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Lucy lay still and peaceful, her breathing slow but regular; a soft flush warmed her pale cheeks and a silver crucifix was clutched in her slender hands. Mina bent to kiss her forehead and her lips before taking up her seat beside the bed.

Garlic festooned the window frame, and a sharpened stake was at the ready by Mina’s chair. Mina gazed fondly down at Lucy before looking back to the closed and bolted window.

There was no way she would ever let the Count take sweet Lucy from her, and she was ready to attack him if he tried.