“On it. You need to get out too!” Gabe yelled. Meghan came dashing after him. He grabbed her hand and rushed for the door.
“I need to make sure everyone is out first. I’ll meet you there!” Reyna pushed through the kitchen and found Tye and Jodie packing a backpack. “You two need to leave. Now!”
Katarina flew into the room. “I’ve got them.”
“Thank you. Now get out of here. I need to find Brian.”
Katarina nodded at her like a soldier then all but hoisted Jodie and Tye into her arms and dashed from the room.
Reyna felt a wind kick up next to her as more of Beckham’s circle cleared the house. But she saw no sign of Becks. No sign of Brian. No sign of Washington. The helicopter was getting close enough that she could vaguely hear it with her normal ears, and that was not good. She didn’t want to end up like Sydney, a captain going down with her ship. She wanted to save everyone.
She pushed forward deeper into the house. “Brian! Becks!”
Washington appeared then at the top of the stairs. “Reyna, over here.”
She hurried to him and he foisted a cooler into her hands. “What’s this?”
“You must save the Golden Blood, Reyna. The fate of the world rests in your hands. I have to finish the backup of my life’s work.”
“Washington!” she cried.
“I’ll follow.” Then Washington ducked and ran back down into his laboratory. The helicopter blades were getting louder. And she was stuck with a fucking cooler full of the cure for vampirism, without her brother or the love of her life.
She vacillated forward and back, forward and back. Brian or the cure. Brian or the cure. She cursed this fucking war and then rushed ahead with the cure in her arms. She would not leave without her last charge.
“Brian!” she cried again, almost to the bedroom stairs.
Genevieve rushed down the stairs then, helping Brian out of his room. “I have him.”
“We’ll never make it,” Reyna said. “You’re going to have to take him yourself, Genevieve.”
“What about you, miss?”
“Save my brother. I’ll follow behind you.”
Genevieve gave her a sad smile and then lifted Brian into her arms. She dashed out of the house then. Reyna sighed with relief. Beckham was still missing. The two vampires they’d remade into humans were nowhere to be seen. Washington was still downstairs. The helicopter was too close. She had no choice. She had to get out of there. Everyone in Elle was safe and secure. She had the cure. If she didn’t leave now they’d have a problem.
Adrenaline pumped through her veins. She cleared the back door just as an SUV tore out of the garage and barreled down the driveway. Reyna just kept moving. Her feet couldn’t carry her fast enough. She glanced once over her shoulder and saw the chopper was nearly upon them.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck.”
She was nearly to the garage when Beckham whizzed past her with the two vampires who had been turned. He did a double take when he saw that she wasn’t far enough away.
“Beckham!” She reached her hand out toward him. Tried to grab on to him to get her and the cure safely away, but he was too far past.
“Reyna…” he cried.
“Please,” she gasped, stretching her hand out farther toward him. I don’t want to die.
It was the last thought she had before the first bomb dropped.
* * *
The moment before it shattered was almost worse than what came after.
It was like standing in a bubble.
And then the bubble burst.
The bomb dropped on the mansion that stood as a beacon on the hill for more than two centuries.
Sound rushed back in, louder than anything Reyna had ever heard before. Stone blasted apart, fire flew like a volcano from the top, and the world as she knew it…stopped.
The blast rushed outward. A sonic boom crashing against her skin. She felt it in every inch of her body. Top to bottom. Inside and out. She was lifted off of her feet. The force of the eruption kicking her high into the air. Her hands releasing the blood cure on instinct.
She tried to gasp around the pain, but she could do nothing. Nothing but flail midair as pain lanced through her and she descended into freefall.
Everything moved into slow motion and all she could think was this was the end.
She was going to die.
After all of this…she was going to die from a fucking bomb.
She was trying to save the world. Trying to right the wrongs. She wasn’t the best leader in the world, but she was at least out there trying.
She hadn’t even gotten one last kiss. She’d barely seen his beautiful face as he saved the other vampires. And what would happen to him if she was gone? Would he ever again risk everything for others? Would he ever open himself up? She didn’t want him to become the beast again. She wanted him to be hers forever.