The house they entered was plain, with hardly anything in it. Just some used furniture and a foldout table in the kitchen. It didn’t look like a place where someone lived. Another safe house.
“There are three bedrooms,” Prisha said. “Washington has already taken one. I’m happy to share my own. You can decide who gets the third. I also have a couch and an air mattress.”
“Thank you for getting this set up, Prisha,” Meghan said warmly. “It will only be for a night.”
Prisha waved her hand. “It’s all gone now, isn’t it? You’ll need the space.”
“We don’t want to compromise you,” Tye said. His features were drawn. “It’s enough that the bunker was destroyed. We won’t be able to get inside to see the full damage until the smoke has cleared.”
Reyna’s heart tugged again. The bunker was destroyed. She had spent the last month living there, in Elle’s rebellion bunker on the outskirts of the city. Elle had rescued her from Harrington and brought her into the fold. Her brothers had gotten onto the security team. Brian had just married his fiancée, Laura, before he had been captured on a raid. Drew and Laura had been at the bunker when she left to kill Harrington. A lot of good that had done.
She couldn’t even think about all the other people who had been in the bunker when Harrington had bombed it.
“How many are accounted for?” Prisha asked.
Tye shook his head. “We haven’t heard from any other safe houses. Communications are down. We probably won’t hear until tomorrow.”
Which meant they wouldn’t have word on Drew and Laura until tomorrow either. Reyna sighed.
Meghan put an arm around her shoulder. “Why don’t we get you into the shower and clean you up? Then I think you should rest. You can have the other bedroom.”
“I’m fine. I’ll just…take the couch,” Reyna said.
Meghan reached out to her, but Gabe grabbed her arm. “Let her go.”
Reyna glanced over at them and saw that Meghan had collapsed into Gabe’s shoulder, her own muffled tears just loud enough for Reyna to hear. Gabe escorted her from the room.
Reyna pulled Beckham’s jacket tighter around herself. She could see that the others were grieving as well, worried about what had happened to the rebellion. They were all suffering greatly for what Harrington had done. One error had cost them everything. Not just Beckham but the entire rebellion. All the people that they had known for years. She might have lost Beckham, but they had lost everything. Maybe they all needed to be alone tonight.
She curled up on the empty sofa, Beckham’s jacket her only blanket. It still smelled like him. What would it be like when it no longer held that smell? When his jacket was a lifeless as his body?
She choked on the sob that was stuck in her throat and the dam broke. Tears fell down her cheeks. They blurred her vision and superheated her skin. She felt like she was going to vomit. She couldn’t breathe. She was hyperventilating. Her chest hurt. There was a hole where previously Beckham had been.
She’d gotten away. She’d survived. She knew that there were important things left to accomplish. But right now all she felt was grief.
Beckham was really gone.
And she had to find a way to live with that.
* * *
Beep, beep, beep.
Reyna awoke in a burst of fear and desperation. For a second, she didn’t remember where she was. The sights and sounds were so foreign as to almost be familiar. It was as if she was put back into that prison cell beneath Visage, where she lived as a blood bag for that monster Harrington. She could distinctly remember lying there, an IV in her arm and the familiar sound of the heart-rate monitor beeping noisily, after she had been kidnapped.
Visage had appeared to the outside world as a benevolent company that had saved them in the midst of the great recession. Vampires came out of the darkness with the invention of the blood type cure, which was less a cure and more a Band-Aid. Vampires drank from specific humans that matched their blood type and it curbed their baser tendencies. It created “men” like Harrington and Rowland.
Reyna had only recently found out that much of what she had thought she had known was a lie. Some vampires were already predisposed to higher cognitive function. Harrington and the three vampire lords he’d recruited—Cassandra, Rowland, and Beckham—had engineered the recession for the purpose of starting Visage. To take over the world.
And they were winning.
Now only Harrington and Rowland remained. Beckham had killed Cassandra. And Beckham…
Reyna opened her eyes to dispel the lingering feeling of unease. She was in a quaint little house on the outskirts of the city. She wasn’t at Visage. She wasn’t still kidnapped. Everything was all right.