It was easy to remember the horrible way the vampire had approached her. The way he had fed on Everett. The way he had come after her.

“What happened to Everett?” She sat up quickly at the realization and her vision blurred. She put her hand to her head and moaned, relaxing back into the cushions.


“You need to rest, Reyna. Everett has been taken to the hospital. He lost a lot of blood and needs a transfusion. I had my medical team look at you and him, and then after we bandaged you up, they took him.”

She touched the back of her head where she had been pushed into the dumpster. There was a large square bandage in place.

“How long have I been out?”

“About a half hour. We had to stop the bleeding.” He reached back and touched her head tenderly.

The bleeding. Her blood. What had the other vampire said about her blood? Of all the strange things that had happened tonight whatever that thing had said about her blood made the least amount of sense.

“Beckham, that vampire…he said something weird.” He arched an eyebrow at her in question. “He said that my blood smelled good…like the nectar of the gods and that he’d heard of blood like mine.”

“You were probably just delirious and are remembering wrong,” Beckham said.

“No,” she insisted. She remembered that. She swore she did. “I wasn’t delirious. He said my blood smelled different.”

“He was starving. A pathetic vagabond, who refuses to get into the new system. I’m sure your blood smelled like life itself to him.”

Reyna bit her lip and stared up at Beckham under thick dark lashes. “It didn’t smell any different to you?”

Beckham paused for a moment before speaking. “No.”

She remembered how he had inhaled deeply when he had gotten close to her, and then didn’t say anything, as if he was holding his breath. It had to mean something. But why would he lie to her? What could he gain from that?

“Okay,” she finally muttered. “When can I see Everett? I need to make sure he’s okay. He was only out there because of me in the first place.”

“Tomorrow,” he said decidedly. “The transfusion takes a couple hours, and he’ll need to rest. Like you, Little One.”

Reyna slumped back against the pillows. “This is all my fault,” she murmured. “If I hadn’t gone into that alley this would have never happened.”

“Why did you go in the first place?”

He looked none too pleased, but Reyna realized this was the first conversation they’d had where they hadn’t argued. This almost felt…normal.

But his question brought up a whole new wave of emotions. She remembered all too well what had drawn her out of the club and led her to that alley. She had been so desperate to get away from Everett and the intimate look on his face. She was confused with why her mind kept drifting back to Beckham instead of the cute boy in front of her that she had just run.

“Little One?” he prodded.

She looked at him tentatively. “I was thinking of you.”

Beckham stiffened under her gaze. She knew she wasn’t hiding her emotions. Her heart was fluttering in her chest and against her throat. In that moment, her eyes were a window to her soul, and she knew that he could translate what she was thinking.

“How?” he finally asked.

Reyna’s blush deepened.

He reached forward and touched her dark hair, which had fallen out of its updo. His fingers threaded through the strands, careful not to touch the knot on the back of her head. Beckham was normally rough and demanding, but here he was so gentle. His thumb ran along the inside of her neck.

“That blush is dangerous,” he growled, clearly trying to restrain himself.

Reyna thought about looking away at that comment, but she didn’t. She held his gaze, her breathing making her chest rise and fall heavily.

“Touching me like this is dangerous,” she replied.

He tilted his head to consider her. His eyes flicked from her eyes to her lips to her neck and then back up.

“Because I could break you.”

She paused at his words. She knew he meant physically, but her heart was speaking volumes to the truth of that statement emotionally. There was a reason that she kept being drawn back to him. And why she replaced his face with the one that wanted her. It was all laid out before her. It had all started with that first touch of his lips. Oh, yes, he could break her.

“Yes,” she breathed.

“I think I’ll take my chances.”

Beckham leaned forward and everything narrowed down to this one moment. His eyes bored into hers. Not asking for permission. Not asking for anything. Just looking into her soul and letting her know that he was taking her.

And she let him.

God, did she let him.

His mouth landed on hers, and it was like every kiss before this vanished into thin air. This was her first kiss. Because nothing else could hold a candle to the way his lips felt against hers. If she smelled like ambrosia, then Beckham truly tasted like it.

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