“Quit stalling in there!” Steven pounded on the bathroom door while Rayna, Julia, and Penny paced the floor. When Sorcha emerged in her slip, she was pushed into a chair in front of her dressing mirror. More maids scampered through the door and went to work painting her nails and setting her hair in curlers.
Lily babbled as she applied false eyelashes, strand by strand. “I recommend the dark lip stain—less smudging.”
Penny spritzed sample perfume on linen strips.
Steven grabbed his nose and sneezed three times. “You know not to spray that near me.”
“The spicy jasmine, please.” Sorcha patted Steven’s back.
“It’s just allergies. That slip is beautiful enough to be the dress itself.”
“Your allergies are in your tiny mind.” Julia snorted.
“Oh, shut up.” Steven held a handkerchief over his face and collapsed in a coughing fit.
“Ok, stop,” Sorcha said, “I want a short break and Steven could use some air. You all need to get dressed, too.”
Julia stormed out.
The rest of Sorcha’s attendants hesitated until she gave each a sincere hug. “You’ve made me feel like a movie star. Steven, how in the world do you have allergies?”
“Never mind.” He dabbed the corners of his eyes with a sleeve. “I’ll see you downstairs.”
“Can someone send for Raimond? I need to have a word with him.” Digging in her nightstand, she found a smashed pack of cloves. Glad I don’t have allergies. Sorcha straightened the least damaged cigarette and lit it in the doorway of the balcony.
“I’ve been summoned?” The duke appeared out of the shadows, dressed in tuxedo pants and unbuttoned shirt, missing his tie and shoes.
“That’s a dashing look—you should attend the party as you are,” Sorcha said, “I especially like the slicked-back hair.” Sultry and dangerous.
“Touché.” Raimond scanned her outfit. “Is that underwear or your gown?”
“Ha-ha. There’s an important question I need answered. I want to know the procedure to change a human into a vampire.”
He shook his head and his finger in unison. “Way too soon.”
“I’m serious—I need to know.”
“Do you require my assistance?” The prince appeared on the balcony, like a phantom in a silk robe…