“You know, Boston,” she started again softly, “my mom loved to paint landscapes. Dad would often say that was one of the reasons he fell in love with her.”
“I see,” Kaden replied, knowing from the quiver in her voice, she was barely concealing her grief.
He still hadn’t fully explained ascension to Jacob, although the family already had a fair idea about what had happened to Evie’s mother.
Last night, the family had buried her in the yard of their Maryvale home. Kaden had helped Jacob dig the grave, and once the family had said their goodbyes, Jacob had asked Kaden for a favor.
“I’m afraid for my Evie,” Jacob had said, after a moment.
Taking Jacob’s arm, Kaden had turned the old vampire away from his children, so that neither could hear the conversation. “Your ward is holding up well. All of you would already have been taken if the ward wasn’t working. You have nothing to fear.”
“But the spell I have used is not infallible. I saw what you did last night. You have power I wouldn’t understand. What do you want? Money? Land? I may not look like the rich type, Kaden Warren, but I am. Let me tell you. You can have it all. As a father, I would be a fool not to form an alliance with you. Help me protect my Evie.”
Kaden hadn’t known how to respond.
If he had stayed to protect one woman, he’d be allowing many more to lose their souls. Just like Evie’s mother had lost hers.
But how could he deny such a request from a father so devoted?
And how many souls had he lost already? He successfully managed to save so few.
Kaden drew Jacob further away from Evie and Elijah, as they grieved over their mother’s grave. “Jacob, I will help you. I will make sure nothing happens to Evie if the ward should fail. On one condition though. We are to bring as many vampires into the ward as we can. To protect them from the same evil that has its eye on Evie.”
Jacob had thought on Kaden’s request. “Agreed. Yes, the ward can be widened. I can buy more land. We just have to find the right place.” Jacob nodded, as though confirming to himself that this plan could work. “Then, Mr. Warren, do we have a deal?”
Kaden had nodded, smiling. “Yes, good sir. I think we have a deal.”
Kaden emerged from his memory of last night’s events to watch Evie.
Despite her grief, she was breathtaking.
Her jet-black hair played in the breeze as she walked along in her torn jeans and a thin blue top.
The way she flicked her hair—once, twice—beguiled Kaden. She seemed to do it unconsciously. She walked like royalty.
It had been a long time since he’d been this close to a woman—a vampire. One who was not screaming in fear, about to lose her soul.
And yet, Evie looked both nervous and commanding against the mountain.
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