“That’s not true,” Reyna whispered.

“Oh no. It’s as true as could be. Until you. You made me want to be better, but the truth is that I am not better.”

Something cracked within Beckham. A chasm that was more than sixty years in the making. He was broken. He’d finally…broken. He couldn’t keep going with the weight of all his kills on his shoulders. And there were so many kills. Some worse than others; she could see them crushing his strong shoulders. How he must be tormented by his past.

“You are,” Reyna said. She reached out and put a gentle hand on his arm. “You are better, Becks. The fact that you feel this way shows that you’re a different man.”

“Did you not see what I saw tonight? I killed Penelope with my own two hands.” He looked down at them covered in blood. “And I felt nothing.”

“She was going to hurt me. Or you. And she had turned us in to Harrington. It was a trap, Becks.”

“It could have been you,” he said in a barely audible voice.

“Me?” she whispered. “You’d never hurt me.”

“I would!” he roared. It exploded out of him as if he’d been holding on to it for so long. “I have.”

“No. You have always been there and protected me and saved me. Even when I didn’t want to be saved.”

“Reyna, the only thing that I am is a killer. The night we saw that fucking bastard, I’d never felt so strongly in my life. All I could think the entire time driving back to the house was that I was going to kill you. I loved you so much I was going to kill you.”

Reyna stared at him, stunned.

“I was jealous and pissed because he touched you. But I worried that if I stayed with all those emotions roiling through me, the only outlet I had was the only thing I was good at. So I left. I left to keep you alive.”

“Oh Becks,” she whispered, stepping into his space again. She put her hand on his cheek. “All this time I thought that you were mad at me. But really you were protecting me. Again.”

“I’m not a hero.”

“You’re so very wrong.”

Then she pressed her lips against his. His hands landed on her waist tentatively and grasped her with vigor as the kiss deepened. Beckham was broken. He feared himself so much that he’d disappeared to protect her. And he couldn’t even see it. He couldn’t even fathom that he was the good guy in this. So shattered by his past that a moment of vulnerability wrecked him and made him think he would revert into the only thing he believed he was capable of.

“You’re not just a killer,” she whispered against his lips. “You have subdued the monster and the reason you feel like this finally…is because you are embracing the man.”

He responded by picking her up, sliding her legs around his waist, and putting her ass down on the sink. Her hands went to his pants, jerking free the remaining tattered material. His cock lengthening in her hand.

“We are connected by more than our blood. We are united through our souls. You would sooner die than harm me. I believe that beyond words.”

“I never doubted us. Just me.”

Reyna sighed at the words. “No more doubts.”

He stripped her from the waist down and plunged deep inside her body. Their souls connecting as all barriers disintegrated around them. Together they embraced the moon and landed among the stars.

Killer, savior, monster, man.

None of it mattered as long as he was hers.

* * *

Hours later, after the sounds of the last foot soldiers disappeared from around the convenience store and Beckham had fully returned to health, Reyna and Beckham slipped outside and hooved it back to the SUV. After Beckham checked it extensively for a tracer, they left the city far behind.

Beckham reached across the console and threaded their fingers together. The stress of the evening evaporated. She leaned her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. She listened to the rhythm of his heart and forgot the rest of the world. She’d deal with it tomorrow. Right now she wanted this ounce of solace.

It was after midnight when they finally made it back. Her eyes were drooping and sleep was calling out to her. Had it only been a few hours ago that she’d gotten the call about Everett? When Beckham had returned and she’d convinced him to let her go with him to see Penny? Every day felt like a lifetime.

Beckham parked the SUV and they moved together into the kitchen. The light was on and Genevieve was humming to herself as she busied herself about the stove.

“Hey,” Reyna said.

“Miss Reyna.”

“Who’s with Brian?”

“Master Philippé took over for a while. I can go up there to check on him if you’d like.”

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