Chapter 26

Shit, shit, shit.

He’d seen her. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do about this. She was totally fucking screwed.

Reyna flipped off the recording device and tucked it into the pocket of her jacket. There was no way she could outrun a vampire. The only thing she could do was face what was about to happen.

She took a deep breath and exited the office. Beckham had said stay in place, but they hadn’t had a contingency plan for Penelope realizing that she was there. And by the look on Penelope’s face…she wasn’t too pleased to see her.

Considering that the last time they’d been together Reyna had shot her, she didn’t blame her. There was no love lost on her part either.

“Hey, Penny,” Reyna said with confidence she didn’t feel.

Anytime she’d been around really pissed-off vampires, things hadn’t gone her way.

“You brought her?” Penelope asked, turning around to glare at Beckham.

He released a breath. Decision made. “Yes. She’s mine. So step away from her.”

His stance shifted into predatory and he began moving in a circle around Penelope. Analyzing her like the threat she most definitely was, to get closer to Reyna.

“She’s yours,” Penelope spat. “I cannot believe I fell for your bullshit. You came here under false pretenses.”

“As if you have no ulterior motives.”

“Right now I’m thinking about having my first kill,” she snapped at him.

“If you touch her, it will be the last thing you do.”

“And just think…you’d die in that hideous robe,” Reyna said with an unapologetic shrug.

Penelope’s eyes were fire. “God, I hate you.”

“Feeling’s mutual.”

“I was going to have Harrington kill you once you turned yourself in, but no, I think I’d rather do it myself.”

Penelope rushed toward Reyna in a fit of anger, jealousy, and fierce rage. Reyna moved on instinct. She knew that there was no way she could outpace a vampire. It wasn’t even possible. But she couldn’t keep her feet from launching away from Penelope.

Beckham lunged toward her and she felt him finally open himself up to her. She felt everything all at once. An overwhelming melee of self-hatred. So much all at once that she could hardly tell her fear from his fear or her anger from his.

She felt a shove as if Beckham had pushed her across the room. One minute she was standing in front of Penelope, knowing she was about to rip her head off at any second. Then the next minute she’s standing across the room, out of harm’s way.

Her head was spinning. Her legs felt like Jell-O. The entire fiber of her being felt unsettled and discombobulated.

What the hell had just happened?

She put a hand to her ears to try to stop the ringing as she regained her balance. She was so busy trying to stand up straight, she didn’t see Lance until he was nearly on top of her.

“Stay away from my Sponsor!” he bellowed as he held a lamp over his head.

Reyna ducked with a screech. “What the fuck? She was trying to hurt me!”

“You’re human!” Lance said with wide eyes.

“Uh, yeah! Idiot.”

“You just…you didn’t…”

Reyna ignored his confusion and turned back to the real matter at hand. Beckham circling Penelope. She couldn’t believe he hadn’t already ended this. It was as easy as subduing her and getting out. And by the way Penelope had been talking about Reyna turning herself in…it seemed like now would be the time.

“Becks, it’s a trap. Let’s go,” Reyna called.

“You just realized that?” Penelope muttered.

“What did he offer you?” Beckham spat out.

“You, of course.”

“In exchange for Reyna, again?”

She shrugged. “Good deal to me. Even if you left now, you wouldn’t make it out of the building.”

“And you were going to turn me in?”

“Why not?” she asked with a maniacal laugh. “You never chose me. You always chose her. You both deserve to suffer.”

“You’re insane,” Reyna cried.

“Don’t worry,” Penelope told Beckham in a soft, gentle tone full of utter madness. “After I break you, we’ll have a great life.”

Beckham laughed. He actually laughed. “You could never break me.”

“Would have been fun trying,” she said.

“Becks, we have to go,” Reyna said again, gesturing to the door.

Beckham moved as quick as lightning. Penelope tried to veer away from him, but Beckham had years and years of training as a vampire on her. She was no match for him. No vampire was a match for him.

In seconds, he had Penelope’s back pressed into his chest. His hands on either side of her head.

“You were better than this,” he told her.

“Beckham,” she said, fear finally breaking through everything.

“Now you’re just a loose end.”

She didn’t even have time to call out before Beckham twisted her head at an unnatural angle and let her lifeless body fall heavily to the carpet.

* * *

Reyna’s jaw nearly hit the ground at the sight before her. Lance fell to his knees at Penelope’s feet and began sobbing uncontrollably. His cries were loud and obnoxious, and at the same time she understood them. Death was the real monster on this journey called life.