“My friends are not going to like having two vamps tailing me,” Everett said. “They’re not exactly a vampire friendly kind of people.”
“Tough shit,” Katarina said. “We’re what you’ve got.”
“I’d listen to her,” Philippé said.
“And what are you going to do?” Everett asked.
“Enough talking.” Philippé hoisted Everett casually over his shoulder and hauled him out of the room. Reyna snickered.
“We have to go check on another safe house. Our first one…didn’t exactly go as planned,” Reyna told Meghan and Tye. She explained the situation they’d found themselves in. They both paled.
“Go,” Meghan said, drawing her into a hug. “Be careful.”
Reyna nodded and then followed Beckham outside and into their SUV.
“You knew I had my circle with me,” he observed.
He reached across the car and drew her mouth to his. Her head went light and fuzzy at the intensity of the kiss.
“What was that for?” she whispered when he pulled back.
He arched an eyebrow and put the car in gear. Her body hummed to the tune of the engine. This thing with Beckham was pure magic.
The safe house was about ten minutes away. Same kind of neighborhood, with medium-sized houses and relatively nice streets. This was her last chance to find Drew today.
Beckham put a steadying hand on her back and they both shuffled forward. They had just made it to the back door when a voice called out from inside.
“Oh my God, who left the door open? It’s freezing in here,” a soft female voice said.
Reyna heart stuttered to life and then she was dashing through the back door. “Laura!”
“Reyna!” Laura gasped. Reyna threw her arms around her pregnant sister-in-law as tears flowed freely down her face.
“What’s all the commotion—?” someone said.
Reyna nearly collapsed at the sound. “Drew?”
And there he was. Her brother. Soft brown hair and eyes nearly identical to her own. The boyish features and flannel shirt.
“Rey?” he gasped. He scooped her up and swung her around in his arms. “You’re alive! God, it’s so good to see you. We were so worried.”
Reyna held on to her brother for dear life. This was home. This had always been her home.
Beckham followed in behind her and closed the door. Laura gave him a quick hug of welcome.
“Are there others who made it?” Drew asked.
“Yes. So far we’ve gotten in touch with another safe house with about twenty people. We lost another house. How many do you have here?”
“So few,” she whispered. Then something dawned on her and she pulled back to look at Drew. “Gregory?”
Drew shook his head once. His boyfriend was gone. Just like that. Poof.
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay,” he lied. “So, what’s the new game plan? What are we doing to get Brian back? Is that what Penelope is announcing today? She’s in on it, right?”
Beckham and Reyna glanced at each other. Uh-oh.
“Penelope is announcing something?” Reyna asked carefully.
“Yeah, at City Hall before the storm hits.” Drew glanced between them. “What’s going on? Why the somber looks? That’s why you finally came to get us, isn’t it?”
Reyna shook her head in dismay. “Penelope turned coat.”
“Fuck,” Drew spat. He rarely cursed. It had always been Brian with the hot temper.
Laura pressed a hand to her stomach. “What are we going to do?”
Beckham crossed his arms over his chest. “Trip to City Hall?”
Reyna couldn’t get warm.
No matter how many layers she had on, despite the hand warmers in her gloves. Her bones ached. Her skin had gone past the point of numb to a painful stinging. Her nose was bright red and she kept having to sniffle. The rooftop overlooking City Hall downtown was a bad location right before a blizzard.
Beckham had spent the last hour securing their position. He didn’t want to take any chances. She sure as hell didn’t either. Being here was a huge risk. They were exposed and a lot of people wanted them—dead or alive.
Her eyes traveled to the waiting crowd in front of City Hall. The streets were filled for as far as she could see. People come to hear the big news the beautiful mayor, Penelope Sky, would deliver. No one cared that she had been turned into a vampire or that she was most assuredly a puppet.
“This feels awfully familiar,” Reyna muttered. “Except for the cold.”
Beckham’s eyes turned to the crowd and he frowned. “I’m glad we’re not down there this time.”
“Yeah. No angry mobs for me.”
The last time an announcement was made at City Hall—when the old mayor, Penelope’s father, had begun the Blood Census, issued mandatory identification bracelets, and initiated a curfew—Reyna had been swept up in a riot and nearly knocked unconscious by the crowd.
The crowd suddenly quieted down as figures walked onto the stage. She was lucky that Drew’s safe house had had a pair of binoculars; he’d given them to her before she’d left. It had been hard getting him to stay behind, but convincing him to watch Laura had done the trick. Her stomach had already settled knowing he was alive.