When Jodie went with Meghan and Tye to rummage through the pantry, she turned back to her brothers. “I’m really really really glad that you’re safe. I tried not to wonder what would happen to you after I was taken.”
“You’re happy we’re safe?” Drew gasped out. “Reyna, you were kidnapped.”
“Did anything…happen to you?” Brian asked circumspectly.
Reyna chewed on her lip. She knew what he was asking. What kind of horrors had she endured? “I’m alive and healthy. That’s all that matters right now, okay?”
“That’s not…” Drew started, but Brian cut him off, “You can tell us when you’re ready.”
She nodded and gave them an appreciative smile. “Can you fill me in on what’s been going on since I was taken? I feel like I’ve missed so much.”
“Well, we’re at Elle HQ,” Brian told her. “It’s an enormous operation. We weren’t sure of it when we first got here, but they really are working for vampire and human equality. That isn’t just a line that they feed you. Everyone here has a job. The inner circle of command delegates out tasks and it trickles down through the ranks. Drew and I are both working in security.”
“You’re working security?” Her mouth was agape and fear crept through her.
“Yeah,” Brian said as if it were no big deal. “It’s hard to find guys around here with any fighting skills.”
“Is this job dangerous?” she squeaked. Her brothers exchanged a look she knew all too well. “Don’t you dare shield me from this.”
“It’s not a walk in the park,” Drew said. “We have pretty grueling training, fighting techniques, strategy classes, weapons…”
“I’ve been locked up and you two have been training to get yourself killed,” she whispered in horror.
“Rey, it’s not like that,” Drew said, reaching out for her.
Brian straightened instead. “We had to do our part. After you were kidnapped, we had no idea what was going to happen. We spent every day feeling utterly helpless in all of this. We did the only thing we could—we trained. We bought into the cause and we’re going to keep fighting for what’s right if it keeps you safe,” Brian said passionately. “The leader of Elle is ex-military. Not many people have ever met Sydney or even know what she looks like. But it doesn’t matter anyway, she’s in charge and doing a great job. We’re happy to be working for her. Happy to have a purpose in all of this.”
Reyna sighed and then nodded. She might not agree with her brothers working on a security detail where they could be harmed, but she understood the idea of needing purpose. It was something that she had so desperately needed while living with Beckham. Something Harrington could never give her. Her heart squeezed. She didn’t want to think about Harrington, and her heart hurt too bad to think about Becks.
“Okay!” Meghan’s cheery tone rang out as she exited the kitchen. “Here you go,” she said, passing Reyna a sandwich and a bag of potato chips. “Best we can do until next shift comes in to cook.” Her eyes darted between Reyna, Brian, and Drew. “How about I show you to your room? You look exhausted.”
“Sure.” She was both exhausted and wired. All of her emotions roiling through her at lightning speed.
“Great! Jodie is going to tag along with us. Tye will take Brian and Drew back to their command.” Reyna opened her mouth to protest, but Meghan barreled forward. “They’ll come see you after their shift is finished. You could use some rest.”
“It’s fine,” Brian said, kissing her forehead. “We’ll be fine. You’re in good hands. You’re safe here. We’ll find you later.”
“Love you, Rey,” Drew said. He dragged her into another hug and then all the guys disappeared.
Jodie trotted out of the back room with her mouth full of a gigantic bite of her sandwich. “The iiii ta da fer.”
Reyna’s eyebrows rose. “What?”
Jodie chewed and swallowed. Then she repeated, “This is to die for.”
“PB&J, baby,” Meghan said.
“Peanut butter,” she groaned. “I missed peanut butter.” She took another huge bite.
“Let’s get out of here. I think a tour can wait for tomorrow when you’re both fed, rested, and have begun to acclimate,” Meghan said. She was already storming out of the cafeteria.
Reyna and Jodie shared a look. It said everything that neither of them could speak of. They weren’t going to be acclimated. Not now…maybe not ever.
Still they followed Meghan. They took an elevator up two levels before exiting onto a floor that read RESIDENCE.
Meghan cocked her head to the side. “We only have so much space for housing right now. That’s the main room where the girls bunk, but the outer walls are all private or shared private rooms. Hard to come by.” Meghan grinned devilishly. “But this one is yours.”
Reyna stopped and stared at the closed door. There was even a plaque with a sliding tray that had her name on it.