She directed the driver to the warehouses where her brothers worked and made him park around the corner so the cab wasn’t visible. He offered to come in with her, but she worried more about someone stealing his car than anything happening to her.
Reyna rounded the corner to the front of the warehouse just as a shift was getting out. Her heart stopped as at least a dozen hungry men stared at her. Never in her life had she been afraid of men in this neighborhood, but she didn’t look like a woman from the warehouses. She looked like a high-class city girl. Even she wouldn’t recognize herself here.
Then one of them stepped forward. Steven. She ground her teeth in frustration. This was not a good time for her to see her ex. She hadn’t spoken with him since he had left her to be with another woman, and she didn’t really want to talk to him right now. But she had to if she was going to find her brothers in a reasonable amount of time. The clock was ticking.
“Hey, Steven,” she said, beelining toward him. The other guys dispersed when they saw that she was taken, but a few glanced over at her curiously as they passed.
“Hey, baby. What can I do for you?” His eyes crawled her body.
“I’m looking for my brothers,” she said impatiently.
“Do I know them?”
She gave him a disbelieving look. Holy shit! They had dated for over a year, and he couldn’t even recognize her in a change of clothes and a good long shower.
She snapped her fingers in his face, drawing his eyes up from her tits. “Steven, it’s me, Reyna.”
His eyes nearly popped out of his face. “Reyna Carpenter? Shit, woman!”
“Yeah. It’s different,” she said tonelessly. “Have you seen Brian or Drew?”
“Different? You look fucking amazing.”
“Thanks, but have you seen my brothers?” she asked. She couldn’t keep the impatience from her voice.
“They were out looking for you yesterday.” Steven whistled and ran his hand down her side boldly. “Little Reyna Carpenter all grown up and a woman underneath those jeans and T-shirt.”
“Cut it out, Steven.” She slapped his hand away. “You already know what I look like. I’m not here for you. I just need to see my brothers.”
“Don’t worry about them,” he said persuasively. He started walking her backward with this hungry look in his eye that she had seen before. It meant trouble.
“Steven,” she warned.
“Come on, baby. Don’t you want another round?”
“You’re the one who left me, remember? You wanted to get it elsewhere.”
“That’s not how I remember it,” he said dismissively.
Her back hit the wall of the warehouse, and she gasped. His eyes lit up. It was clear that he knew he had the upper hand, and he liked it. In this neighborhood, no one would stop him from coming on to her. She should have listened to her driver and thought about her safety. She just hadn’t thought she needed it from anyone here, least of all Steven.
“Where did you get these new threads?” he asked, plucking the fabric.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Reyna, you can tell me.” His hand ran down her waist, and she tried to push him away. Any advantage she’d had she lost when her back hit the wall.
“I’m not interested.”
“Explain to me how a girl with nothing can go from that to this overnight. Huh?” He eyed her up and down suggestively. “Either she’s a whore or she’s a blood whore. You been to Visage, Reyna?”
She looked away, unable to see the accusation in his eyes.
“Leave me alone!” But it sounded weak even to her ears.
“So you have! Let me see that neck.” He tilted her head, searching out the customary bite marks that signified someone was working for a vampire. She slapped his hand away, but he just grasped it and pinned it to her side.
“You can be a whore for a vamp. You can be a whore for me.”
His lips lowered to her neck. His large body pinned her roughly against the wall. No matter how much she moved or squirmed or kicked to try to loosen herself, she couldn’t get away.
Tears started flowing down her face. She had decided to go to Visage to help her family. She had worried the whole time that she would be used and taken advantage of by the vampire who took her in. But so far Beckham had done none of those things. He’d given her a place to live, a new wardrobe, and access to unlimited funds. He hadn’t even bitten her yet. Instead, her worst nightmares were coming true from someone she had known at home.
Her world had just flipped upside down.
“Get off her!” someone cried behind Reyna.
She closed her eyes and tried to make it go away. This had been a mistake. She shouldn’t have come here. Not looking like this. But she had never anticipated that she wouldn’t even be recognizable. She knew she looked different, but she was the same Reyna.