“Hey,” she whispered. Her heart was lodged in her throat as she tried to reach him. “Hey, look at me. Look at me, Becks.”
He froze in place. His body tensing further at her words. Gabe was frowning at the both of them. She didn’t know if he had just realized how much trouble he had almost been in if someone hadn’t stepped in. She could hear the whispers behind them. But she focused solely on Beckham. On the anger slipping off of his features and his black eyes shifting back from stone. As he recoiled from Gabe.
Slowly, he shifted his attention toward her. He still held Gabe’s throat with his hand. She could see the color beginning to drain from Gabe’s face. She needed to reach Beckham. Her heart stopped beating when their eyes connected.
“Do you see me?” she asked, reaching her hand up and gently caressing his jaw. “I’m fine. I’m not hurt. I’m here. Come back to me.”
He had attacked Gabe for her. He had gone to that dark place within himself for her. At the thought that she could have been injured.
She didn’t know what that meant about what he felt for her. It didn’t erase the errors in their past, but at least he was showing something. She would have preferred that he come to her, talk to her, explain to her instead of bottling it all up. But here they were. And she could see then that he regretted not returning. That he regretted many things.
He released a breath, retracted his hand from Gabe’s throat. Gabe bent over and coughed as air reached his lungs once more, but Beckham’s attention was solely on her. Usually it was a very unnerving position to be in. But he wasn’t looking at her like a predator. He was assessing her because he had been…worried. His eyes crawled over her skin. He had to see with his own eyes that she was in fact fine.
His hand enveloped her own where it rested on his cheek and he took a step closer as he returned to himself. “You’re okay.”
“Yes,” she uttered on a breath.
“You’re prone to danger, Little One.”
She nodded. “It finds me.”
“We have much to talk about, you and I,” he said just loud enough for only her to hear.
“I’m ready to talk,” she told him honestly. She wanted to figure out where they stood. She cared for him. He clearly cared for her. They needed to figure out how this was going to work…if it was going to work.
A throat cleared on the other side of the room. “As much as we’d all like to continue to witness this reunion,” Sydney drawled dramatically. “Everyone take a seat. We’ll decide what to do with Mr. O’Connor and Miss Carpenter after we’ve heard their stories.”
Gabe ambled over to the empty seat next to Washington. Reyna figured that left her with the seat next to Penelope, which, under the circumstances, or any circumstances, she’d rather keel over than take. But Beckham didn’t give her an option. He took her hand in his and guided her over to the table. He gestured for Penelope to move down a seat. She gave him a wide-eyed expression and then shot one of loathing toward Reyna before moving. Beckham gave up his right-hand seat next to Sydney and offered it to Reyna. It was her turn to look at him in surprise, but he just nodded reassuringly. Reyna cautiously sank into his vacated seat and then he sat down between Reyna and Penelope. Cozy.
As soon as they were situated, Gabe launched into everything that happened—including the full details of his meeting, Jodie getting drugged, and then eventually…casually…mentioning that Reyna had run into Everett.
“What?” Beckham asked, exploding out of his chair all over again. “And you let him get away?”
Reyna’s mind spun with that new knowledge.
“I personally searched the premises. I put my guys on it. They scanned the tapes. The guy fucking disappeared,” Gabe shot back.
“You compromised her security. He was the person who got Reyna kidnapped, and you let him walk right up to her? Are you out of your bloody mind?”
“I didn’t just let him,” Gabe ground out.
“Did he see you?” Beckham continued, ignoring his response. “Does he know that you work for Elle? Did you check to see if you were tailed?”
“I’m not a fucking idiot, Anderson. Sit your cold lifeless ass down,” Gabe spat. “No one tailed us. No one knows that I work for Elle. He’s not going to figure that out.”
Beckham looked as if he were about to launch across the table and actually rip out Gabe’s throat this time. But Sydney slapped her hands down on the table.
“We’ll continue monitoring Everett. Gabriel, you are lucky that your reach extends so far and that we have a history or else I’d fucking kill you myself,” Sydney said. “Reyna Carpenter is the only known blood match of the most dangerous man in the world. With her, he is invincible. You know where this Blood Census has led us. You know that he is already rolling out permanent escorts to everyone at headquarters. Do you want to see him take over?”