Gabe’s eyes widened. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“Okayyyy. What did he look like? Maybe I’ve seen him around.”
Reyna opened her mouth to describe that midnight-blue-black hair. The stormy gray eyes. The immense height and expensive suit and the sheer magnitude of his beauty. And nothing.
She shrugged her shoulders. “I…can’t say.”
“What the fuck, Reyna? Why not?”
“I don’t know, but uh…don’t ask about him in front of Becks, okay?”
“No worries there.” He rubbed his jaw once before slipping the back door open for her. “What kind of guy can keep you from saying his name…or what he looks like? Was he not human?”
Reyna chewed her lip. No. Definitely not human.
“Fuck me. You really can’t say,” Gabe said in shock.
“I really can’t.”
Reyna slid into the backseat of the van, carefully watching Beckham in the passenger seat. Beckham never looked back at her and she felt almost as if he had a block on his emotions. She didn’t dare try to discover them through their bond, but his anger was so evident. His shoulders tensed, his jaw set, his fingers typing rapidly on his phone in a way that felt all too familiar. And not in the best way. She didn’t like that he was hurting or burying deep down whatever he was feeling. She knew it was a defense mechanism, but it didn’t make her feel any better.
It was a long and silent ride back to the mansion. The windows might as well have frozen over with Beckham’s frigidity the whole way.
Once the van came to a stop, before she could even say something or reach for Beckham to try to find out exactly what he was feeling, he darted out of the car. Beckham’s circle met him in the garage and they loped off without a backward glance. Reyna breathed out in frustration as he disappeared into the darkness. Gabe dropped a hand on her shoulder in solidarity and then they walked back to the house. They entered through the kitchen and Reyna made an ice pack for his face, which was already swelling, an eye shut.
“Sorry again about this,” Reyna said.
“Occupational hazard. Should probably check on Meghan.”
“Yeah…I’m going to look in on Brian.”
“Be careful, okay?”
Reyna nodded and then headed up the stairs. A light was on at the end of the hall. The emotional roller coaster of the last couple hours hit her like a punch to the gut. She was exhausted. She wanted to clean all this makeup off and sleep for at least the next twenty-four hours. Deal with her brother and Graves and a vampire army and the fucking antidote another day.
But she didn’t.
She headed down the hall to her own personal hell and pushed the door open slightly. She startled at the sight of Genevieve reading from Dante’s Inferno. Brian was asleep. His chin resting against his chest as he remained chained to the chair.
“May not be the best choice,” Reyna whispered. “Descending into Hell.”
“Poignant,” Genevieve said softly.
“How’s he doing?”
Genevieve considered. “About the same. I believe he’s more lucid with those he doesn’t know. He’s full of guilt and seeing your face reminds him of his humanity.”
“Shouldn’t we want to remind him of that?”
“Guilt can crush a person. It’s best to start with people who understand. Let him come to some semblance of acceptance first.”
Reyna nodded. “Thank you for looking after him. I truly appreciate it.”
Genevieve got a far-off look on her face. “We’ve all been there before. It’s nice to bring them around before they do worse. A chance most of us weren’t offered.”
“He’s a fighter. He can come back from this.”
“I hope so.”
“You’ll be here all night?”
“Yes. Until Katarina comes for a reprieve. But I don’t mind.”
“Again…thank you. I wish I could be there for him, but at least someone is.”
“Get some rest, Miss Reyna. Your brother just needs time.”
Reyna took one last wistful look at Brian before finding her bed and promptly passing out.
Beckham didn’t return that night.
Or the one after that.
A full week later and she still hadn’t seen a trace of him. No depressions next to her in bed. None of the O negative blood gone from the fridge. None of his musky scent. She couldn’t even sense him, which meant he had to be at least six miles away from the mansion. Whatever he was doing…he wasn’t nearby and he clearly didn’t want to see her.
The whole thing was utterly frustrating. She hadn’t done anything wrong and yet he was punishing her for Graves’ actions. She just wanted him to come home and talk this out with her. But he didn’t come home and they didn’t talk.
His inner circle returned routinely to help with Brian, but no Becks. Katarina had brought the antidote to Washington the very next morning. When Reyna had asked about Beckham, she’d been tight-lipped and disappeared. Their loyalty ran deep. None of them would talk about it. Or where he was. Reyna respected that…and despised it.