The doctor handed over the last piece of paper she had signed, and Beckham scrawled his name across the line with a flourish.
“Great. She’s mine. Can we go now?” Beckham asked sharply.
“Yes. Yes, of course. Reyna, come along.”
Reyna forced herself to move one foot in front of the other. She could do this. She could leave behind everything she had ever known to go live with this strange man…vampire. To live with a strange vampire who was going to suck her blood on a regular basis. She swallowed hard and held her chin up. She was doing this for Brian and Drew, but also for herself. She wanted to make something of herself. One day she would.
Every journey begins with one step. Hers began with this one.
She moved over to the doctor, feeling marginally more comfortable with him. Her Sponsor was already busy checking his cellphone. He wasn’t paying attention to her at all.
“He’s not going to hurt me, right?” she whispered, never taking her eyes off of Mr. Anderson.
Beckham’s nostrils flared, and his eyes darted to hers. “I am not here to hurt you. You are my employee. I will treat you like an employee. And as my employee, we are in a bit of a hurry, so anything else you might wish to discuss with the doctor will have to wait. If everything is in order, you will remain silent and we will leave.”
Reyna stared up into the black pools of his eyes and realized she was drowning. She was floundering through an empty abyss with no way to escape. If she had once known how to swim, the ability had fled her mind. There was only her and this man and her inability to say something to tamp down his ever-increasing anger. Very little was clear about what would follow once she walked through that door.
The only thing that was really very clear was that Beckham Anderson was a complete and total asshole.
Apparently that was Beckham’s MO. He was silent. He liked her silent. His phone was silent. Even the Town Car, the unbelievably sleek beautiful shouldn’t-even-touch-it-was-so-shiny Town Car, was silent.
They drove out of the Visage facilities and then headed east toward the coastline. The Town Car zoomed at unbelievable speeds, driving away from her shitty home, away from her brothers, away from her life.
Reyna glanced over her shoulder and back through the rear window. Her pulse raced with regret at leaving everything she knew behind, and yet she wouldn’t have changed her decision. They needed the money. This was the perfect opportunity. Though she knew it wasn’t the one her brothers would have chosen for her. Few hard choices in life were ever the one you wanted to take.
When she didn’t show up at home tonight, Brian and Drew were going to have a panic attack. She wished she had gotten to say goodbye. Since they didn’t have a phone, she had no means of contacting them, and she couldn’t reach their employer without risking backlash at the factory. Maybe she should have left a note letting them know where she was going. They probably would have been just as panicked when they found the note. No matter what, she would have to find a way to let her brothers know she was okay.
With a heavy sigh, she sat back in the seat, leaving her world behind her.
Then the city came into view. She had always found it hideous, cold and disgusting. When she had been forced to move in with her uncle for those few horrible years, she had learned to hate the city. Dirty and unforgiving. And filled with people neglectful and careless of their neighbors. Everyone trapped like rats.
With nothing to their name, her brothers had taken her and hitchhiked out of the city limits. They had moved from this hellhole and into a new one. She didn’t mind trading one hell for another since her brothers were able to get work in the warehouse distract.
“So…” Reyna said softly. “Where exactly do you live?”
Beckham looked up at her over the top of his cellphone. His eyes were fierce and supremely disinterested. Black as night. He sent her a look that said, Why the fuck are you talking to me?
“You will see soon enough,” he said, his tone dismissive.
She swallowed hard and averted her eyes. It was hard to look at him head-on. His eyes, though black and lifeless, were equally terrifying.
Her first instinct about him was absolutely accurate. He was a very powerful man, and he exuded that power in everything he did. Just turning his head to look at her made her want to shrink in her seat. She didn’t out of pride, but she wanted to. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have seen a vampire like Beckham before the blood type cure had curbed their more gruesome baser instincts.