“A letter?” he suggested.

Reyna’s frown only deepened. “I really need to speak with them in person.”


“I’m afraid that won’t be possible at the moment. Your Sponsor is almost here. Unless you want to forfeit your position with Visage entirely, then you’ll need to leave now.”

“No, of course I don’t want to forfeit my position. I just signed all of that paperwork.” She threw her hand out to the stack the doctor was still holding.

“Then you will have to speak to your Sponsor later about when you will have free time to visit your relatives. You’re a Visage employee now and must work under Visage rules.” His phone buzzed in his pocket. He retrieved the phone and then checked the device. The doctor’s shoulders tightened. “He’s here.”

“Already?” She pushed her shoulders back and tried to look taller sitting on the sterile hospital bed in her threadbare jeans. It was hard to do when her feet didn’t quite hit the step below, and her legs could swing back and forth with ease.

“Yes. He’s on his way in right now.”

“What’s he like?” she asked with hesitancy. She wasn’t entirely sure why she asked now. It might have been an important question to consider before agreeing to live with the vampire permanently for the next…ever. But in the end, it probably didn’t matter. He was a vampire. How different could they all be?

“You’ll see in just a moment.”

There was a knock at the door.

“Ah, here he is.”

Reyna jumped to her feet. She had felt ridiculous sitting on that bed to begin with. She didn’t want her first interaction with her new employer to be that of a scared little girl sitting on a hospital bed. She wanted to appear strong and confident. Ready to take on the world.

But when her Sponsor walked in the room, she shrank in on herself in terror. She had never felt so small before in her life.

The man filled the doorway. His mere presence made him seem to stand even taller than his immense height and strong build. It was as if she could feel the power vibrating beneath the surface. There was no other way she knew how to describe it. He held himself with such utter confidence that he took over the small room.

Her eyes lifted to meet his, and all she could do was stare into the endless dark depths. For a second, she thought she saw something flicker in his eyes, something that spoke of need, but then it was gone. Replaced by nothingness. His features were chiseled out of stone. His cheekbones were sharp and defined, hollowing out his cheeks. His jaw was strong and pronounced. Even his dark hair was precisely cut and maintained. He wore a crisp black suit with a blood-red tie.

He was plainly terrifying to behold, but also…gorgeous. Horrifyingly beautiful.

“Reyna, allow me to introduce you to your Sponsor,” Dr. Washington said. “This is Beckham Anderson, senior vice president of Visage Incorporated.”

She locked eyes with Beckham, and she refused to look away. If he was trying to intimidate her with his lethal stare, it was working, but she would never let him know that.

Here she was in tattered jeans, a plain threadbare gray T-shirt, black Converse sneakers, and a maroon baseball cap stuffed in her back pocket. Her hair was in a high ponytail. She wore not an ounce of makeup. And she was in a standoff against a man who was by all accounts…perfect. But she wouldn’t look away. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

When she didn’t say anything, Dr. Washington cleared his throat and continued. “Mr. Anderson, your new subject, Miss Reyna Carpenter.”

No one spoke.

Reyna stared at the figure before her, and he simply stared back. All the times she had thought about coming to Visage and becoming a blood escort, she had never truly known what to expect. She had never considered the vampire that she would have to live with. This man made her want to run as fast and as far away from him as possible. This man was a thing of nightmares. How the hell am I supposed to live with him?

“Well…” Dr. Washington said uncomfortably. “What do you think?”

Beckham broke her gaze to turn to the doctor. “Yes. Fine. She’ll do. I have a car waiting and a meeting to attend. Get her ready to leave immediately.”

Reyna raised her eyebrows in surprise. That was nothing more than a short perusal. The paperwork had already been squared away, but she would have thought that he would want to ask her a few questions to get to know her. She was after all going to be living with him indefinitely. She guessed this was what an arranged marriage felt like.

“I believe she is ready to leave,” the doctor said without acknowledging her. “We need your approval signature and then she can be discharged.”

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