“I realized,” he said, leaning casually back against the window, “that I showed you only one side of the coin.”
“Your life does not have to be like B’s, Reyna. Your life could be just like this.”
“I’m still trapped.”
“Either you can be trapped and gradually go insane,” he told her, “or you can choose to be here living this life. It’s a choice. I thought you’d like to know that there is a choice. You could choose this.”
She stared at him, trying to mask the look of disbelief that crossed her face. He was mad. Utterly mad. He thought that shoving her into a pretty dress and feeding her would make her realize that she should be grateful to him for kidnapping her?
“Is it really so different than your life with Beckham?”
Reyna recoiled against the name. Harrington didn’t mention Beckham anymore. After a week or two of questions about him, he had presumably given up on getting any information out of her about him. She suspected they were investigating him after her disappearance, but she never provided information that could indict him. And since Harrington didn’t dish anything up about Beckham either, she figured that was that.
“Did he not feed you and clothe you and offer you everything your heart desired?”
“He also paid me and allowed me out of his house,” she ground out.
“I could pay you,” he said dismissively. “And you are, of sorts, out of the house.”
“Alone and unsupervised.”
Harrington barked out a short laugh. “Do not think for a moment that Beckham Anderson allowed you out alone or unsupervised any more than I am.”
Reyna didn’t back down from his taunt. It was kind of true. Had she ever really been alone?
“I have known him much longer than you. Believe me when I say that the man you think you knew does not exist. There is no one more ruthless than him. No one more willing to tear the world apart with his bare hands to get ahead. He treated you like a well-maintained pet. What freedom he allowed you to believe you had was nothing more than an illusion. At least I am not playing any games.”
No games. That was laughable. Every word out of his mouth was a game. She wouldn’t listen to his babble about Beckham. He might’ve known him longer, but she knew him better. She knew him to his core. The man might have made her utterly crazy at times and she may have doubted him in the darkest corners of her mind, but still she knew how he felt about her. Words from Harrington only solidified her resolve.
“Well, think on it. You could be a guest instead of a prisoner. Things could be better for you here than they are,” Harrington said. “Enjoy the view of the guests.”
“What’s the party for?” she couldn’t help but ask.
“We have a new mayor.”
“A new mayor?” she asked, whipping around.
As soon as she did, she knew that she’d walked right into his hands.
“Mayor Sky recently passed away.”
Passed away. Read: murdered.
“Who is the new mayor?”
He smiled and she saw his lethal look return. “I believe you’re acquainted with his daughter: Penelope Sky.”
Penny was the mayor.
Reyna couldn’t wrap her head around it. Penelope Sky, the mayor’s beautiful daughter who was in her last year of college, had been elected mayor? The human girl who was in love with Beckham, who had been his cover story for the underground rebellion, who was everything Reyna was not. Penelope, who had been severely burned in the Vault sex club fire a little over eight weeks ago was somehow mayor.
How the hell had that happened?
Harrington finished his second glass of champagne and waited expectantly. He wanted her to ask more. He knew she was starved for information. Even this little amount made her want to crawl out of her skin to get to the bottom of it.
But that look on his face—that slimy manipulative grin said it all. If she gave him an inch, he’d take a mile.
“Interesting,” she said instead. Then she returned her eyes to the party below.
“I have to mingle with the guests and congratulate our new mayor. In the meantime, feel free to partake in the food and drinks provided. If you need anything, there is a speaker by the door. You can request it from the man I positioned outside and he will bring you what you need.”
Then he was gone.
She released a long sigh of frustration.
She didn’t know what to think about Harrington’s plan. Of course, logically, she would much rather live in a prison that looks more like paradise than an insane asylum. But giving in to something like that had consequences as much as the alternative did. It meant that she didn’t believe there was a chance for escape. It meant she was okay living the life Harrington had forced on her. It meant she was a willing captive. And she was so fucking far from willing in any of this.