Author’s Note: Yet another alternate reality moment for my Ambrose and Elsie characters. This time, it’s Raven’s turn.
James Arden returned to the house in a state of badly rattled nerves and messed up emotions.
When will Miss Farlington understand? We cannot be together. It can never be. We can never be.
I wish we could be.
He set the lemonade carafe on a side table in the hall.
How can I go back out there? How can I face her again?
I need to calm down.
I am a butler.
I must be calm.
He entered the parlor to pull himself together.
The parlor wasn’t empty.
A woman sat on one of the stiff-backed chairs.
She rose from her seat to reveal her close-fitting yellow dress.
He bowed. “I was unaware that anyone was in here. I will leave you be.”
She had marigold hair and black licorice colored eyes. “Well. Aren’t you an interesting fellow?” Her voice made him think of fresh cream on a summer day.
She strolled over to him in a way that made James think of a cat. A very dangerous cat.
An irrational fear gripped him. He turned to leave with at least a minimum of decorum.
She grabbed his shoulders and held tight. “Do you have any idea how good you smell?”
“Madam, I need to—“
“You need to just shut up. I don’t care for prey that talks and talks.”
His face turned pale as he understood what he was dealing with. “Vampire.”
“mm. Yes. Vampire.”
“I am deeply sorry, Miss, but I am not interested in becoming a creature such as yourself.”
“Too bad.” She dug her claws into his collar.
He elbowed her hard in the ribcage.
She gasped and staggered back.
He pulled a stake out of his sleeve. With a couple of expert touches, the stake transformed into a full scale javelin.
She opened her mouth to speak.
She was too late.
He thrust the javelin into her heart.
She fell dead.
He dusted off his gloves. “I never thought I’d have a need to make use of that particular skill set.”
James Arden sat down in the seat she had vacated. He thought about his near death experience. He thought about his life as a whole.
He thought about a great many things.
Life is so short.
He walked over to the dead vampire and reclaimed his javelin.
For some, it is shorter than average.
He shrank it back into a stake and slid it up into his sleeve.
I may not know how long I have to live.
He let the house and returned to the party.
But I know what I want my life to be.
He found her in the crowd.
May Rose Farlington.
He strode over to her.
She glanced at him. “What do you want? Sir?”
“I have come to apologize, Miss Farlington.”
He crowded into her space and she did not back away.
He kissed her.
He ended the kiss before she could properly react. “From now on, I will call you May Rose.”
Joy brightened her face.
He kissed her again. A long and tender kiss.
Her fingers slid up the sides of his head, ruffling up his hair.
James Arden broke away and opened his eyes. He looked at May Rose Farlington with all of the love he had kept so carefully concealed. “My own May Rose.”