In the silence that followed, the buzzing of his phone was clear as day. “Ignore it,” she pleaded, running her hands down his jaw.

“Let me turn it off.” He reached into the inner pocket of his suit coat and retrieved the phone. His brow furrowed when he checked the screen. “Hmm…”

“Hmm good or hmm bad?” she asked. She was anxious to get back to business.

“It’s Rowland.”

Reyna cringed away from the name. After what had happened with Rowland in the club, just the mention of him made her body shudder with revulsion.

“I have to take this.” He gave her an apologetic look and sat up. She knew that he didn’t want to talk to Rowland any more than she did…especially not under the circumstances.

Recess was over.

She righted herself in the car and reached for her T-shirt on the floor.

“Hello?” Beckham said gruffly into the phone.

Beckham listened as Rowland said something into his ear.

“Yes,” he responded after a minute. “Today?”

He pulled his sleeve back to check the time.

“That’s in a half hour.”

Rowland was clearly saying something that Beckham didn’t agree with, because his face was growing darker and darker. All traces of the sexy fun Becks who had just been seducing her in the backseat of the car evaporated.

“I understand.”

He hung up the phone, clearly aggravated, and tapped on the console that let him speak to the driver. “Change of plans. Head to the city hall building downtown.”

“Yes, sir.”

“What happened?” she asked.

He carefully rearranged his suit, buttoned his shirt up, and retied the knot at his neck before getting under control enough to answer.

“He didn’t say exactly. Purposefully vague. Just that I needed to get to city hall. That I wouldn’t want to miss what was about to happen.”

Reyna swallowed, hating all of this. “Why do I feel like we’re playing into his hands by going?”

“Because we are,” he admitted reluctantly, “but I see no alternative.”

She hated bringing this up, but they were going to the building where the mayor was. “Do you think this has anything to do with Penelope?”

Beckham shook his head. “I doubt it. I would have heard if her condition had changed. She was stable when I left. This sounded…personal.”

Reyna frowned. “Personal how?”

“He asked me to bring you.”

“What does that mean?” she demanded. She did not want to see Rowland. If she had to face him down eventually, she would. She wouldn’t cower, but she had hoped that time would come in a distant future…not today.

“I guess we’ll find out once we get there.” He took her hand in his and kissed the top softly. “Don’t worry. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

They made it to about a mile from the city hall building before their car was stopped in bumper-to-bumper traffic. People filled the streets for as far as the eye could see toward the main intersection.

“What the hell?” Reyna said, craning to see what all the traffic was from.

“This will do for now. We’ll have to go on foot the rest of the way.”

Beckham told their driver their plans and then they hopped out of the Town Car into the middle of the gridlocked intersection. They jogged over to the sidewalk and past the people mingling around the road in confusion. Reyna was glad that she wasn’t in some ridiculous high heels in that moment. If she didn’t have her Chucks on, she never would have been able to keep up with Beckham. As it was, she still lagged behind.

He reached back for her, and after another ten minutes, they finally made it in front of city hall. Reyna leaned over to a couple who were chatting animatedly.

“Excuse me. What’s going on?” she asked.

The woman looked at Beckham, who towered over them both, and seemed to contemplate whether to disclose information. But then her enthusiasm relented. “The mayor is about to make a big announcement. We’re finally going to get the change we need. After those horrible fires and all the unnecessary death, we are so eager for what the mayor is going to be heralding in with these policies.”

“What policies?” Reyna asked, astounded. She had only been gone a couple days. How could all of this have passed so quickly? What was the media saying that was convincing these people that it was a good idea?

“Human and vampire equality of course.”

“Of course,” Reyna deadpanned. She looked up at Beckham as the couple disappeared into the crowd. “I don’t like this. Something seems wrong.”

He nodded. “I can feel it too.”

“You didn’t hear anything about this?”

“No. That’s what worries me.”

Reyna and Beckham pressed in closer to the city hall. A stage had been erected in front of the building, with a podium and a row of chairs on it. Even with Beckham’s height and bulk, they could only get so far into the crowd before it was impossible to move forward. Reyna couldn’t see a thing. Not that she really would have been able to see much at this distance anyway. But Beckham could see to the stage with his enhanced sight.