“And the woman with the blood that smelled like mine…she wasn’t a proper host?” Reyna asked softly.

“She wasn’t,” Washington said.

Reyna knew that she shouldn’t jump to conclusions. There were a million different things that could have prevented this particular woman from changing into a vampire. But it felt too close for comfort.

If this woman with the exact same smelling blood couldn’t turn then…could Reyna turn? Could she become a vampire? The smell of her blood must mean something. Surely it had something to do with her very rare blood type and the way that Beckham could sense her. That meant it was even likely that the woman had been an Rh null human.

Of course, Harrington was Rh null, so obviously just the blood type alone didn’t determine it. So maybe her blood smelled different because of something else in it. Maybe she was similar to that woman in another way and that would prevent her from turning. What was the likelihood of that? Would she want to risk it? She shuddered at the thought of dying. Of course she didn’t want to die. And since when did she want to turn into a vampire?

She didn’t. Did she? Her heart pattered away as anxiety took over. If she didn’t turn into a vampire, then that meant she couldn’t stay with Beckham. She would keep getting older and he would stay the same age. Brian had flung that in her face when he had found out about her and Beckham. As if Reyna turning into a vampire was the only option for them to continue to be together. She clearly must have taken that to heart. She wanted more time as a human…but she’d always thought that it might be the endgame for her and Beckham.

“Reyna,” Beckham said warningly, as if reading her weighted silence.

Reyna swallowed and pushed forward with her heart in her throat. “Can you…can you tell if someone isn’t a proper host?”

Washington stared down at his equipment, still completely unaware as to the turn of this conversation. “Well, I haven’t discovered a way without infecting a person. And then I’m afraid it’s too late.”

Reyna let silence lapse. She could feel Beckham’s eyes boring into her but she didn’t dare look at him. She needed a second to mourn the loss of that option. Because how could she risk something like that? There was no way that Beckham would if there was ever a possibility that she could die. Her safety was his number one priority. And she couldn’t even fathom the thought of having someone else turn her. There was always the possibility that it could work. But it felt like driving away from the mountains and seeing them fade in the distance.

“This should suffice,” Washington said with a bright smile. He looked between Reyna and Beckham and their stern expressions quizzically. “Well, thank you for allowing me to collect your blood, Reyna. I know that it is not something you had otherwise wanted to do.”

She nodded, still not sure that she had words.

“If you want to check in with me, I would love to have you in the lab. I could use an assistant,” he offered.

Reyna’s gaze shifted to Beckham. He trusted Washington. That made a difference to her. It made her see Washington differently. He wasn’t just the vampire who had created the blood type cure, who had gotten her messed up with all of this to begin with. And though donating her blood and being in a hospital still made her queasy, she felt more at ease around him. Plus, she had known that helping was for the greater good, but her own fears had always gotten in the way. She didn’t want to be that person. Maybe…just maybe she might be brave enough to help out. To overcome her fears for this.

“All right,” she said softly. “Let’s see how it goes. I can’t promise much, but I’ll try to help where I can.”

“Will you wait outside a moment?” Beckham asked. “I want to have a word with Dr. Washington.”

“Sure.” She hopped out of the chair and hurried out of the room.

She didn’t want to know what they were talking about. She was sure that Beckham was pissed that Washington had revealed some of their history and scared her in the process. And she knew that she should be scared based on the history. But all she felt was numb.

Beckham appeared a few minutes later like a thundercloud. “We should get you back. I need to return to work.”


Beckham frowned at her compliance but didn’t object. In silence, they walked together back to her rooms.

When they got there, Beckham tilted her chin up, forcing her to look in his eyes. “You are shaken.”

“I don’t know that I can talk about it yet.”

“Explain it to me,” he commanded though his tone was surprisingly gentle.

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