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“The Theatre Royale is obviously the place to be tonight.”

Lights dimmed; thunder cracked and rumbled through the theatre. Katie blinked as bright flashes of lightning illuminated the house. Then her breath suspended in her throat as the red velvet curtain slowly rose and, accompanied by eerie music, three bearded witches slunk onstage.

When shall we three meet again?

In thunder, lightning or in rain?…

The magic had begun.

Lost in Shakespeare’s mystical otherworld, Katie drank in the lyricism of the Weird Sisters’ chants. A trumpet sounded off stage, and suddenly the words registered not only in her ears, but in her heart.

This is the sergeant, Who like a good and hardy soldier fought ’gainst my captivity.

That voice! As smooth as her father’s best Irish whiskey, it shot through Katie’s veins like a liquid flame. It was he. The height, the golden hair, his very presence screamed to her that it was he, Apollo. Oh, how very fitting that he should play the role of Malcolm, the bright young prince destined to be king…

He was magnificent in medieval plaid, his strong legs encased in woolen hose, his sword glittering at his side. His broad shoulders wore the plaid with pride, and when he turned to face the audience, she felt his smile like a blow to her heart.

The instant the house lights came up and she could see properly, she glanced quickly through the program.

Malcolm.………………………Lucas Howard

Lucas Howard. A fine, strong name, and somehow appropriate. Those golden eyes could pierce right through to a woman’s soul and strip it bare. Oh, if only she could see him again, hear his whiskey-smooth voice, see his dazzling smile aimed only at her.

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