Beckham extended his hand. “It’s nice to meet you. I know Reyna has missed you both very much.”
Brian gave him a wary look, but then took his hand. She knew he didn’t have anything against vampires, like Steven or even Everett’s friends did. Her brothers weren’t prejudiced in that way. She was sure it was more because of her than anything.
“I’m Brian and this is Drew.”
Drew took Beckham’s hand next. He was more welcoming and had a smile on his face. He had always been less reserved than Brian.
“We’re glad to have Reyna back home,” Drew said.
“Yeah. She said she had quite a traumatizing experience in the city,” Brian said accusingly.
“Brian,” she whispered.
Beckham glanced at her but gave no indication of what he was thinking. “Yes, she has. I hope to change that.”
She smiled and turned from his gaze. She knew her brothers were going to see what was going on, and she couldn’t even stop herself. He had chosen her! How could she not be giddy?
“And how exactly do you plan on doing that with her here in the Warehouse District?” Brian asked, crossing his arms over his chest. “What exactly are you doing here anyway?”
Reyna spit the truth out. “I’m going back with him, guys.”
“What?” Drew asked. His eyes were wide with hurt. Brian just looked pissed.
“No, you’re not. You’ve cried yourself to sleep the last two nights. Going back with him is a recipe for disaster. This is your home,” Brian said.
“You don’t get to make that choice for me,” Reyna said. “As much as I want to be here with you, I need to be with Beckham.”
“So…there was a part of the story you left out,” Drew accused.
She blushed. “Yes.”
Beckham cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I’m going to give you a few minutes. I’ll be by the car.”
She nodded with a sigh. “Sorry.”
Beckham walked away, leaving her alone with her brothers. She whirled on them. “That was rude!”
“Rude?” Brian asked. “You’re in love with a vampire. We don’t have anything against their kind, but are you out of your mind?”
“I’m not in love with him,” she said, hoping he couldn’t hear this conversation. She hadn’t figured out how she felt about him yet. She hadn’t wanted to dive too far into it when her heart was at risk.
Brian scowled further. “Have you thought this through at all, or are you rushing back into it because he’s here to collect you?”
“I know that this whole thing freaks you out, but it’s exactly how you would have reacted if I’d told you I was going to Visage in the first place. The same reason I never told you. I’m not a kid anymore. You can’t keep treating me like one. I am capable of making good decisions, and Beckham is one.”
“So, long term, what does this look like?” Brian asked. “He feeds off of you, fucks you, then what? Do you want to become immortal? Are you going to become a vampire and leave your family behind? What is it, Reyna?”
Reyna paled and avoided his gaze. “I don’t know. Okay? I don’t know. Does it have to be one or the other?”
“In case you aren’t aware, vampires live forever. You turn fifty, they stay the same age. You turn eighty, they stay the same age. You die. They live. There’s no getting around it.”
“Okay. Okay. I get it. I know, Brian,” she snapped. “I just don’t see why I have to decide that today. You’ve been dating Laura for five years and still haven’t even proposed. I’ve known Beckham less than a month. Maybe I can wait a couple years like other normal people and see if it still works out.”
Drew sighed and reached for her hand. She saw he was really upset with the whole thing, and she hated hurting him most of all. “You left us once already, Rey. Don’t do it again,” he pleaded.
“I know,” she said. “I don’t want to leave you. I’ll come visit. I think I can make it work this time. It will definitely not be forever. But if I don’t go with him, I’ll always, always wonder what if. You might be willing to do that, but I can’t.”
“Reyna,” Beckham called.
“Just a minute,” she said, holding up her hand. She looked at her brothers imploringly. “Tell me you love me and want me to be happy. You don’t have to approve of him, but respect my choice.”
Drew sighed and pulled her into a hug. “We’re going to miss you so much.”
“I’m going to miss you too.”
“Come on, Brian,” Drew said. Brian joined in on the hug.
When they pulled away, she could tell Brian was still upset, but he managed a smile for her. “You always have a home here if it doesn’t work out. Promise to come back.”
“I will. As often as I can.”