Love Knots

Chapter 5


Exhaling a breath he closed his eyes. “M-my name is Courtney Ambrose McKenna born to Alfred and Danielle McKenna…” He paused and swallowed when Wyatt didn’t comment and turned his head slightly to see that he was listening seriously.

“I… I started reading at age two… My mother always called me Courtney; I hated it. By age twelve, I was out of primary school and was studying at the University…”

Wyatt blinked in surprise but didn’t interrupt.

“My parents were nice enough but we weren’t what you’d call close…” Ambrose continued. “In some ways, I think they were afraid of me… because I knew so much…because I was so young… and still, I had everything I wanted as far as my education was concerned. Anything I showed interest in, they would make sure I had…” Ambrose trailed off and sighed heavily. “Maybe they were right to be afraid…”

“What do you mean?” Wyatt asked, shifting slightly and changing hands as he continued to massage Ambrose’s neck and head.

“Well… I might not remember everything, but I know that some of the tools used to take over were my designs… though they weren’t intended to be used for such things as they were… If I hadn’t invented them…”

“Someone else would have,” Wyatt said gently and reached out, touching a finger to Ambrose’s chin.

Ambrose blinked, turning to look at him.

“I mean it,” Wyatt murmured. “None of that was your fault…”

Ambrose swallowed, continuing to meet his gaze steadily before releasing a shaky breath, turning to face him. “I wish I remembered you…” he whispered.

Wyatt closed his eyes briefly, the sincerity in Ambrose’s voice tugging at his heart. “So do I,” he murmured in reply, meeting Ambrose’s gaze again. “So do I…”

Ambrose flushed slightly and lowered his gaze, wondering not for the first time who this man was and what their relationship had been. Had they only been friends? Or had they been more? “A-at age fifteen, I – I’d completed my study and w-was asked to stay… to teach.”

Wyatt swallowed dryly. “I take it you didn’t,” he murmured.

Ambrose bit his lip and shook his head slowly.

“Why not? I doubt they would have offered you the position if they didn’t think you could do it…”

“No one respected me,” Ambrose replied. “I was just a kid to them…that they must be dumb if a kid was teaching them…so I didn’t take it.”

“They would have gotten over it…” Wyatt assured him.

“Would they?” Ambrose asked looking up at him before shaking his head and lowering it. “I don’t think so…”

“Why not?” Wyatt asked, cocking his head curiously.

“I… I remember this one kid…” Ambrose murmured, not looking at Wyatt. “H-he was so angry that I was smarter than he was… that I passed him in my classes… that I graduated early…” he said softly and his voice hitched and he trembled.

“Ambrose?” Wyatt asked uncertainly when he noticed.

Ambrose took a shuddering breath. “I – I turned down the job at the school b-because I didn’t know what he’d do… w-when I was eighteen, I was approached by someone from the castle… the Queen had heard of me and I was summoned to an audience… s-she hired me…”

Wyatt nodded, swallowing. Ambrose was slightly calmer than when he’d talked about the mysterious student, but he was still visibly shaking.

Ambrose paused and reached over to the low table and picked up the apple with a slightly shaky hand, and took a bite, chewing it slowly.

Wyatt took the time and shifted; moving to stoke the fire again, worry gnawing at him as he wondered about Ambrose’s reaction in revealing his life to him and wondering just who that kid had been and why Ambrose seemed afraid of even talking about him.
Chapter 4 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Tin Man ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 6

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