“What?” Beckham snapped. He lost all sense of decorum and stalked forward. Cassandra and Rowland blocked his path, standing between him and Harrington.
“Come now, Beckham. Don’t hate me. I’ve had your sister exactly where she belonged all these years. Locked up!”
“You fucking bastard,” Beckham snarled.
Harrington found that amusing. “You are the one who created her. It was only safe for the maintenance of a well-run society to remove the loose ends.”
“My sister is not a loose end!”
“She most certainly was when I encountered her. You tortured her into insanity over the course of several years, Beckham. What did you think would happen to her?” He smiled that wicked pleased smile he had when he was needling someone. When he was about to go on one of his soliloquies about how brilliant he was. “She certainly wasn’t going to regain her sanity working as second in command of your army. If anything, she was only getting worse. I saw her for the menace to society that she was. So, I took her out of the equation. Killed two birds with one stone with that one. Her disappearance was the only reason that you ended up working for me. All worked out in the end, don’t you think?”
“You bastard,” Beckham said. “I know what I did to Bronwyn, but she is my sister! You lied to me and killed someone else for her murder. Yet you’ve held her all this time?”
“Well, it was an easy way to get someone else out of the way,” Harrington said as if he were so clever.
Reyna’s heart pounded in her chest. Her eyes darted to Beckham. Though he had completely forgotten her standing there in the cold. Beckham had done this to Bronwyn. Beckham was the one who had destroyed her mind. It pained her beyond belief to think that Beckham had created her nightmare.
And suddenly a conversation with Beckham all those months ago in his penthouse came back to her. His words rang in her mind…
“I’ve sought people out, tortured them, drove them mad just to kill them slowly through their insanity. I’ve done horrible things and enjoyed it, Reyna.”
And she realized that she had never truly explored the reality of the statement. He’d done this to Bronwyn, to his own sister. She’d seen firsthand exactly how thorough he’d been. How psychotic he must have been at the time to ruin her in such a way.
Her heart broke for him. For the weight he must carry around. So destroyed he must have been by it that he couldn’t even tell her the truth of it all.
“My sister was not a pawn for you to use,” Beckham said low.
Harrington shrugged. “I use all my pawns as I see fit, and she is not a menace I want walking the streets of my city.”
“My city,” Beckham growled. “I own this city. I bought it in blood. Bronwyn at my side.”
“That was too long ago. Cities no longer belong to anyone. The world belongs to me,” Harrington said. “I did you a favor by getting her out of the way. Haven’t you thrived without her?”
Reyna saw the instant that something inside Beckham snapped at the words. At the knowledge that Harrington had kept Bronwyn from him all these years and was now trying to justify it by calling it a favor.
He unleashed himself. He lunged forward toward Harrington, who took a step backward in displeasure. Cassandra and Rowland still stood in his path. Beckham would have to go through them to get to Harrington. Always another barrier. But there was nothing left in Beckham except revenge, death, and destruction.
He was savage and uncontrollable. She’d seen him fight Rowland before…but this was…this was beyond anything she could imagine.
His movements were lightning fast. So fast that she could hardly register them. He took on Cassandra and Rowland as one. Hands flying, arms moving, legs kicking. It was a blur.
Beckham was larger than both of them. Rowland had a slimmer frame with equally quick movements. Cassandra was tall and lithe. She had none of his supreme strength, but she was slippery like an eel. Evading capture and delivering blows that would have incapacitated an ordinary man. Rowland was the opposite of Cassandra’s stealthy movements, diving right into Beckham’s calculated advances.
And then it shifted.
Beckham had Cassandra in a neck hold. Her back to his chest. His arm across her shoulders. His hand cupping her chin. Then a sickening snap sounded through the building and Cassandra’s body went limp.
Reyna’s gasp was audible as the light left Cassandra’s eyes. When they snapped back up to Beckham’s there was nothing in them.
And he didn’t stop there. He used the rest of his strength and physically ripped Cassandra’s head from her shoulders. He let the body drop, the severed spinal cord showing through. Blood coated the patio floor. Vampire blood.