Reyna gasped. “But then wouldn’t you be…savage? You would kill people. No one would be safe.”
His eyes darkened and a scowl appeared on his face. “Yes. People would die. It would be the way it was before, but now with so much more power in the hands of the vampires. But this faction feels entitled to it. Vampires are the greater species, higher on the food chain, predators.” His voice took on a dark menacing tone. “You are no more than a fly caught in our web with no chance of escape.”
She couldn’t help but shudder at the bloodlust in his voice. She tried to laugh as if what he was saying didn’t affect her, but it came out strained and desperate. She hated to imagine a world like he described, where humans were crushed like ants under his boot.
“And the other faction?” she asked.
“Abide by the cure.” His fingers tightened on the railing. “Most vampires did not ask to be made into this…this monster. We were created. Forced to drink the blood of our maker, drained dry of our blood, and then left for dead to reawaken like this. The virus or curse, whatever you want to call it, inhabits our body and mind, crawls under our skin, and begs to be released against our will. It makes us want to be the first group.”
“But the blood type cure changed that, right?”
“Yes,” he said.
Which made her wonder all the more why he refused to drink from her. He didn’t seem like the animal he described. Shouldn’t he want to drink from her?
“To an extent, the cure curbs that tendency. It makes us almost human…makes us feel human. Alive, when we’ve been dead inside for so many years. Some enjoy that feeling and want to live beside humans without any more death, and some think it’s an abomination to want to be like a weaker species.”
A weaker species. Wow. Did he really think that?
“And you? Which faction do you fall into?”
His eyes found hers once more, and she was immediately lost into the dark depths. They were deceptively blank, yet entirely enticing. He took a step closer to her. She felt frozen in place.
“I’ve lived a shorter life than most of my kind. I can still remember the feel of being human,” he said, running his hand down her arm for emphasis. Goosebumps broke out on her skin. “But I can also vividly remember the feel of taking a human life.” His hand gripped her arm. “I’ve killed viciously, savagely, and enjoyed it. I’ve sought people out, tortured them, drove them mad just to kill them slowly through their insanity. I’ve done horrible things and enjoyed it, Reyna.”
“Okay. I get it,” she whispered. She grasped his hand on her arm to try to get him to loosen his grip. He was going from hurting to bruising her.
“As a universal donor, an O negative blood type means there are so few matches out there for me, unlike an AB positive, which is a universal receiver. Before there was a cure, the majority of humans I drank from were not a match. The things I did were…unspeakable…”
Reyna was starting to feel sick at the mention of the horrible things he had done. That was not her Beckham. She knew it with her entire being. He was not that person anymore. He couldn’t have ever really wanted that.
“So, you ask me which faction I’m in, and I have no answer for you. To be human is to be weak and fragile,” he said, suddenly releasing her arm. She clamped her hand over the area where she was sure her skin was already turning purple. “But to be a vampire is to be a murderer.”
“Well, I don’t think you want to hurt anyone.”
Beckham shook his head. “What makes you think that?” He peeled back her fingers and looked at the swollen skin. “I’ve given you no reason to believe that.”
“I’ve seen Cassandra and Rowland toy with humans and act as if they’re beneath them. But you don’t. If Sophie were dying, Rowland wouldn’t care or do anything to save her. But you risked a lot to ensure my safety, not to mention Everett’s.” Beckham opened his mouth, likely to object, but she held her hand up. “And I know it’s not just because I’m an investment, Becks. You don’t drink from me and you could replace me with ease. It’s because you care for humanity…for me.”
“Believe what you wish,” he said.
Which was the most non-answer she had ever heard. He didn’t have to admit it. His actions showed very clearly the person he was.
Beckham motioned for her to bring her camera up to her face, effectively ending the conversation. She sighed, but did as he directed.
“Now find Visage.”
She searched out the massive building on the horizon. They were far enough away that so many of the buildings appeared as if they were on top of one another. But Visage was the tallest and stuck out like a sore thumb on the horizon.