Hadrian moved inside and latched the door shut. On his way to his chambers, he spotted the cloak and bag the vampire had come back for. Curious, he crossed the creaking hardwood floors and untied the ropes on the black velvet handbag. There were only two things inside: a folded up piece of parchment with a hand-drawing of the virgin mother, and what must have been a centuries-old rosary. He wasn’t sure when she’d gotten or made the drawing, but he had no doubt the rosary had been hers when she was still human.

His gaze went back to the door with Angeline on the other side. He took a step toward it, having second thoughts, but then he stopped himself. It was a better life for her if she could start over and bury all this. He put the parchment and rosary back inside the bag, closed it up, and took it and the cloak back to his chambers. The last thing he heard before he fell dead for the day were the screams of his maker.

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