“Black suits me,” she said.
“Not in the slightest,” Harrington said, taking another step forward. He swung his cane in circles. She had been right. He still didn’t need the damn thing. “You are innocent and soft and so very human.”
Reyna clenched her jaw and released it. She hated the way Harrington’s words mirrored what Beckham had said to her earlier this week. How could both men enjoy these qualities in her and be so utterly different. Want such different things from her.
“However, you simply could have walked back into my life. You didn’t need such a dramatic entrance.”
“You like dramatic entrances.”
He smiled. He did like them. “You know me so well.”
If she didn’t know better, she would think that William Harrington was infatuated with her. But she knew he was not. He wanted something from her. He was a master manipulator. He would play whatever game necessary to get her to come to him of her own free will. That would be easiest for him. Kidnapping was an extra step. He preferred to cut out the middle man.
A shuffle from behind Harrington drew their attention. Reyna stiffened when she saw Rowland enter the patio. Then Cassandra. Then Beckham.
“You know my colleagues,” Harrington said, gesturing distractedly to the trio.
“Yes,” she squeaked out like a mouse.
She could face Harrington, but Rowland and Cassandra made her quake in her boots. Rowland the devious sexual predator. Cassandra the deranged sadist. She hated to admit that she was safer with Harrington and his obsessive-compulsive cleanliness and propriety.
“Mr. Anderson is in a mood,” Harrington said with a wide smile for Beckham. “He’s not pleased that we turned his girl.”
She finally steeled herself to glance at Beckham. He was not her Beckham. He was the senior vice president at this deplorable organization. He was a vampire lord. A murderer, a serial killer, a monster.
“Ruined her,” Beckham spat instead. His arms were crossed. His eyes flat and lifeless.
“You’ll find another O negative beauty. You always do, my boy,” Harrington said dismissively.
Reyna couldn’t believe that Harrington still addressed Beckham as if he were a treasured son. A prodigy. They’d suspected Beckham was on the out. Had they been wrong? What was an act…and what wasn’t?
“We wouldn’t risk you with that though, dear Reyna,” Harrington said. “You are much too valuable. But I see that I did it wrong the first time. You can come back and live a normal life. Come and go as you please. We’d be more careful with the blood donations. I’d negotiate to once a week even.”
He was…negotiating with her. She hadn’t expected that. Truthfully, she hadn’t expected any of it. Harrington was acting as if her presence was totally normal. That her appearance was what he had always suspected.
“A normal life?” she asked, hoping she sounded earnest.
She was pretty sure that her definition of normal was about as far from William Harrington’s as imaginable. Any life in which she had to donate her blood to keep the biggest murderer in history alive was not a life she wanted to live.
“You’ve already seen what the alternative is like,” Harrington said.
“Yes, I remember clearly what my alternative is.”
He made it seem as if those were her only options. A life as a prisoner or a life as a willing prisoner.
“Certainly, you’d rather have what I’m offering.”
Reyna frowned. The fact that he honestly believed that he was tempting her was ludicrous. She suddenly saw exactly what her life had been like. A white bedroom, IVs ripped out, needles, insanity…B. Always B. The woman that she could have been. The vampire Harrington had made into a deranged monster.
“I will not be like B,” she spat, unable to keep up the façade. The idea of turning into B still haunted her dreams. She suppressed them when she was surrounded by people who cared for her, but staring into Harrington’s face, they all returned.
She saw Beckham’s face crease in confusion. She was going off script. Not that she had exactly been on script. But this was different. She couldn’t mask the anger in her voice.
Harrington laughed. “Ah, B. Perhaps my demonstration was too severe.”
His eyes darted to Beckham. There was careful calculation in that look. A person contemplating poking a bear to see if it would bite.
“But surely you know that her name is not truly B,” Harrington said, a slow creepy smile crawling onto his face.
Reyna stared at him in confusion. She had never thought about B’s name. She had assumed B was just a number. A designator.
After a heartbeat, Harrington said, “Her name is Bronwyn.”
Everything slowed to a stop with that name.
B was Bronwyn.
Bronwyn was Beckham’s sister.
B was Beckham’s sister.
Reyna couldn’t process that. How could that insane completely unhinged creature possibly be Beckham’s sister? How could she have been his second? Had she always been insane? Even before Harrington had gotten to her?