“You are ridiculous.”
“Come on. Don’t hide the details. A girl is starving for sex here. Feed me.”
Reyna pushed her gently. “There’s sex. It’s awesome. There may be…some biting.”
Gabe walked into the sitting room. “What’s all the excitement over? I thought we were in a sad state of affairs because we have to trust that motherfucker Everett.”
Reyna blushed and turned her bright red face away from Gabe. Jodie just laughed hysterically and exclaimed, “You’re so cute when you’re embarrassed.”
“What the hell did I just walk into?” Gabe sank into an overstuffed brown leather chair. His dark red hair had been combed messily and his bright green eyes shined when he looked at the pair.
“Reyna telling me saucy stories,” Jodie teased.
“Well, don’t stop because I’m here.”
“I’m pretty sure a certain vampire might kill you.”
“I could take him.”
Reyna arched an eyebrow.
“Okay, fine,” Gabe said, looking sullen. “Let’s get back on topic. Everett?”
“I know,” Reyna said with a sigh.
“You trust that douche?”
“Of course I don’t trust him.”
“Yeah, get off her case,” Jodie chipped in. She plopped down next to Gabe and punched him on the shoulder. “She’s doing the best that she can. Give her a break.”
“It’s just a huge risk. The only thing we know about this guy is that he’s a spy. He turned you in to Visage. How do we know he won’t do that to the rest of Elle?”
“We don’t. But he’s making an effort. His brother is inside Visage, and he wants to work with us to get him out. To break everyone out. That’s also something I want. As long as we have mutual interests, I think he’s going to work with us. And really…what other choice do we have?”
“I trust you. It was a tough call, but we’re in a tough situation.”
“I’m hoping for the best.”
Reyna pushed away from the fireplace. “I’ll see you guys in the morning, once I’ve slept a solid twelve hours and washed this day off of me.”
“Hey,” Gabe said.
She glanced back at him.
“We believe in you, you know?”
She nodded. She did. That was what worried her.
Reyna trudged up the flight of stairs and headed to her bedroom. But when she entered, it was clear that Beckham was holding court within their quarters.
She froze on the threshold. Barging into the room and acting like they owed her anything would never be the right move. Reyna met Beckham’s gaze head-on. She tilted her chin up. She could read the thoughts forming on his blank face. Ones she was sure only she could see. Things that said he was quite content for everyone else to get the fuck out right the fuck now.
“Let’s reconvene in the morning,” Beckham said. He nodded once at Gerard, who pulled out a cellphone and slipped from the room.
Reyna hastily moved out of his way and into the room. The rest of Beckham’s inner circle followed Gerard. Katarina winked at her as she left.
Even though they were all gone, the door closed behind them, the tension didn’t dissipate. He was the king of his people and she was the queen of hers. Could two rulers come together like this? Trust each other? Not leave the other in the dark?
She felt at his mercy. He knew all of her thoughts, feelings, and actions. She hid nothing from him, least of all her heart. And sometimes she felt like he kept so much back. So much that was left unsaid.
“Come here,” Beckham said.
She stepped across the room to him. He pulled the ponytail holder from her hair and let the dark strands fall loose around her shoulders. He tilted her chin up. Their eyes locked. His endless obsidian orbs swallowing her whole.
“You did good today.”
She swallowed back the lump in her throat. “Then why do I feel so horrible?”
“Because trusting your enemy and seeing the death of your people is never easy. It shouldn’t be. You should feel this, Little One.” He ran his thumb across her bottom lip. “I spent countless years not feeling anything at all. A part of me knew that I should feel something for what I had done. For the atrocities I had committed. But I felt nothing. Feeling what you are feeling, feeling something is human. It is real. Do not wish it away. Get up, accept the pain, and keep moving forward. That is all you can do.”
Then he covered her lips with his and there was no more talking that night.
The morning smelled like bacon.
Reyna followed her nose and grumbling belly downstairs and into the kitchen. Genevieve wore an apron printed with little kittens on it as she expertly handled the enormous kitchen.
“Morning, miss,” Genevieve said.
“Morning. Please, call me Reyna.”
“Of course, miss. Breakfast is almost complete. Do you take tea or coffee?”
Reyna’s stomach grumbled again. “Coffee.”
Genevieve left the stove to pour her a mug. “Cream and sugar?”