“I thought you were gone,” she breathed in horror. “Thank God you’re all right.”

“He doesn’t answer our prayers,” Beckham said monotone and lifeless.


“He answers mine,” she told him.

Beckham patted her hair as if he wasn’t fully aware she was there and then moved closer to watch the medics work on Penelope.

“We need to take her to the hospital. Are you responsible for this girl?” the paramedic asked Beckham.

“Yes,” he answered at once.

“Then come with us.” They rushed through the crowd that parted for the stretcher and lifted Penelope into the ambulance.

Beckham put a hand on Reyna’s shoulder. “The car will take you back to the penthouse. Gerard is on his way to retrieve you.”

“Becks,” she pleaded.

“I have to go with Penelope. Get back to my place…and we’ll discuss you leaving when I return.”

She swallowed, hating the way that sounded. Leaving would be the smart thing to do, but she couldn’t keep her heart from reaching out for Beckham.

“Beckham, please.”

“All ready to go,” the paramedic called.

“Go, Reyna! I have to take care of Penelope. She needs me, and you made it perfectly clear you don’t.”

Beckham jumped into the ambulance just as the door slammed shut, and she stared wide-eyed at Beckham’s dark eyes through the glass before he sped away.

Chapter 29

Reyna walked into the empty penthouse, feeling utterly exhausted. She tore off her boots in the entranceway. Her feet were blistered and sore. Her mind and heart felt even worse.

She moved numbly from the living room to her bedroom and stripped out of what remained of her brothel clothing. Even though she knew it was ridiculous, she pulled Beckham’s suit coat back over her and crawled into bed. It still smelled like him, and she wasn’t quite ready to give it up yet.

So much of her wanted to say fuck this shit, grab her stuff, and go. But she didn’t know if that was a rash decision that she would regret later. She was so tired from the evening, and even if she left, where would she go at this hour?

She didn’t even realize she had drifted off until the sound of the elevator drew her out of her slumber. She glanced at the clock and realized she had slept the entire day away. Reyna tensed, waiting for Beckham to come to her, to explain, to tell her what had happened. She heard him walking around the apartment, and the distant sound of his feet retreating away from her.

He never came to her.

He never even checked to see if she was all right.

Nothing.

She could have already left the apartment, and he wouldn’t even know. He likely wouldn’t even care. And it proved that she should be beyond caring what Beckham Anderson thought. She should have deduced that last night, but it hit her again full force.

Stretching her sore muscles, Reyna rolled out of bed. She grabbed a black bag out of her closet and started throwing her meager possessions into it. The bag was nicer than anything she had ever owned at home, but there were no other options except designer purses. She changed into jeans and a T-shirt. Her feet slipped into her Chuck Taylor’s, and she pulled the baseball hat low over her eyes. By the time she was finished, she really didn’t have much—three changes of clothes, a few toiletries, and her black card. She decided she would empty what was left of her bank account on her way out, and then cut up the card. She left her cellphone on her dresser, and then exited her room.

When she walked into the living room, she expected Beckham to come out, ready for a confrontation. But he never left his wing.

Frustrated, she turned to leave when she caught a glimpse of her name on a leather case on the kitchen counter. She unzipped it and her eyes widened into saucers. Inside was a note. She flipped it open.

FREEDOM.

She scrunched her brows together and pulled out the other item in the bag. It was a check and her mouth dropped open when she saw the amount—ten million dollars—scrawled in Beckham’s hand.

Reyna stared on in utter disbelief. Her chest constricted, and her throat went dry. This amount of money would mean she would never have to work again in her life. It meant she could live comfortably, eat right, get out of the shithole her brothers lived in, go to college, have a life. She could do anything she wanted.

But the money wasn’t freedom like he proposed. He was letting her go without wanting to see her, without even saying goodbye.

She pushed the folder away from herself with shaking hands. She would only take the money that was owed her. The money that she had earned. She never wanted to feel like a whore as if he were buying her out. She never ever wanted to feel like she owed Beckham anything. This would be a clean break.

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