“That’s…really great,” he admitted.
They reached Everett’s Mustang, and he found his spare clothes. She watched as he took off his vest and button-up, revealing a rather nice bare chest. Her cheeks heated and she quickly turned around.
Everett laughed. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. I want to hear more about this photography. You know it reminds me a bit of this blog everyone has been talking about lately.”
“What blog?” She turned back around to face him. He had on a plain gray T-shirt and a pair of jeans perfect for what they were doing.
“I’ll have to find it on my phone.”
Beckham’s car drove toward them as Everett fiddled with his phone looking for the blog. They hopped into the backseat, and Reyna told them where to go. She had been taking pictures at a homeless shelter a lot lately. The pictures made her eyes blur with tears when she looked through them, and that was how she knew they held truth.
“Aha. Here,” Everett said. He passed the phone to her. “Perspective.”
Reyna nearly dropped the phone. There were her beautiful pictures. Beckham had been the one to name the website Perspective when he had set it up for her. She hadn’t even realized that other people could see them. She had just been uploading her images to it and organizing them for herself.
“You said people are looking at these?”
“Yeah,” he said, eyeing her questioningly. “They’re anonymous though. Everyone has been trying to figure out who the photographer is. They think the person must be an Elle sympathizer.”
“A what?” she asked. People were associating her pictures with a person she had never even heard of?
“You really know nothing about politics, do you?”
“No,” she admitted. “Who is Elle?”
He glanced up uneasily at the driver and her bodyguard. “Someone…and something a lot of people disagree with.” Then he leaned over and started adjusting the baseball cap on her head. “I’ll tell you when we stop.”
She took the hint and changed subjects until they made it to the homeless shelter. Once they were safely inside, she slung her camera strap around her neck and walked the halls with Everett.
“So, tell me.”
He peeked behind them, but her bodyguard was a respectable distance away, pretending to be invisible.
“Elle is the code name for the rebellion against the vampires and Visage. Back when Visage was just forming, there was a series of protests against vampire-owned businesses and the mission statement that was coming out of some of these corporations, of which Visage is now the most prominent. They called this Elle’s Rebellion for the woman who led the protests, who was subsequently killed in an otherwise peaceful protest. Everyone thought that would be the end of it, but since then, there have been whispers that the Elle sympathizers have gotten together under the Elle Rebellion name and formed a more formal underground rebellion. Hence Elle or sometimes the graffiti on the streets is just a cursive L in a circle.”
“Wow,” Reyna breathed. “That’s…crazy. I’ve seen that logo before.”
“Yeah. It’s everywhere. Elle rebels believe that Visage wants to be more than just the biggest company in the world. They want to rule. A lot of them claim that Visage was responsible for the economic collapse so that they could force humans to work for them. Make everyone desperate for change so they place too much power in the hands of one company.”
Reyna’s mind spun. There were people out there fighting Visage? Even though she worked for them now, it lifted her spirits to know that there were other people out there who disagreed with what was going on.
“And they think that the person taking those pictures is an Elle sympathizer? Why?” she asked.
He pulled his phone back out and showed her the latest entry. Her latest entry. Everett had walked them over to the exact spot the picture had been taken in this very homeless shelter.
“Because no one photographs humanity like you,” he said softly.
“I didn’t…” she started, but she could see he had already figured it out. Her shoulders slumped. So much for being anonymous.
Reyna bit her lip. “Well, I didn’t know about Elle or the underground rebels until you just told me, but it’s not like I entirely disagree with the sentiment. People are dying out here and no one cares. Visage has all the money and power, and they’re doing nothing to help anyone. They’re lining their own pockets and feeding their own. I believe in balance, but I’m not part of any…movement.” She sighed and looked around at the room, which was full of examples of the very problem she had just detailed. “I just want to help my family survive this. That’s all I care about.”
He nodded understanding. “Don’t we all.”
“Maybe we should try somewhere else,” she suggested, suddenly not wanting to be in the same place as she had been before in case someone was trying to figure out who the supposed Elle sympathizer was. The way Everett talked about it, she was sure that it wasn’t going to look good to Visage or Beckham if they thought she was one.