“My grandfather is in poor health, Inspector. He could hardly hurt anyone.”

“He is a man of some means, Miss Adair. And he was adamant about that site not being disturbed. He wrote many letters of protest, to the church, to the government, even to the police station.”

“He is a scholar, a man of history, and also a very religious man. With sound convictions. But my grandfather is not at all a violent man!”

Javet studied her for a long moment “Your grandfather came to be known as a hero of the Resistance, Miss Adair. I assure you, he must have known some violence at one time of his life.”

“He was a soldier in a war, Inspector. All men must do their duty at such a time.” Javet shrugged. “I’m merely explaining to you that your grandfather loathed the very idea of the dig, and that he is definitely a wealthy enough man to have had influence on others.”

“He would never hire a killer. Ever. And you can bring in every expert from Paris and around the world, and you’ll still never find anything to suggest that he would!” Javet smiled, then stiffened suddenly. “Ah, well. Miss Adair, perhaps this gentleman will make you feel a bit better about the situation.” He inclined his head toward someone coming their way, footsteps landing softly on the pavement.

She swung around to see a pleasant looking, light-haired man with deep eyes and a hard chiseled face.

Taller than Javet, broad-shouldered, with the look of a long-seasoned police official.

“Miss Adair, this is Inspector Trusseau, from the Paris office. Inspector, Miss Adair. The young lady is an American visiting French relatives. The DeVants.”

“Mademoiselle,” the Inspector murmured. Low-toned, charming voice. He kissed her hand, as if he were a prince rather than a policeman. She smiled, nodding, drawing her hand back. Smooth. Definitely smooth. Very charming smile. Too... suave for a policeman. Maybe not He had very direct eyes, and she found that she couldn’t easily draw her own gaze away.

“How do you do, Inspector Trusseau?” she said.

“Wonderful, thank you. How nice that we have met now.”

“Really, sir? Why is that?”

“Well, naturally, I intend on paying a visit to your grandfather.”


“Because he is such a scholar, of course,” Trusseau said. “I’m hopeful that he can give me some insight into the crime.”

She glanced at Javet

“I’ve already told her that Jacques DeVant could come under suspicion.”

“And I’ve already told him that suspecting my grandfather of any evil is insanity.”

“Then I would go to him simply for help,” Trusseau said politely, smiling and inclining his head in a gesture that acknowledged her defense of her grandfather. Trusseau shot Javet a hard stare that suddenly made Tara uneasy. Yes, the man could be charming, but he could also be hard as nails. Well, that was good. He was here to find a murderer.

“Inspector Javet has suggested quite plainly, I think, that my grandfather paid someone to kill the worker in the crypt, and spirit away the body in the casket.”

“That’s not quite true,” Javet said, his tone irritated. “What I meant for you to understand is that all leads are being followed.”

Someone called Javet’s name from within the office. He turned, nodded to the officer hailing him, then gave his attention back to Tara. “You’ll excuse me?”

“I shall see Miss Adair to her car,” Trusseau said. He took her arm. There was strength to his hold, and an electricity about him. He was well suited for his job.

“I’m really quite fine. I’m not sure I’m headed straight home,” she told him.

“Then I shall, at the least, bid you a pleasant day, mademoiselle. And may I say that I’m certain we’ll meet again.”

“When you come to question my grandfather?” she said.

He smiled.“Ah, my dear! Just like Lady Liberty, standing tall, protecting the shores of her harbor! Truly, I have heard about your grandfather for ages. Don’t begrudge me this chance to talk with him. When I come, I pray that you’ll be there, and that you’ll invite me in with warmth, and join in the conversation.” She held very still, imagining this hard-core man listening to her grandfather’s tales about vampires.

Jacques would definitely wind up locked away.

“My grandfather is very ill.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that We’ll not take much of his time.”

“I promise you that when he is resting, we let no one disturb him. No one.” Could she say that in France? Tara realized that she knew little of French law. In the States, of course, they would need some kind of a warrant to insist on speaking with an aging and ailing man. Here, she wasn’t certain. But Ann would know.

“Bonjour, mademoiselle. A pleasure,” he repeated softly.

He turned to the station.

Tara found herself alone on the street She had gained nothing, she thought, except greater fears and exasperation.


The police were investigating her grandfather! They knew about his interest, and they knew that she had become acquainted with Malone.

She suddenly hated the man! He’d done nothing but bring trouble and danger into their lives.

And her grandfather had not really told her everything; he had given her stories about legends and fantasy. And if the police kept investigating Jacques and he talked about vampires and evil, he would surely wind up in a mental institution. Especially with a man like Inspector Trusseau insisting on speaking with him.

She stared down the block and across the street The doors to the present St Michel had been repaired.

A few people were entering and leaving, intent on their daily prayers.

The outer entry to the site remained roped off with yellow crime tape.

There had to be something more that she could do. There had to be a way to protect Jacques. She felt lost, angry, and a little more than afraid.

She started toward the cafe, thinking a cafe au lait and a few moments’ thought and reasoning might stand her well. How on earth could she get Malone and his friends away from her household?

And more disturbing, why was it that, when she was near him, she wanted to forget the basic facts she knew and the sensible, logical thoughts that should be prevailing in her mind? He intrigued her, he had informed her with complete confidence. And, of course, the frightening thing was that it was true, and he did far more than intrigue her. He seemed to have some kind of a mesmerizing hold on her that went far beyond intrigue.

When she was away from him, she was fine. The closer he came ...

As she stood there, someone opened the police station door and emerged behind her. She started to murmur an, “Excuse me,” and step away. The greatest sense of cold swept over her. A chill that went far beyond the touch of the breeze.

And there was no one there. No one at all.

She frowned, staring at the door that still seemed to be closing. An overwhelming sense of fear seemed to come crashing around her, like a cold wave.

Why not? Javet and Trusseau both seemed to be after Jacques.

They were the cops! she reminded herself. Out for justice.

Malone was the one who had brought fear into her house.

She decided suddenly that she didn’t need coffee or time to drink.

She needed to get back to the chateau.

Brent Malone was there. Alone with her grandfather.

She should have never left


Ann stared at the piles of manuscripts on her desk, and sighed. She allowed her head to fall on her desk.

She was exhausted! They had not stayed out so late last night—in fact, she could have stayed much longer. She had enjoyed herself until...

She almost laughed aloud. Why had they been so afraid when they left La Guerre? Shadows! How silly.

Fear had bred fear, and they had then thought that they’d hit something, that something had been on the car, that...

Malone had stayed behind. Such a good looking fellow. And Tara was all but rude to him. Ah, well, the American from the cafe had been there. Very sexy. Not that she was really ready to tumble into a deep relationship again so quickly, but... well, the fellow was American. And he was giving her the courage and conviction to stay away from Willem.

She didn’t even know how long Rick Beaudreaux intended to stay in the area. And yet ... um ... he might be just what she needed right now. The attraction was there. Sparks, delicious little tingles of electricity swept through her when they talked, danced, moved together. And that was the thing, of course. It was either there, or it was not It was possible to know a man forever, a man with all the right qualities, virtues, whatever, perhaps even good looking, well employed, mature, kind ... and it would not matter in the least if an attraction was not there.

The American might not live in Paris, he might not even be gainfully employed, she didn’t even really know.


She wasn’t sure that she cared. She wanted to see him again. Or, she would want to see him again if she weren’t so ridiculously tired. She could imagine a night teaching him about French wines ... and then time alone. Yes, quite frankly, she didn’t need a dinner, more dancing, or anything. She would love just one night alone with him. And then ...

Well, she wouldn’t allow for a heartbreak. She would indulge herself because she was out of a relationship, because he had that very sexy quality and the right sparks, and she was a woman with the right to desires and an affair if it was her choosing.

And, of course, she wanted Willem to know. She wanted him to know that she had forgotten him, could truly live without him, and could be adored and swept into a brief but passionate, absolutely fiery relationship with another man. Even as he tried to make amends.

But she was tired. So, so, tired ...


Startled, she looked up. She blinked.

The man of her thoughts had suddenly materialized in front of her desk. He was wearing a business suit.

Well cut, it enhanced his height and his shape. The suit was dark, Armani, perhaps, or Versace, very simply cut, clean, and appealing. He appeared very blond and bronzed in it. And he smelled ... divine.