With a sigh, she left the warehouse and started toward the road for home. She only made it a few feet before she heard her name called. It was strange being in a place where again everyone knew her. She could have walked anywhere in the city and never had a single person recognize her. She only knew a handful of people in total anyway.
And in the warehouses this was the last person she wanted to see.
“Hey,” she said, trying to act casual. After the last time she had seen him, she just wanted to punch his face into the ground and walk away. But he was much bigger than her, and she couldn’t rely on her brothers getting her out of the situation this time.
“Little Reyna Carpenter!” he said in greeting. “Back from her blood whore days.”
Reyna rolled her eyes. “What do you want?”
He smiled at her, and she wondered why she had ever found him attractive. He was nothing compared to Beckham.
“Vampires get tired of your blood? Or something else?” He eyed her up and down suggestively.
“I’ve had a really long weekend. I don’t want to deal with you right now,” she told him. None of what he said was true, but it didn’t hurt the sting that Beckham had let her go.
“Let’s have fun like old times, Reyna.”
“No thanks. I don’t want any of your fun.”
She tried to walk away, but he grabbed her arm. “You can’t tell me you’d rather have vampire cock than mine.”
“And if I did?” she spat.
He was staring at her menacingly, but then his eyes widened and he didn’t respond.
“What?” she asked, turning to see what he was staring at.
“Your chariot awaits.”
Her mouth dropped open as she took in the familiar black Town Car slowing to a stop in front of the warehouse. The car was still rolling when the back door popped open. Beckham jumped out and ran toward Reyna.
She was pretty sure she was hallucinating. She blinked twice and even contemplated pinching herself. This had to be a dream. Except Steven hadn’t let go of her arm, and her dreams never really got it right how utterly gorgeous Beckham was.
“Beckham, what are you doing here?” she asked.
“He’s come to reclaim his whore,” Steven spat. He didn’t exactly drop her arm; it was more like he threw it toward Beckham as if he were offering a prize.
Beckham’s eyes left hers and looked to Steven standing behind her. Steven took one step backward, as he seemed to take in Beckham’s immense size and the fact that he had the strength and speed of a vampire.
“Is this your ex-boyfriend?” Beckham asked.
“Yeah,” Reyna said softly.
Beckham reached out and grabbed Steven by the collar of his shirt. He hoisted Steven off of his feet until he was eye level with Beckham. “If you ever harass her or anyone she knows ever again, I will personally kill you. That’s not a threat. It’s a promise.”
Without waiting to hear if he would say anything back, Beckham threw him as if he weighed nothing at all. Steven landed hard on his back a few feet away. He scrambled to his feet. Fear was written all over his face.
She knew that Beckham could have done worse. She’d seen his speed and agility in a fight. Steven should just walk away. This wasn’t a fight he could win.
“Bloodsucking disease on our world!” Steven called. “You’re all the same. One day we will rid the world of your plague.”
“But not today.”
Steven glared and then stormed away. Reyna breathed out a sigh of relief. As much as she despised Steven at this point, she didn’t want him to get himself killed for his insolent mouth.
Once he was gone, Beckham refocused his attention on Reyna.
“What are you doing here?” she repeated.
“You left the money,” he said. It was more of a statement than a question, and she didn’t know what he wanted her to say.
“Yeah.” She shrugged.
“Why? It was enough to support you, to keep you safe and secure, to have your own life.”
“Because I don’t need your charity!”
“It’s not charity,” he insisted.
“It is. You wanted to buy me out, but I can’t be bought. I’ll work and get a decent wage like the rest of the country. I won’t be indebted to you the rest of my life.”
Beckham eyed her curiously. “I wasn’t buying you out. You said you wanted to leave. That was what you wanted.”
“And then you never came back for me. You saved Penny. I get it. She was injured. I understand her being important to you. But you never checked on me again. Honestly, I assumed you wanted me gone.”
“I thought you wanted space,” he said.
Reyna cast her gaze away from him. “I was angry. After everything that happened that night, I was angry and scared. I didn’t know what I wanted. Answers mostly. I guess I figured out your answer when you chose her.”