A door opened. Someone got out of the front of the truck. Reyna didn’t so much as breathe. Jodie had gone completely still beside her.
This was it. This was life or death. This was freedom or captivity.
This was the end.
The back door opened.
Voices could be heard at the far end of the truck.
A foot stomped on the bumper.
A body hoisted itself into the cavity.
The truck rocked at the extra weight.
Reyna balled her hands into fists to keep from trembling.
“What’s in that?” a gruff voice asked.
“What do you think?” Tye asked in a joking easy tone. As if he wasn’t as terrified as she was.
“Didn’t have bodies on the report.”
“They were on ours.”
“Blood illness,” Meghan said, joining them. “It’s going around and extremely contagious. We’re taking them to be disposed of. Too dangerous to do it on-site.”
A foot stepped right by Reyna’s head.
The bag rustled as he reached down to take a look.
The zipper dragged down the front of her. She remained perfectly still. Her eyes were closed. She could sense the light shining down on her eyes and tried to look like death. Her lungs constricted as they demanded air, but she held on longer. They were so close. So damn close.
“Didn’t you hear me?” Meghan asked. The zipper stopped moving, leaving her shoulders exposed. “It’s a blood illness. If you open those bags, you could get it. Vampires aren’t immune. It’s killing them off too.”
“Fine,” the man spat. The zipper snapped back into place, covering her once more, but still she didn’t dare move. “But let me double check your report. Everything else looks in place.”
“Of course,” Tye said.
A rustling of papers and then the doors were slammed shut once more. Reyna released a breath at the same time as Jodie. Neither of them said a word, but Reyna was glad that Jodie was with her. Even though she couldn’t see her, she still felt less alone.
It was a few minutes before the truck came to life again underneath them.
“All good to go,” someone said from the front.
Xavier put the car in gear. They rolled forward a tiny bit before a voice stopped them in their tracks again.
The gruff vampire stopped them. “Wait!”
Reyna tensed again. No. They were so close. So close.
“You forgot to sign for it.”
“Of course,” Xavier said.
A hastily scrawled signature and then they were off. A garage opened noisily before them and then they were out. Reyna couldn’t see it for herself, but she knew. She could tell by the relieved sighs and Meghan’s whoop of excitement.
They were finally free.
Still Reyna and Jodie didn’t move.
Not for another ten minutes while they waited to see if anyone would follow.
Then the cab door slid open. A sliver of light shot over the body bags, and Meghan’s voice rang out. “We’re in the clear, ladies. Come out of there.”
They both yanked down the zippers and tossed the bags aside with eager excitement. It was done. It was over. Finally.
“We’re free,” Reyna whispered. Her eyes moved to Jodie’s equally dark ones. “We’re really free.”
“I can’t believe it,” Jodie said. “When y’all said you were getting me out, I thought you were full of shit. But it really worked. We’re really gone.”
“I dreamed of getting out. I even plotted for it. But I never knew if it was really possible.”
“I didn’t even dream,” Jodie whispered.
Reyna frowned at that statement. She wondered how long Jodie had been cooped up inside Visage. How long a person had to be held captive before they gave up any hope of being rescued or escaping.
Then Meghan came forward with a switch knife. “This isn’t going to be pleasant.”
“What…?” Meghan snatched up Reyna’s arm without warning and dug into her forearm. “The fuck?”
Reyna howled and tried to get her arm away from Meghan but she held Reyna steady. She was strong and powerful for her size and Reyna couldn’t get out of her vice grip. Meghan stuck the knife into the wound she’d created and out popped a tiny piece of metal.
“Sorry,” Meghan said. She held the little tracker in her hand. “We can’t take any chances.”
“A little warning next time!”
“You don’t like needles or blood. I wasn’t going to take my chances with you being squeamish,” Meghan told her. She was already bandaging up the wound with the efficiency of a nurse. Reyna wondered which parts of her personality were an act and which parts were reality.
“I’m not squeamish,” Jodie said, offering Meghan her arm. “Get this sucker out of me.”
Meghan made quick work of removing Jodie’s tracker as well. After Jodie was patched up, Meghan dropped both of the devices into a plastic bag and sealed it shut.
“What are you going to do with them?” Reyna asked. She was applying pressure to her arm in the way that Nancy had shown her dozens of times with the IVs. She was practically a pro at blood loss. Such a strange thing to feel like a champ at.