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At least half of them were here tonight. They’d all come to watch Isabelle, Samson and Delilah’s daughter, perform. Instinctively her gaze searched for the young hybrid. As the daughter of a vampire and his blood-bonded human mate, Isabelle was an extraordinary creature. She combined the advantages of both species within herself: she had the strength and speed of a vampire without the drawback of being burned by sunlight. And once she turned twenty-one, she would stop aging, just like her vampire father had stopped aging when he was turned over two centuries earlier.
Isabelle wore a seventeenth-century gown in a rich azure color and looked absolutely stunning. The long dark hair that normally cascaded down her shoulders, framing her lovely figure, was fashioned into a medieval hairdo. Already now, at age twenty, men were standing in line to gain her affections. Isabelle had inherited her mother’s beauty and her father’s strength. She was a force to be reckoned with. It showed when she and her two brothers, Grayson and Patrick, nineteen and seventeen respectively, were of different opinions. Sparks flew when the three got into an argument. All three of them wanted to lead. Only one would finally rule.
But tonight something was different about Isabelle. She didn’t look as confident as usual. She seemed rather nervous and looked uncomfortable. Was she having stage fright?
Katie glanced at the large wall clock. In thirty minutes the curtain would rise. This was not the time for anybody to get cold feet. She was walking toward Isabelle, when she heard somebody call her name.
“Katie? Got a minute?”
She pivoted and saw Blake pop his head in the door.
“You can’t come in here!” she chastised and rushed toward him.
He immediately retreated. When she stepped outside into the corridor, he was waiting for her.
“Apologies, but nobody heard me knock,” he said, grinning disarmingly.
A decade ago Katie would have rolled her eyes and accused him of using any excuse to ogle the beautiful young girls in the dressing room. Not tonight. Blake had changed in more ways than one.
He’d matured and grown into an utterly handsome man with short dark hair, the same blue eyes as his 4th great-grandmother Rose, and a toned body made of pure muscle. The family resemblance to Quinn and Rose, however, ended there. He looked older than his blond vampire forebears now. His ancestors had been turned into vampires in their twenties, while Blake had become a vampire at age thirty-two, twelve years earlier. Quinn had turned him at Blake’s insistence.
“What is it?” Katie asked, looking up at Blake who dwarfed her.
“I just wanted to go over security with you.”
“But we’ve already done that. I really don’t have the time. We only have—”
“It won’t even take a minute of your time, sweetheart,” he insisted, turning on his charm.
“Sweetheart?” She laughed. There was nothing amorous going on between her and the tall vampire—they both knew that. “You must be desperate.”
Blake chuckled, displaying his white teeth. “You know me too well.” He pulled a piece of paper from the inside of the trendy sports coat he’d paired with black slacks and sturdy boots. “Samson’s orders.”
Involuntarily she had to smile. Even dressed in elegant eveningwear, Blake was always ready for war.
“I have the feeling you enjoy being the head of Scanguards’ personal security detail far too much.”
He smirked and looked around the corridor, making sure none of the stagehands who were arranging final details could overhear them. “Providing ‘round the clock security for thirteen hybrid teenagers is no walk in the park. And don’t even get me started on the parents.”
Katie knew what he meant. Some parents could be overprotective of their offspring, and Samson was no exception when it came to his three children. Though he did have reason to be cautious. Scanguards had enemies.
“Driving you nuts, are they?”
Blake ran a hand through his hair. “You have no idea. And trust me, those kids have never been safer in their lives than since I took over their security twelve years ago.”
“Was that why you wanted to be turned? So the kids couldn’t run roughshod over you?”
Blake briefly glanced down the hall where a worker was carrying two chairs into the next room. “That, and the fact that I didn’t want to look older than my grandparents.”