Beckham pointed his finger at the ground as if to say Stay here. She nodded her head in understanding. He gently tipped her chin up with his fist, his eyes penetrating deep into her soul. Then he was gone.
What the hell did that mean? After how he’d been acting, why was he being tender with her? The man wasn’t warm to begin with. And considering he’d been a frozen iceberg since leaving Graves’ place, she hadn’t been expecting anything like that.
Reyna flipped the small device Beckham had given her over in her hand. It was about the size of her palm with a screen on one side. She pressed the button to turn on the display, which revealed the empty living room and a little red dot to record.
She only had to wait a few minutes before Beckham entered and took a seat in an overstuffed armchair. He sprawled out, completely at ease in the place. Her mind drifted off to all the reasons he’d been here in the past. She truly hated to think about the fact that he and Penny had been together. Whether it was pretend or not, he’d drank her blood and had sex with her. Those things had happened in this apartment. And now he was here. Looking pretty damn comfortable. Her stomach turned.
Penelope entered the room wearing a sky blue silk robe that was nearly sheer in the dim lighting. Reyna chewed on her lip to keep her disgust from erupting out of her and clicked the damn red button.
* * *
“I really didn’t think you’d come,” Penelope said. She held a glass full of amber liquid in her delicate hand. Faux delicacy now that she’d been turned. Reyna knew she was about as delicate as a diamond.
Beckham shrugged a shoulder.
Penelope fidgeted. “Want a drink?”
“You know what I like.”
Penelope grinned like a pleased little kitty cat and strode to a bar in her mile-high heels. She poured Beckham two knuckles’ worth of whiskey and handed it to him. He took a slow sip before setting it down. So much for not eating or drinking from the enemy.
“I’m so happy to see you,” Penelope said. “When you said you were coming…”
“You didn’t tell anyone?”
“Of course not. I wouldn’t do that. I wanted to see you and make sure you were okay. After you woke up at that morgue…” Penelope shuddered. “I’ve been a wreck ever since.”
Yeah, and Penelope had helped put him there.
Reyna closed her eyes against the image of Beckham’s head snapping to the side and him slumping to the ground. It was and always would be the most traumatic experience of her life.
Penelope continued on when Beckham didn’t respond. “But now you look so good. I’ve really missed you. It’s been so hard doing all of this alone.”
“Doing what alone?” he asked.
“Living this double life.”
Beckham shifted forward. “I thought you ended that.”
“Are you kidding? Of course not,” she gushed. “I still want the same thing you do.”
“And what is that?”
Reyna almost snorted. She was pretty certain that Penelope wanted far from the same thing as Beckham. Let alone equality between vampires and humans. She’d been made into a vampire as payment for turning Reyna in. Her priorities were seriously skewed.
Penny sank in the chair next to him. Her robe fell open and revealed inch after inch of perfectly smooth long lean legs. “You have to believe me when I say that I’m still on your side. And I’m so sorry about what happened. I know I could never take that back, but it was never my intention for you to get harmed or for anyone to get hurt. I still want to see vampires and humans live and work together. I think it’s even more important to me now that I’m a vampire.”
“Really?” he asked, somehow managing to keep the incredulity from his voice.
Reyna knew she wouldn’t have been able to. She leaned against the wall and waited to hear more of the bullshit Penny was spitting.
“Absolutely. Elle has been so scattered after Harrington destroyed the headquarters. God, I still can’t even think about what happened to Sydney.”
Beckham swirled his drink in his hand and pretended not to look interested. “Sydney?”
Reyna swallowed, terrified to hear the news. Oh God. No…no, not Sydney.
“Fuck, you probably haven’t heard,” Penelope said. She stood and walked away from him as if she couldn’t bear to break the news to him. “She’s dead.”
Reyna took a few deep breaths in and let them out, trying to slow her racing heart. And to stop the tears threatening to escape.
“In the fires?” Beckham asked. As always, completely unaffected by death.
“No. I guess they sent in a SWAT team to break the doors down to bomb the place. Sydney went to meet them, giving some Elle members enough time to escape. She tried to stop the attackers, but they gunned her down until she couldn’t move and then snapped her neck.” Penny sighed. Her voice got really soft. “Harrington had a video and made me watch it.”