“Well, if I kept waiting for you to say something, I’d be waiting forever.”
“Silence gives me time to think and not act impulsively,” he said. His look was pointed.
She gave him an innocent look.
Her? Act impulsive? Never.
After another quiet minute, Beckham continued. “For a long time, I didn’t think before I acted, and I’ve now cultivated this new skill to protect everyone around me.”
“How does silence protect people? It just seems to keep them at a distance.”
“Where they belong,” he said firmly. “Everyone should be kept at a distance.”
“Everyone?” she asked. She couldn’t help leaning toward him. How could he think that? What had happened to him to make him want to push everyone in his life away?
“Yes. I do not relish the thought of acting on my every whim.”
“Do you act on any whims?”
“Some,” he admitted.
His eyes looked at her body and then up to her lips. She tensed as the memory of his kisses flooded her mind. She couldn’t get them out of her head. Even when she was mad at him, the touch of his lips still brought chills to her skin. She wanted more. She craved him like an addict craved the next hit. She didn’t know what he did to her, but when they got like this, she didn’t care. It didn’t matter how infuriating he was, she was caught up in the whirlwind of their desire.
“Be glad that I do not act on more. If I did, far less people would have their throats intact.”
Reyna’s mouth dropped open. What the hell was she supposed to say to that? She turned back to face the front. “Oh.”
The car finally stopped outside of an outrageously tall building on the outskirts of the city. It wasn’t a bad area by any means, but Reyna had never been out this far. She didn’t even know that nice areas existed outside of downtown proper. Everything was pitch black, even the building didn’t have any lights on. It looked closed, but Beckham had said nothing was barred to him.
Beckham helped her out of the car and then she followed him up to the front door. Reyna tried to peer inside, but the interior wasn’t visible. The glass must have been tinted or it was just that dark. Beckham slipped a card out of his wallet, scanned it against a magnetic strip she hadn’t noticed, and the door clicked open soundlessly.
He ushered her inside and then took her hand to guide her through the darkened interior. She relished in the feel of his hand engulfing hers.
“What is this place?” she asked, looking around at the dark blank walls.
“Then what company?”
“For once, be silent and just enjoy the ride,” he told her, pushing them through the elevator doors.
She laughed. “Fine. You win.”
“I usually do.”
He pressed the button for the top floor, and the doors shut behind him. A dim light illuminated Beckham’s face and cast eerie shadows throughout the elevator. But her eyes were locked on Beckham, who hadn’t taken his eyes off of her since they had entered the elevator. The room seemed to crackle. She wanted to clear the distance that he always kept between them. It would be so easy to do. But the sharp sting of rejection still bit into her. It had only been a few days before when he had kissed her at the ball and then turned her aside.
She was sure he felt what was passing between them. He would have to be an idiot not to feel it.
“Becks,” she murmured.
“Don’t, Reyna,” he said, but it sounded more like he was pleading with her.
Her heart thumped in her chest. That was the last thing she wanted to hear, and he hardly sounded like he meant it. But she would stay still. Being in his presence was intoxicating enough. She wouldn’t throw herself at him in desperation.
Slow agonizing seconds ticked by before the elevator opened again. He exited and she followed him down a hallway and to a stairwell.
“Where are we going?”
“But isn’t this the top floor?”
He smiled a heart-stopping smile. “The sky is the limit.”
They traveled up two long flights of stairs and reached the apex. Another door stood in their way. When Beckham pushed it open, she walked out onto the roof. The wind was whistling at this dizzying height, and the temperature had dropped a considerable amount. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms to ward off the chill as she moved to the edge of the building and stood paralyzed and awestruck at the beautiful rooftop garden view.
“Wow,” she breathed into the wind, with Beckham at her side.
The entire city was laid out before them. Where she had thought it was dark and silent, it was so clear now that it was bright and bustling. The buildings and streets were lit up to show the crisscrossed blueprint of the city.