Beckham recoiled at that word and removed his hand from the elevator doors. They closed on his hurt face and she heard his fist slam on the closed doors. Her heart rate picked up, and she had to hold on to the railing to keep herself steady.

When the elevator opened, she lurched forward through the lobby. She tottered and floundered until she made it through the glass sliding doors. Some part of her mind realized she was making a spectacle of herself, but she couldn’t seem to care.


As she stepped out into the daylight, she blinked back tears from the intense sun. She needed somewhere to go and collect her thoughts…try not to move. God, this moving thing was horrible. So much of her body was screaming to slow down, but the rest was telling her to run. It made her head throb.

“Reyna!” Everett called.

She turned toward the voice and blundered forward into him. “Everett.”

He caught her easily. “Hey, are you all right?”

“Yeah…I guess,” she slurred.

“You’re bleeding.” He touched her neck tenderly and she winced. She hadn’t even realized she was still bleeding. Everett’s face darkened, as he seemed to piece everything together. “Did he do this?”

“Oh,” she mumbled. She placed her hand on her throat and when she looked at it, it came back red. “Yeah.”

“I’ve never seen you like this,” he said softly, concerned. “You’re really out of it, Reyna. Does it normally work this way?”

She shrugged and teetered forward. “I don’t know.”

He furrowed his brow at her answer, but let it go. “You look fucked out of your mind. Where the hell were you going in your condition?”

Reyna shrugged her shoulders again. “Away. I need to think…”

“You’re not going to think doped up on a vamp bite. Christ, how much did he take?”

“More than he should have,” she said with an uncontrollable giggle.

“Look, we need to get you cleaned up and somewhere where you can come down from this shit. Come with me. My shift is almost over. I can leave now,” he told her.

Everett put a comforting arm around her waist and helped her to his Mustang. He ran back to the front to tell his manager that he had to head out a little early and then they were zipping through the city. They reached his apartment a short while later. Reyna’s head was drooping forward into her chest by the time they arrived. She could barely keep her eyes open. Her mind was muddled as if she was trudging through a swamp.

He unlocked the front door and she sprawled onto the floor in a heap. She opened her mouth to say something, but she felt herself slipping toward unconsciousness.

“It’s okay,” she heard someone say to her through the murkiness in her mind. “I’ve got you.”

Then it all went dark.

* * *


Reyna woke up in a daze. She reached out blindly and all she felt was some kind of scratchy surface. She opened her eyes and groaned as she hoisted herself into a sitting position. She stared around at her surroundings in confusion. It was dark outside so she couldn’t make out much in the room, but she was on a couch in a very strange place. Definitely not Beckham’s penthouse.

She placed her head in her hands and tried to remember what the hell had happened. Everything was fuzzy, and she struggled to recall anything. Or where the hell she was.

“You’re awake,” Everett said, walking into the room.

She glanced up at him and sighed. At least she was in a safe place. “What happened?”

“I hoped you’d tell me.”

Reyna shook her head. “I don’t know. Why am I here?”

Everett frowned. “You came out of the apartment building high as a kite from a vampire bite, with blood running down your neck. I staunched the blood and put a bandage on for you after you passed out.”

She gasped and touched the bandage on her neck. Everything seemed to slowly come back to her. The rally, the accusation at Visage, Beckham admitting he was a rebel and that he had used Penelope as a cover story, sex, the bite…

The bite.

“He bit me,” she whispered.

“I gathered that much.”

“He lost control when we were…” She stopped that sentence and flushed. Sex with Beckham had been incredible. Just thinking about it made her body heat up at the remembered feeling of his body on hers.

“Right,” Everett said, looking away. “Doesn’t he do that all the time? Isn’t that your job after all? I always thought it was supposed to be safe and controlled for Visage employees.”

Reyna stared down at the beige carpet and sighed. “That was the first time.”

“Doing what? Having sex?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No. Well…yes. That too. But it was the first time he bit me.” She laughed humorlessly. “I guess technically second time.”

“You’ve been here for a month.”

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