He shrugged. “Yes.”
“Why? Why did you do it?”
“I long suspected Beckham of being involved in the rebel group. I thought helping you along would tip his hand. That he’d reveal himself.”
“Why did you think that he was a part of something like that?”
“He disagreed with the permanent positions and developed a lasting relationship with a woman.” He smiled. “Penelope, that is.” Reyna kept her face neutral. “That prompted my interest, but it wasn’t until you arrived that he started acting different. So I thought you could help move things along.”
“But I wasn’t a rebel.”
“No. I never thought you were. You were too naive for that.”
Reyna glared. “So, you just used me?”
“I did actually like you. Spending time with you was refreshing.”
“Why? Because I was so naive?”
“Because you were so genuine.”
Reyna rolled her eyes. “Amazing that a spy can’t seem to find anyone to be genuine with him.”
Everett didn’t take the bait. “What did they do to you?”
“They?” she asked. “You did this to me.”
“Yeah, I have. I had to adapt or I would have gone insane. Being tortured for eight weeks does that to a person. I’m never going to be the victim like that again.”
“Tortured,” he breathed.
“Kidnapping victims tend to have psychological issues.”
“I bet it doesn’t help anything that you’re trapped here.”
Trapped. That word. She couldn’t fully suppress her shudder. “I can leave whenever I want.”
“Uh-huh. Just as much as I can.”
“God, what am I even doing here?” she said, throwing her arms wide and stepping away from him. “This is a waste of time.”
“Why are you here?” he asked quietly. “For real.”
Her hand was on the door, poised to leave. She didn’t have to talk to him. She didn’t have to tell him anything. He might have been her friend once, but that had been based on a lie. She didn’t want to fall into his trap again, but she still hoped. Hoped that he could be rehabilitated. That they could get his brother out like they were working to find June. That all would be right with the world.
“My brothers have gone to check out the camps,” she said into the door. “I guess I wanted to think about anything but my fear for them.”
She glanced over her shoulder to find that he had surged to his feet. This entire time he’d been seated in an attempt to seem less threatening. But now he looked frantic.
“They went to the feeding camp?” Everett demanded.
“Yeah. We had to corroborate your story.”
“When did they go?”
“I don’t know. A couple hours ago. Why?”
The look on his face made her body turn to stone. He was processing something. As if there was a Rubik’s cube before him and he only had a matter of minutes to get all the colors on the right sides.
When he looked at her again, her blood ran cold.
“What?” she demanded.
“It’s a trap.”
“What’s a trap?” she whispered. Though she already knew.
“They set me up. They know you’re coming.”
“Everett, you’re scaring me.”
“Tell them all to come back. Get them home.”
“Yes! They never would have given me that information. They let me find it on purpose. I should have fucking known. Shit, shit, shit!” His fear permeated the room. “Reyna, go. Go now!”
She saw the truth in his eyes and slammed her hand on the door. It pried open slowly. She slipped out and was running down the hallway before either of the guards could ask what was wrong. Her heart was slamming in her chest at the possibilities that all of this could really be a trap.
She needed to get to Sydney. She needed to hear from her that all was going to according to plan. That she was freaking out over nothing. Everett had planted the idea in her head, but his fear had triggered this reaction. She was sprinting, running at top speed. All those hours on the treadmill pushing her to her limits. She skipped the elevator entirely and took the stairs three steps at a time.
She was panting by the time she burst into the conference room.
“It’s a trap,” she gasped. Her hands were on her knees. “Everett thinks…it’s a trap.”
Sydney had her hands braced on the table at the head of the conference table. Only Gabe and Washington stood at her sides. She knew Beckham had to be visible anytime a mission was going on. So he always had an alibi.
“We know,” was all Sydney got out.
“You…you know?” she said in shock. Her voice rose as her anger did. “You knew and you sent my brothers out there? You sent them into a feeding farm knowing it was a trap!”
“We didn’t know ahead of time,” Sydney snapped. “But we’ve been in contact with Tye and Xavier. They were ambushed once they got close enough to the facilities.”
“What happened? Is anyone hurt?” Reyna demanded.