“I’m not a whore,” Reyna cried. “You all are worse than the vampires with your prejudices. I’m still human. You could act like you had an ounce of humanity.”
“Fine. You’re not a whore,” Lauren said, wrinkling her nose. “You’re a fucking blood bag.”
Reyna glared at them all. She reached out and grabbed the bag on the IV that was running into Everett’s arm. “This is a blood bag!”
“Guys, stop it!” Everett yelled, silencing them all. “Leave Reyna alone.”
“How can you defend her?” Mara demanded. “She’s one of the worst parts of this godforsaken system! She lets a vampire suck her blood for money! The only thing worse is a fucking vampire.”
“That vampire saved my life,” Everett reminded them. “Maybe not all of them are bad.”
“One exception isn’t enough to undo generations of atrocities,” Mara cried fiercely.
“But it seems enough to condemn them,” Beckham said as he walked into the room.
The silence was deafening. Everyone turned and stared at his immense bulk in the doorway. The power radiating off of him was full of intensity. Tucker, Coop, and Lauren scurried to the far side of the room and huddled together. Mara stared back at Beckham defiantly, but she wasn’t immune to his power. When he turned his eyes dead set on her, Reyna could tell that it was the last place she wanted to be. She knew what it felt like to have Beckham’s attention completely focused on her. It could unnerve even the strongest person.
“What exactly is going on here?” he asked, his voice booming.
No one said a word.
“That’s what I thought.”
His eyes finally found Reyna’s across the room, and she breathed a sigh of relief that he was here. She never would have thought that she would be so happy that he was near her. But she had felt not only degraded by Everett’s friends, but also cornered like a mouse in a trap. They were the kind of people who started lynch mobs, and she didn’t want to get caught by the pitchfork.
“Let’s go, Reyna.”
She ducked her chin to her chest and hastened out of the room. She didn’t care what they said after she left. She didn’t want to stand there another minute. Not even Everett said anything at her departure.
They exited the hospital in silence. His driver was waiting for them at the guest entrance, and she slid easily into the darkened interior. Her tight skirt rode up her legs when she sat down. She was pulling the material down to attempt to cover herself up as Beckham got into the car. He took one look at her, the fact that ninety percent of her legs were clearly visible, and extracted his phone from his suit pocket.
As soon as the door shut behind them, the car started driving them back into the city. She could feel the irritation radiating off of him. She didn’t know if it was based on the conversation he had walked in on or something else.
“Where did you go?” she asked. Her eyes were locked on him tapping endlessly at that damn phone. Her own phone was tucked away in her purse, unused as usual.
Beckham didn’t say a word.
She sighed. Was he back to silence?
“I can’t believe what Everett’s friends were saying,” she whispered. She slumped back in her seat, wondering if she could get a reaction from him. The only thing he had seemed to notice were her exposed legs, but she wasn’t about to stoop to taking her clothes off for him to pay attention. “Does everyone think I’m a whore and a blood bag, like they do?”
Not one word. He didn’t even raise his head to acknowledge that she was talking. She thought about throwing her hand in between him and the damn phone, but she was worried about the consequences of her actions.
“Are you going to just keep ignoring me?”
Beckham blew out an exasperated breath. “Will you shut up if I do?”
“No,” she admitted.
Beckham shot her a dirty look and returned to whatever he was working on. He didn’t seem to be in a talkative mood. Who was she kidding? He was never in a talkative mood.
“What do you think of me? I’m clearly not your blood bag.”
He closed his eyes for a second before responding. “Prejudices run deep between our people. No one thinks kindly of anyone, because no one is kind to anyone else. One act will change no one’s opinion. You should just ignore what people think of you. You are the only one who knows whether or not it is true.”
Reyna stared at him for a long time after that. It was very insightful coming from a vampire who had just saved a human’s life. It proved over and over again that Beckham was not the bad person he wanted everyone, including her, to believe.