Except, it wasn’t.

Beckham was…dead.


She was alive and he was not.

“You’re up,” a voice said behind her.

Reyna shot to her feet and whirled around. She was still wrapped in Beckham’s jacket. Roger Washington stood in jeans and a high-neck sweater. She had never seen him look so…normal. He was the vampire doctor who had invented the blood type cure in the first place. He’d worked with Harrington for years before turning coat and helping out Elle. He was the one who had determined that she and Beckham were a perfect blood match. A once-in-a-lifetime pair whose blood matched the other’s actual blood composition, the equivalent to a soul mate.

“I’m up,” she said softly.

“I’m so thrilled that you made it out. I was asleep when you came in last night and missed everything,” Washington said.

Reyna sank back into the couch. “Do you have any word on what happened with the bunker?”

Washington shook his head and poured himself some coffee. He held the pot up to her in offering. She nodded. “Unfortunately I know no more than you do. Sydney sent me out of the bunker to separate all of Elle’s high command as a precaution, so I was already here when I got word.” He crossed the living room and handed her the coffee. She took a long sip and shuddered against the bitterness. “How did last night go?”

“It was a disaster.”

“I’m sorry for that, Reyna.”

Sorry. He was sorry. She knew that Washington couldn’t have changed the outcome. But it still rankled her.

“You don’t understand. Harrington won. Penelope is a vampire.” She hated even mentioning that double-crossing bitch. Penelope’s love for Beckham had turned her rotten and in the end she had doomed them all. “And Beckham…” She couldn’t force the words out. Her heart felt as if it were being ripped from her chest all over again. “He’s…he’s dead. Harrington killed him.”

“I…didn’t realize. Is there anything I can do?” he asked cautiously.

“No,” she said, letting her anger extinguish. It wasn’t his fault that Beckham was dead. The only blame belonged to Harrington.

Washington held his hand out as if he was going to try to comfort her, try to say something to make it better. But perhaps his years had shown him what could and could not be fixed. Because he let his hand drop and closed his mouth. He didn’t look at her with pity like the others. Only with deep understanding. And somehow that was worse.

Why did it have to be this way? It wasn’t fair. She knew life wasn’t fair. She had never expected it to be. Not when her parents had died when she was eight, or when her drunk, deranged uncle had abandoned them three years later, or even during the weary years living in the Warehouse District. It had been a tough life, but she had always had highlights. Her brothers and Beckham. Now she was utterly bereft.

“Hey, I thought I heard voices out here,” Meghan said, appearing from the hallway. Her red hair had clearly been poorly finger-combed into submission. There were dark circles under her eyes. She looked bedraggled and defeated. It was not a sight Reyna was used to seeing on her. “Everything okay?”

“Fine,” Reyna said.

“Yes, Reyna was filling me in on what happened yesterday,” Washington said.

Meghan winced. “Sorry. We should have done that last night.”

“No need. I think I have the basics now. Would you like some coffee?”

“Please.” She looked toward Reyna. “How are you doing this morning?” Meghan asked. Worry creased between her eyes.

“I’m alive. So, what’s the plan?” Reyna asked, forcing her shoulders back.

Meghan opened, then closed her mouth. She looked a bit like a fish out of water.

When she didn’t say anything, Reyna froze. “Wait, we do have a plan, right?”

“We have a plan,” Gabe said. He appeared behind Meghan. His own dark red hair was frazzled as if someone’s hands had been in it all night. Looking between Meghan and Gabe, it wasn’t too hard to guess what last night’s grief had resulted in. “Tye went to switch out plates and get Prisha another vehicle. We need something secure before we can leave.”

“And where are we going to go? The bunker is gone. The plan was to get back to the bunker after all of this. Safe houses were Plan B in case we needed a quick escape. What the hell now?” Reyna snapped.

“Plan C,” Washington said.

Reyna arched an eyebrow.

“No one knows where all the safe houses are—that way if someone got kidnapped then they couldn’t out the entire operation. Well, I’m going to take you to a safe place outside of the city until this blows over,” Washington informed her.

Reyna let the news sink in. “We can’t just run away.”

“We’re not,” Gabe said. “We need a place to regroup and we can’t stay here.”

Reyna didn’t like the sound of that. She’d rather figure out a way to make the bastards pay. But as she was about to say as much, Tye and Prisha came through the back door in a rush.

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