No,” Lina agreed. “But I’m about to find out.” She gave his seat an emphatic slap. “Out of my way, damn it.”

Rene cut off the car engine, stalling the Mercedes out to a rumbling, begrudging standstill. Taking this as an unvoiced invitation, Tessa unbuckled her seatbelt and climbed out. Although Lina quickly clambered out behind, Rene remained inside for the moment at least, his expression anxious and torn. The piano music grew louder, more distinct, a familiar, classical melody Tessa couldn’t quite place as she went up the stairs to the patio. There was no sign of Eleanor or Naima at the top, but she saw a series of glass doors had all been opened to allow the cool, crisp air into the house. The sweet strains of piano music floated from just beyond the thresholds, and, curious, Tessa crept toward them.

The patio doors opened onto a large living room. A black grand piano stood against glossy hardwood floors near the windows, and here a young man sat playing a wondrously sweet melody. Eleanor had said she was bringing them to meet Rene’s grandfather.

Could this be Michel Morin?

When the piano abruptly struck a sour note, then fell silent, she jerked in surprise. Seeming to share in her start, the man turned and looked directly at her and there was no way he could have been Rene’s grand-anything. Like her own grandfather, Augustus, Michel Morin was more than 300 years old and, according to Eleanor, the founder and CEO of one of the largest biomedical research companies in the world— Pharmaceaux International. Brethren or not, the man before her at the piano was entirely too young to be a mogul of that sort of magnitude. He looked little older than Tessa herself.

Uh…hello,” he said, his expression curious but unalarmed. “May I help you?”

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