting our differences. Accepting the difficulties that are bound to come from marrying a vampire. I will never break my wedding vows.

Barbara buttered her waffles and sliced them into smaller squares. Her expression softened as she thought about the man sleeping in her hotel bed. And, honestly? If I had to repeat that moment in time, I would still tell him, “I do.”


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