Reyna kept glancing over her shoulder wondering if they were being followed. She tilted her baseball cap up a smidge so that she could check one more time before they left the dancefloor.
She breathed a sigh of relief.
They weren’t being followed. At least not yet. Maybe Gabe was equally paranoid.
When she turned around to try to keep up with Gabe, she careened right into a guy. She put her hands out to stop herself from falling.
“Sorry,” she said. She tried to move around him but his hand was still on the leather jacket she’d slipped back onto her shoulders.
“I thought that was you.”
Reyna’s eyes slowly dragged up to the guy she had given no thought to whatsoever. Her stomach hit the floor. She froze.
“Reyna!” His expression was a mixture of shock and confusion.
Reyna was shaking. She had to get away. She had to run. This was…this was bad.
Everett had turned her in. Everett had lied. Everett had betrayed her.
And if he was here, then Visage would know she was here.
No, no, no. This couldn’t be happening.
“Hey, can we talk?”
He reached for her, but she scurried backward, knocking into people along the way. She heard their furious shouts but couldn’t process them. All she saw was Everett’s face, the people in masks bursting through the door, the darkness, the needles. She saw prison in his eyes.
“Stay away from me,” she hissed.
His face crumpled. “Reyna, listen to me. I didn’t know.”
“How could you not know?” she hissed.
He reached for her again and she fell backward into a girl who bitched her out.
“I said stay away from me!” she yelled.
By then they were drawing a crowd. Eyes were turning to them. Memorizing their features. She tugged the baseball cap down. Fuck. Oh God!
“Please, you have to understand. I never wanted to hurt you,” Everett pleaded with her. “They had someone that I cared about. I didn’t have a choice.”
“There’s always a choice.”
Her heart was in her throat. She remembered all too clearly in that moment why she was stuck inside. Why she was being passed from one form of prison to another. The outside world was dangerous, and she treated danger like a lost companion beckoning them in from the cold.
A hand grasped her arm and she screamed. Then it covered her mouth. She tried to protest, clawing at the hand and kicking at the assailant.
“Hey! Hey!” the person was yelling out to her. “What are you doing?”
Her eyes lifted and she realized her attacker was actually Gabe. “He’s here. He’s here.”
“Who? Who is here?”
Reyna whipped back around to accuse Everett. But no one was there.
He was gone. Just poof.
Her head swam as she craned her neck around to look where he had run off to. One minute he had been there and the next he was gone. This was bad. So bad.
“Reyna,” Gabe said, drawing her attention back to him. “Are you sure you didn’t get dosed too?”
“He was here,” she said. She hadn’t imagined it. He’d touched her. He’d tried to apologize.
“The guy who turned you in?” Gabe asked.
She nodded. “He found me. He was trying to talk to me.”
“Shit. And I thought I was trouble. Look, we have to get back to Jodie. I’ll have some guys scour the place for him and they’ll report back to me if they see him.”
“I’m screwed. I’m so screwed,” she muttered as she followed him to the entrance. “He saw me. Which means he could tell someone. He might have seen you. We could all be compromised. This whole place could.”
“Reyna, slow down. We don’t know what is going to happen. Let’s take it a step at a time. Just focus on helping Jodie. Let me handle the rest.”
Reyna nodded numbly. But her eyes continued to flit around the room, wondering if her mind had conjured Everett out of thin air or if he had really been there. It seemed impossible. Even all those weeks in isolation, she had never done something so outrageous as to picture him in front of her. Beckham, of course. But Everett? No.
Gabe hauled her out of the club and deposited her next to Jodie, who was flirting shamelessly with the bouncer.
“Another one?” the man grunted.
Gabe held up two fingers and the man straightened and nodded. Reyna watched the exchange in confusion before bending over to help Jodie, who had fallen over. Already the effects of the venom were wearing off, but the alcohol was holding on strong. Who even knew when the last time Jodie had had a drink was?
“So, you live around here?” Jodie asked the bouncer with a wink.
He grunted again and turned away from her.
Reyna shook her head. “You are ridiculous.”
“We should stay longer. I could use another drink.”
“You could use a kick in the ass.”
It was another ten minutes before Gabe came back. “Did a quick sweep and didn’t see anyone that matched his description. I have my guys on it. Let’s get back. I’ll have a report within the hour.”