The line was silent for a moment.

“Right. Okay. I’ll get you at the valet desk at nine on Saturday.”

“Sounds good. I can’t wait,” she said.

“See you then.”

“Wait, what should I wear?” She had never thought about that before Beckham, but now she worried that she would be over- or underdressed everywhere she went.

Everett laughed. “Whatever you want. We’re just going to a club.”

“Club. Right.” As if she had ever been to one.

That was how she ended up rummaging through her closet for something acceptable to wear at eight at night on a Saturday. She still hadn’t told Beckham she was going out, but she thought it might be better to warn him on her way out than to try to convince him to let her go. He had said on her first day that she wasn’t a prisoner. If that was the case, then he should have no problem letting her go out with some friends. It would be fine.

At least she kept telling herself that.

After investigating clubbing attire online, she finally decided on a shiny black dress with a silver undertone, tiny little straps, and a square-cut bodice that hugged her figure like a glove. She paired it with some intense strappy black heels and then piled all of her dark hair on the top of her head with a few wispy strands loose around her face. It was so different from her normal ponytail. She hoped that she would blend in.

At quarter to nine she eased out of her room in search of Beckham. She wasn’t looking forward to this.

The living room was empty as usual, and she ended up having to text him to get him to come out of the back room, since she wasn’t allowed in it. When he appeared before her, he stopped short in the open doorway. His eyes widened as he drank her in from head to toe. The air seemed to crackle between them.

“What are you wearing?” he asked.

She gestured down at her outfit. “A dress? You left it in my closet.”

“Yes. But not for nine o’clock at night when we’re staying in.”

She swallowed and worked up the courage to tell him. “Well, I’m going out with some friends.”

Of all the responses she expected from Beckham, laughter was the last one.

“Your friends? The ones in the Warehouse District?” he asked incredulously.

“No!” she cried. She couldn’t hold back the anger in her voice. He didn’t have to be an asshole about it. “The ones I’ve made since I’ve been here. I’m going out to a club nearby and that’s that.”

Beckham straightened immediately. He clearly didn’t like her tone or the thought of her meeting people he didn’t know about. “Who are these friends of yours?”

“I’m going out with Everett from downstairs.”

“The valet?” Beckham asked. He pursed his lips.

“Yeah.” She straightened her dress and ignored his pointed stares. She was not backing down. “I’m meeting some of his friends.”

“No,” he said. “That doesn’t sound safe.”

“What do you mean it’s not safe?” she demanded. “You don’t even know them.”

“That’s why it’s not safe.”

“No! You don’t get to decide that. You said I wasn’t a prisoner, and you’ve been treating me like one all week, especially after I left Visage without you. What was I supposed to do? They said I was going, and you would catch up…so I went. You can’t force me to stay here!”

“You’re not a prisoner.” His eyes were steely. She knew she was more than he had bargained for, but at this point, she just didn’t care. “You don’t understand the city, and you have no idea what could be out there.”

“Nothing is going to happen. I’m in a new place. I don’t know anyone. The first person who isn’t paid to be nice to me invited me to hang out with his friends and I’m going to go. Can’t you understand what it’s like for me?”

Beckham stared at her blankly. She ground her teeth and crossed her arms in defiance. She had plans, and he couldn’t dictate her life for her. If this was going to work as a permanent situation, then he needed to trust her.

“So, no? You don’t get it at all,” she said. “Let me explain. I’m here all alone, all the time. I don’t have any friends. My brothers live an hour away and are now no longer part of my life. The only person in my life is you.” Beckham arched an eyebrow as he watched her stoically. “And with you I feel…I feel…useless!”

“Useless?” he asked.

“Do you ever get hungry?”

Beckham smirked at her question, which was all the more infuriating. How was he so calm about all this? Not that she was aching for him to bite her. The idea still terrified her, but did he ever eat?

“How did I end up with the only vampire who doesn’t eat?” she asked in frustration.