“Care to explain what happened this evening?” she asked.

Reyna turned to look at Gabe, but his attention was on the group ahead of him.

“Made contact with our supplier,” Gabe said. “He gave me a few leads on the shit that’s going down. He put our order in for what we need though. The asshole tried to shortchange me. Didn’t know who he was dealing with. Don’t worry, I let him know. But his boss showed up. Looks like they’re moving their shit now because the big V knows what’s up. He thinks we’re to blame.”

Sydney tilted her chin up. “That is what you would like to report?”

“That was the job.”

“You’re right. That was your job tonight. Get us any information you can about the supplier selling diseased blood and make sure we continue to get what we need from the black-market business you somehow manage. I never could understand how someone so incompetent could be one of the biggest Irish mob bosses in the city.”

Gabe grinned as if she hadn’t given him a backhanded compliment. “Runs in the family.”

Well, at least that explained a lot. Why he wasn’t worried that Sydney would actually shoot him. How he had so many contacts. Why everyone at the club seemed to know him. Though it didn’t explain why Sydney trusted him.

“Do you know how much we invested in getting Miss Carpenter back from Visage?” Sydney asked in a dangerously low voice.

“I remember the meetings. But look, she was fine with me the whole time. You think she’s going to get fucked with in my own establishment.”

Reyna’s eyes rounded. He owned Ferrier House? Jesus, how many people knew that? He acted like any other patron. She’d even seen him fight there. How the hell did he get away with it?

“You do not get to make decisions where her safety is concerned,” Beckham growled, his eyes darting dangerously to Gabe.

“And you did so well?” Gabe spat back.

Beckham flew out of his chair. He moved so fast that he was already across the room in the time it took Reyna to blink. Beckham shoved Gabe back against the wall with his hand around Gabe’s throat. Gabe stared back at him in amusement, but Reyna could see fiery hatred buried deep underneath it all.

Reyna stood there frozen in shock. Beckham hadn’t said a word to her in so long and then all they had done was argue. Now he was here ready to rip out Gabe’s throat for an offhand comment.

“You’re a piece of shit, O’Connor. I should end your worthless life for what you risked tonight,” he spat in Gabe’s face.

“Beckham,” Sydney barked.

“No,” Reyna whispered.

“Fuck you, Anderson,” Gabe shot back.

She knew that Beckham thought he was a monster. But she knew the man underneath. She knew that there was so much more. She didn’t care that Penny was standing right there and watching what was going on. She didn’t care that they had been on the rocks since she got back and that there might not even be a them. She couldn’t stand by and let this happen.

Beckham would hate himself later if something happened to Gabe. Plus, Gabe was a good friend. He didn’t treat her any differently than anyone else. He didn’t care that she was “special.” And he didn’t deserve to be hurt when she was the one who had tried to sneak out.

“Beckham, stop it,” Reyna said. “I snuck out. I wanted to get out of here, okay? I was tired of having nothing to do and everyone telling me no. Gabe had nothing to do with it. He happened to be there when I was leaving.”

But Beckham didn’t seem to hear a word that she had said. And Gabe continued to sneer at Beckham. He did an incredible job of looking at Beckham as if he wasn’t worth the scum on his shoe. And Beckham’s face was a mask of fury. He channeled all of his anger, aggression, and madness into that one look. A lesser man would have backed down. A smart man would have too.

“Fuck me?” Beckham snarled. “I am the last person that you want to fuck with.”

Gabe laughed in his face.

Everything and everyone faded away. She couldn’t stand here any longer. That laugh had sent Beckham over the edge and Reyna could see that he was about to lose it entirely.

She rushed to Beckham’s side, heedless of the danger she might be in. No matter where she and Beckham stood right now, she had to believe that he wouldn’t hurt her. Even in the state he currently was in.

Reyna carefully placed her hand on Beckham’s arm. He was strong and solid beneath her gentle touch. She didn’t try to move him because she knew that would be impossible. She just stood there. Was there for him in that moment when he was bubbling over with anger.

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