“We’ve talked.”

Penny glared at Reyna with accusation written in her eyes. But Reyna couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction when Penelope left.

She and Beckham stood there, facing each other, in the wake of Penelope’s absence. So much was unsaid between them.

Beckham gestured to the door. “Come on. I know the way.”

Reyna exited the conference room and Beckham moved to her side, walking in silence down the hallway. Reyna wanted it to be the comfortable silence that they had developed before her kidnapping, but it was more like when he had first been matched with her. Tension crackled between them. She finally spoke just to break the silence.

“Were you always in Sydney’s inner circle?”

Beckham glanced her way. “No.”

“When did that start?”

“You do love to ask questions, don’t you?” He shot her an inquisitive look.

“Yes. And you promised to answer them all.”

He slid his hands into his pockets and faced forward once more. “Different time.”

“It doesn’t have to be.”

“It’s more dangerous now.”

“It was always dangerous. I just didn’t know it. You knew about my blood type and why I was valuable…It was why you wouldn’t drink from me…” Reyna said, cutting off her rambling.

“I tried to stay away,” he said coolly.

Reyna sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. Sometimes she felt like they were moving a step forward and then just as quickly three steps back. She wanted answers. She wanted concrete under her feet instead of eggshells.

Beckham reached for the stairwell door. “Let’s continue this conversation somewhere more private.”

“Will Penny be okay with that?” she shot at him drily.

“Penny has been dismissed.”

Reyna chanced a glance at him. He betrayed nothing, as usual, but somehow she could sense that something had shifted. Between when he had seen her last and this moment something had changed.

They trekked down the stairs and soon they were back in front of the door to her room. She sheepishly revealed Jodie’s handiwork with the door. Beckham’s nostrils flared.

“You want to let anyone have access to your room?” he asked.

“It was Jodie’s idea. So we had a way to get back in.”

“Jodie.” He seemed to be considering her presence as they entered Reyna’s room. “I still can’t believe you saved her. Though I understand why. She seems like a bad influence.”

Reyna snorted. “Jodie is just like me. She’s a broken girl who was taken from her home and forced to work for those monsters.”

“Ah,” he said, straightening. “At least you’re admitting again that we’re all monsters.”

She shook her head. “Harrington is a monster.”

Beckham leaned back against the closet and observed her. “I believe there are more pressing matters to discuss.”

Reyna sighed and took a seat on the end of the bed. “Yes, there are. I still can’t believe you left.”

“You told me to.”

“Of course I told you to leave,” she said with a wave of her hand. “You wouldn’t tell me if something was going on with you and Penny again. You wouldn’t even tell me whether or not you were engaged!”

He looked down at the floor and uttered, “I deserved your hatred.”

Reyna reeled back in shock. “What?”

He gave her a look that said I don’t repeat myself.

“I don’t hate you,” she gasped. “I could never hate you.”

“Oh Little One,” he said, taking a silent step forward, “how do you still have such a heart?”

“When I was gone, the only thing that kept me going was you. It was knowing that you were on the outside waiting for me. I’d put all of our happy memories in one part of my brain and cornered it off so no one could ever damage them. But then I got out…and it was as if I meant nothing to you.” Reyna choked out the words that had been haunting her since her release.

“I am a monster. I fed off of you. When you realized my true nature, you fled my presence. You left with someone else, you were so desperate to get away from me.”

A tear slipped down her cheek as she realized the turmoil he must have been suffering all this time. At the turmoil she had inflicted. “You are not a monster. When we were together, when you bit me, it was the best moment of my life, Becks. I trusted you. I told you I trusted you and then I spit it in your face. I was wrong. As soon as I woke up at Everett’s, I tried to come back to apologize to you and let you know that I didn’t mean anything I said. But by then it was too late.”

Beckham stepped forward to where she stood before the bed, cupped her face in both his hands, and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

“You showed me the real you. The real Beckham underneath this façade.”

His obsidian eyes stared deeply into her own dark orbs and she was utterly lost. His hands were on her. His mouth mere inches away. This was the moment she had dreamed about.

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