Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words.
She gaped at him in stunned silence, the silver goblet trembling in her hand.
“Angelica,” he said, his voice quivering with emotion, his eyes pleading with her not to be repulsed by his news, not to reject him because of what he had done. “Angelica, I murdered them for you. That is how powerful my love is. My love for you is so overwhelming that I was driven to kill for you! I beg you to understand!”
Angelica didn’t reply. She raised the goblet to her mouth and Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words. took a sip. A drop of the dark wine trickled down her lip.
Finally she spoke. “You—you killed them?”
Simon nodded solemnly.
“But how?” she demanded in a tiny voice.
He hesitated. “I have powers,” he said simply. His hand tightened nervously around the goblet. Holding his breath, he stared at her, waiting for her to react.
To his surprise, Angelica’s cat eyes narrowed and she uttered a scornful laugh.
“Angelica—?” he cried.
“You?” she cried. “You killed them?” She laughed again, laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks. “You fool!” she declared, shaking her head. “It was Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words. not your powers that killed those two oafs! It was mine!”
“What?” It was Simon’s turn to gape.
“I killed them!” Angelica exclaimed through her tears of laughter. “I did it, not you! I have practiced the dark arts since I was a child. I knew I would never be allowed to marry you while James and Hamilton were around. And I knew that night at my party that you and I belonged together!”
She raised a hand to silence him. “I could not marry James or Hamilton. They were both innocents, both lacking in imagination Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words., both lacking the evil it takes to enjoy this world. So I cast spells. I murdered them both, Simon. I made James leap off our opera box railing. I made Hamilton fly off the pier into the paddle wheel. I murdered them for you—for us!”
Simon swallowed hard in stunned silence. “I—I do not believe it!” he finally managed to choke out.
“We will combine our powers,” Angelica declared, raising her goblet.
“Yes, yes!” Simon agreed, quickly recovering from his shock. “Yes, Angelica, my dear. Together, nothing can stop us from getting what we want Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words.!”
Angelica’s smile faded. “Only one thing can stop us, Simon, my love. One very powerful thing—my father. He will never approve of you. He wants to send me to Europe to get me away from you.”
“Come! Let us see him at once!” Simon cried, his dark eyes sparkling with excitement. He grabbed Angelica’s hand and began to pull her.
“Simon, stop! Where are you taking me? We cannot see Father yet. We have no plan. Simon, we need a strategy!”
Ignoring her pleas, Simon pulled Angelica toward her father’s bedroom. They stopped short in the doorway Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words. when they saw Henry Pierce lying sprawled on his back on the bedroom carpet.
His face was bright purple. His mouth was frozen open. His lifeless eyes gazed up at the ceiling like clouded glass marbles.
“Simon … I—I—” Angelica gripped Simon’s sleevè. “Is he—dead?”
“The doctor will believe it was his heart,” Simon said softly, unable to keep a smile from forming on his handsome face.
“No!” Angelica cried, dropping to her knees beside her father’s dead body. “Father!” She raised her eyes slowly to Simon. “You did it? You did it for me Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words.?”
“For us, my darling,” Simon replied. “I murdered your father before I came into the sitting room. I knew it was the only way we could be together.”
“Oh, thank you!” Angelica cried, jumping up and throwing her arms around him. “We are wealthy now, Simon. We are wealthy—and free!”
They hurried back to the sitting room and raised their silver goblets. “Let us drink!” Angelica urged. “To us!”
She clinked her goblet against his. They both drank.
“Delicious,” Simon declared. “So bitter and sweet at the same time.” He smiled at her knowingly. “It isn’t wine Chapter 9. Simon stared hard at Angelica, waiting for her reaction to his words.—is it?”
“No,” Angelica replied, returning his grin. “It isn’t wine. It is blood.”
Simon snickered and stared into the goblet. “You are full of surprises tonight, Angelica.”
He wrapped an arm around her slender shoulders. Then they tilted the goblets to their lips and drank, allowing the rich, dark liquid to flow down their chins.