“Reyna, I had to take care of her.”

“I know. I knew she was hurt, but you didn’t have to hammer the nail into the coffin. You said I made it clear that I don’t need you, but you’ve saved me more times than I can count now. I clearly need you in that life, but I don’t need that life. I have another one equally terrifying in its own way where I fight my own battles. But in your world, I can’t fight for you anymore. You won’t let me and it’s breaking my heart, Beckham.”

He reached out for her hand and took it smoothly into his. She locked eyes with him and saw something swirling around in his she had never seen before. A vulnerability that he had never shown her.

“Come back.”

“What?” she asked, flabbergasted.

“Come back to the city with me. Stay with me.”

“Why? So you can keep stringing me along?”

“No, because with me is where you belong.”

Reyna swallowed and tried to search his face for some form of malice. She couldn’t dare to hope without an answer to her next question.

“And Penelope?”

He sighed heavily. “They’re calling me The Saint, and her The Martyr, because in the video footage from the fire she looks dead.” Reyna cringed at the painful memory. “Her face is burned beyond recognition on one side. The rest of her body isn’t in much better shape. She took the brunt of the fires. She might be glad that she is alive, but I can’t tell her how I feel in her unstable state.”

“And how do you feel?” Reyna asked. She swallowed hard, unable to believe that the words she had craved for so long were so near.

“That I need you to come back. I need you, Little One.”

“I don’t know what that means, Beckham. What does that mean?” She needed him to lay it out for her.

“I thought you wanted to leave, and I wanted to give you what you wanted. I thought I could keep you separate from my life, but with you gone…I realize I can’t. I can’t live without you. I don’t want Penelope. I’ve never wanted Penelope. I want you, and I want to share all my secrets with you.” His hand cupped her cheek. “I want to be the man you saw on the roof.”

“Really?” The words were melodic, like hearing the Siren’s song. But doubt crept through even the best words. “Why the change of heart? All of this just because I left the money, because I left you?”

“Because I can’t live without you. I thought I could, but I was wrong. Come back with me.”

Beckham’s lips were soft on hers for the briefest of moments. When they broke apart, she looked around at her home.

Could she ever be happy here again? Or would it always be missing the one thing she had standing right in front of her? Maybe her home wasn’t even her home anymore. Her home was with Beckham and he was finally choosing her.

“Okay,” she whispered.

Her heart fluttered in her chest. There were actual butterflies. When she had walked out of Beckham’s apartment, she had never thought in a million years that he would be standing here asking her to come back. She had wished he had stopped her, but wishing for him was like wishing for rain in the desert.

The sound of feet pounding on the pavement behind them tore her out of her dreamy daze. Beckham stood in a defensive pose, but Reyna placed her hand on his arm when she realized it was only her brothers.

“It’s okay,” she told him.

“What the hell are you doing with our sister?” Brian asked. He stared Beckham down like he had any chance of beating the shit out of him.

“Yeah, back off!” Drew chimed in.

“Guys, it’s all right.” She put herself between Beckham and her brothers. She didn’t want any fighting. There had been enough of that lately. It was one thing for him to rough up Steven, but it was a different story with Brian and Drew.

“What are you doing out here?” Reyna asked.

“We came to check on you. Steven said that there was a guy out here harassing you,” Brian said.

Reyna shook her head. What an asshole. “Yeah. He was the one harassing me. Beckham, however, is not.”

The guys sized each other up, and it was completely ridiculous. She wished she could correct male behavior, but instead she just let them have their moment.

“Beckham, these are my brothers, Brian and Drew,” she said. “Guys, this is Beckham. He was the…person I’ve been staying with in the city.”

For some reason, she stumbled over the word vampire. It wasn’t as if they didn’t already know Beckham was a vampire if he was who she’d been living with, but it felt weird to call him a vampire. Maybe because he was just Becks to her.

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