Reyna eyes swept to Meghan’s green ones. “So, the whole thing was a setup? Beckham knew about my blood type?”
“Well, yeah. Otherwise you would have ended up with Harrington right away. We would have brought you straight to headquarters, but we hadn’t vetted you yet. We wanted Beckham to vet you and then bring you in. Perfect really.”
Reyna sank back in the chair as Meghan turned on the machine to filter the venom into her system. All this time, she had wondered why Beckham wouldn’t drink from her. She’d assumed for so long it had been because Penny was his blood type match too. He didn’t approve of the new permanent position and she’d thought that it was his rebellion to drink from Penny instead. When he’d finally given in, things had gone crazy. And that was because they weren’t a blood match.
Beckham had known all along that they didn’t match. He had kept her to protect her and to eventually bring her into Elle. She knew he was a good actor. She knew that what she’d seen of him with Penelope could be an act. But how could she trust that he hadn’t fooled her too. If she was so valuable that Elle had gone out of its way for her twice, then maybe Beckham had only pretended to want her to keep her close.
Her mind started to muddle as the venom took ahold of her. She didn’t want to believe this. She didn’t want to think he was capable of deceiving her so completely. That he’d only wanted her to stay because she was valuable.
It couldn’t have been a ploy.
Her heart raced.
Her stomach clenched.
Her eyes drooped.
And she was floating away.
Voices broke through to her subconscious. She couldn’t figure out who it was or what was happening. All she did was giggle.
“How is she?”
“How would you be?”
“Worse. She saw the news.”
A hand touched her forehead and brushed her hair off of her face. She didn’t know where the hand had come from or why it was touching her. She didn’t know if she should even care.
“We’ll have to take it easy with her.”
“I don’t think anything we do is going to help.”
A sigh. “I told Beckham to be gentle with her heart.”
“As if he listens to anyone.”
“As if he is gentle.”
No Beckham wasn’t gentle. Definitely not with her heart.
* * *
Reyna awoke with a start. Her hand flew to her chest, which was heaving up and down. Her eyes flew around the room, taking in the bed and the closet and the pictures.
She was at Elle.
She wasn’t back at Visage. She wasn’t with Harrington. She wasn’t being turned into B.
She’d had a nightmare. That was all. Just a nightmare.
She felt the tension release from her shoulders. A sense of calm came over her. She was fine. She was safe. A headache was blossoming pretty spectacularly in her temples though. The venom. She’d forgotten all about it. Someone must have gotten her back to her rooms after she’d been dosed. It always left her with a headache. She hated that part the most, after the needle.
Her hand moved to the nightstand. She flicked on the lamp, ready to get out of bed and try to find something to curb the pounding in her head. But then she felt it. A prickling at the back of her neck. As if she wasn’t completely alone.
She gasped and pushed herself to the head of the bed as fear crawled through her. A figure sat in a darkened corner. All she could see were long fingers steepled in front of the person’s face and shiny black shoes. Her eyes drifted over the mysterious figure as fear turned to awareness.
“Hello, Little One,” Beckham finally said.
“Beckham?” Reyna whispered into the stillness.
He stood from the chair he had been sitting in. He dusted off his black suit jacket and buttoned the front button. She swallowed at his immense size. Tall and broad and foreboding. His very presence screamed menacing, ominous, threatening, sinister. Run. Run far away.
His face was a mask carved out of granite. He revealed nothing of his thoughts. Nothing as to why he was here or what he was doing or where he had been. He simply stood there in all of his terrifying beauty and waited. He wasn’t a particularly patient man so his waiting meant something.
“What are you doing here?” Reyna asked. She hastily got out of the bed. She didn’t like being on unequal footing with him. It didn’t help that she was only wearing a T-shirt and one of the lacy undergarments left in her drawers. His eyes dropped to her bare legs and she saw desire dance around his irises. She grabbed sweats off of the floor and tugged them on.
“Would you prefer I hadn’t come?” His tone was dark and laced with aggression.