Reyna couldn’t pull her eyes away. The way Felix’s eyes rolled back in his head. A look of supreme pleasure on his face. The sound of Cassandra drinking deeply. The way she held him like an animal…like food.

Then it was over. Cassandra licked from his collarbone to the wound in his neck until it was clean. The wound was already clotting from the healing properties in vampire venom. All that remained were two small marks in his neck and a pool of blood on his collar.


“Oh, look, I’ve made a mess.” Cassandra licked her lips and glanced up at Reyna’s horrified face. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. We can get him a new shirt.”

Then she giggled maniacally and sat back in her seat.

Reyna didn’t move from her seat the rest of the drive. Even when Felix stripped out of his shirt to reveal his amazing six-pack and put on a fresh shirt. She didn’t want to even think about how often that must happen for Cassandra to keep a stash of shirts for him available.

Maybe she wasn’t ready for Beckham to bite her…not ready at all.

A few minutes later, they pulled up in front of a restaurant. She followed Cassandra inside the dark tinted room. It was a chic-looking room with polished upper-class clientele. One of the suits in this room cost more than the entire Warehouse District.

They were ushered to a table in the back, and Reyna took an open seat next to Felix. He acted fine, but something about his movements made him seem a little dazed. She wondered if it was the blood loss or if Cassandra kept him drugged.

Harrington sat at the head of the table and peered over at Reyna’s pale face. His keen eyes seemed to take in everything at once. “Cassandra,” he admonished.

“Hmm?” she asked, applying a new coat of blood-red lipstick.

“You couldn’t wait?”

She looked up at him devilishly. “Was I supposed to? I wanted a snack. It’s not appropriate in public.”

Harrington snapped his fingers at a passing waitress. “Get this girl a glass of water.”

She nodded and scurried away. The water appeared almost instantaneously, and Reyna gulped down as much as she could at once. Color gradually came back into her cheeks, and she seemed to be recovering from the traumatic experience.

“When do you think the Blood Census will go into effect, William?” Rowland asked. He threw his arm onto the back of Sophie’s chair, and she leaned toward him. Her neck was bare and she exposed it to him as if inviting him to feed at any time. Reyna pulled her dark hair forward over her neck protectively.

“As soon as we can get the executive branch to push it through. They’re sluggish, but I’m funneling the money into it so it’s not taking the unreliable tax dollars to get it going. Ideally within the next month. The president keeps saying six months at the earliest, but we all know that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Little puppet. I wonder what puppets taste like,” Cassandra singsonged.

“He’s B positive, Cassie. No tasting for you.”

She raised her eyebrows. “If you’d get that damn antidote already, I could try anyone I want.”

“Antidote?” Reyna asked. Whatever that was…it didn’t sound like a good thing for humans.

Harrington looked at her in surprise. “All in testing. Attempting to replicate the universal donor. So we wouldn’t have to be as specific with subjects.”

“It’d be like the good old days, then,” Rowland said. “Une fête.”

Harrington laughed. “You have a feast already, Rowland. Enjoy your little Sophie.”

“Oh, I do,” he said.

“Why…why would you need that?” she couldn’t help asking.

“Full of questions, aren’t we?” Harrington asked. He fixed his steely gaze on her and she quickly looked down into her water. “I’m surprised Beckham allows you to be so inquisitive. He hates that kind of thing. Perhaps he just hasn’t…broken you yet.”

She shuddered at the word choice. Broken. Was that what he had planned for her?

“If you must know, I have a very rare blood type. Do you know what the rarest blood type is?”

Reyna cleared her throat. “No.”

“Rh null negative. It means that the individual is missing the entire Rh antigen group from the blood. No A, B, or O to worry about. A true universal donor. So few that only three others have been known to have the blood since I’ve been searching.”

“Only three?”

“Indeed. Two are dead and one is dying. A universal donor would solve part of my problem,” he said, gesturing to his decrepit body. “We’re looking for a Permanent match for me, but investigating all options of course.”

“Well,” she said awkwardly. “I hope you find someone.”

He smiled that toothy grin again. “Me too, dear. I’m changing the world with this company. Employing more humans than ever before. Once the Blood Census is in effect, I’ll find the other Rh null subjects…if there are any others.” His eyes grew distant for a moment, and then they snapped back to their normal iciness. “I’ll find them.”

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