“Decoy. They already know that you’re missing.” Her eyes darted between Reyna and Jodie. “One of you at least. If not both of you by now. We’re going to need to get rid of these before anyone realizes where you are.”

“So like…who the hell are you people?” Jodie asked.

“Elle,” Reyna answered for Meghan.

“What the fuck is an L? Like a capital letter?”

Meghan sighed. “It’s a long story. Elle, like the name, is the underground rebellion organization opposed to Visage. It was started by a human named Elle who was against Visage’s rise to power. She was killed in Elle’s Rebellion a decade ago and we’ve been working as a rebel group ever since. Our goal is for vampire and human autonomy and equality.”

Jodie snorted. “Good luck with that.”

“We broke your ass out of prison. I think you could start with a thank you and check your attitude at the door before we take you to our headquarters,” Meghan snapped right back.

“I’m a realist. I appreciate y’all saving my ass back there, but no one is taking down Visage.”

Meghan blew out a frustrated breath. “Whether you believe that or not is up to you. Some of us are risking our necks to try to make it a reality.”

“All right.”

Reyna could see the tough girl routine for what it was. She was scared. This behavior was bulletproof armor against the world. Reyna knew what that was like. Had endured situations where she had needed her own armor. It was necessary. And shedding that would be hard.

“Just leave it,” Reyna told Meghan.

“Okay. But be ready to move when I tell you to. Tye is going to give us the signal and then I need both of you on me. We have a short drop window. Hopefully we haven’t already missed it.”

Everyone fell silent at that. They weren’t at headquarters yet, which meant everything could still fall apart. As the truck bumped along, the three women stood tensely in the back, waiting.

Finally, the vehicle started to slow and rolled to a stop atop a gravel parking lot that sent the women and all the equipment bouncing. Reyna reached for the side of the truck to steady herself, but Meghan was already launching herself into the back of their getaway car.

“Are you coming or what?” she snapped back at them.

They both darted after her, and as soon as they jumped down out of the back, they were blasted with frigid air. Reyna did the math in her head. She’d been kidnapped in September. The leaves hadn’t yet started changing in the park outside of Beckham’s penthouse. The colder temperatures barely graced the evenings.

Now, it was November…after Thanksgiving. It was bitterly cold with thick dark clouds overhead and a slow drizzle. Not quite cold enough to freeze, but cold and wet enough to be annoying. Eight weeks of constant temperatures, and Reyna’s body was not used to this drastic change. Not at all.

Still she hustled out into the rain and sprinted with Meghan over to a nondescript pickup truck. Meghan handed off the baggie to Xavier, a hulking man with dark features and a menacing glare. Vampire. It was written all over him. She knew that vampires worked with Elle—Beckham did, after all—but it was still surprising to see a vampire running a prison-break detail. Or getting into a piece-of-shit rusted-out car and speeding off into the distance with the trackers.

Tye hopped into the front seat of the pickup truck, and Reyna and Jodie followed into the backseat of the truck, behind Meghan. As soon as the door was closed, Tye took off like a bullet.

The ride was tense and silent. At one point, sirens blared in the distance. Meghan chewed on her lip and kept glancing out the window. Only when they were far enough away that the sirens were just a distant ringing, did Meghan straighten once more and exude all the confidence Reyna had already grown accustomed to.

“Sorry about this,” she said tossing Reyna a black mask. She dug around in a bag for another second and then passed a black strip of fabric to Jodie. “It’ll be safer, in case something happens, if you don’t know where the entrance is to headquarters. We blindfold all newbies.”

Jodie grumbled something vulgar under her breath and then tied the fabric around her eyes. “Congrats. I can’t see shit.”

Meghan laughed and then waited for Reyna to put her blindfold on. She stared down at the mask in her hands. It was one of those silk sleeping masks. Pretty fancy even. Her hands shook as she thought of all the times she’d been forced to wear one of these. Beckham taking her down to the Vault before the fires wiped out the club, when she’d been kidnapped from Everett’s apartment, and then the ball where Harrington had forced her to watch Beckham with Penny. As far as she was concerned, wearing a blindfold only meant bad things.

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