She wanted to feel him.

One last time.

She reached out for him. Felt his presence adjacent to her. He was getting closer. Then she felt…different.




Her fragile human body was no more. Instead, it was replaced with the strength of a vampire. Strength to withstand a blast a human never could. Strength to endure. She was as hard and impenetrable as a diamond. Forged of steel rather than muscle and sinew and bone.

Her body collided with the ground a full fifty feet from where she’d last been standing. She skidded, shredding the jacket and shirt she’d been wearing. Her back scraped against the ground with grass and dirt and little stones penetrating her skin. She moaned as she came to a stop.

The connection dropped. And suddenly her muscles remembered every ache and pain and sore in her body. She coughed and hacked and tried to roll over to ease the pain. The back of her head felt like there was a knot the size of a golf ball where she’d banged it against the ground. Cuts and scrapes and soon-to-be-bruises covered her body. Every single part of her was on fire.

But she was alive.

Miraculously alive.

“Reyna!” Beckham yelled.

She opened her watery brown eyes and stared up at the vision of a man before her. He towered over her, not a cut on him. His dark eyes filled with fear. And God he was beautiful.

“You saved me,” she croaked.

“You’re alive.”

She choked back her next reply and tried to ease the pain in her skull.

“Don’t speak. I’ll heal you.”

“After,” she gasped. “Save your energy.”

His emotions were rampant and effusive; she could feel them without even reaching out.

“This is going to hurt,” he warned.

She gritted her teeth and tried to keep from screaming when Beckham picked her up. Her back felt like a tattered mess. She could smell her blood mixing with earth. Feel the well of wretched pain intensify.


Beckham’s eyes darted around. He must have located it, because he grabbed the small cooler, and with it and her tucked beneath him left the scene behind.

* * *

Reyna must have blacked out at some point, because all she heard when she woke up was the rumble of an engine beneath her.

She reached out for him with her senses and felt him hovering over her.

“Becks,” she whispered.

“Oh Little One, if not for the slow beat of your heart, I would have feared for your death.”

“What…what happened?”

“Everett was captured. Visage sent a video of his murder to your email and a bomb to the mansion.”

Reyna winced. “Everett is dead?”

“Yes. I watched it.”

“Was it…painless?”

Beckham said nothing, which was answer enough.

“He was tortured for our location,” she gathered.


“How did he know where we were?”

Beckham shook his head. “I don’t know. I thought we were careful.”


“We have to move the rest of Elle in case he gave them up too.”

“Have you reached out to Drew?” She tried to sit up, but pain lanced through her and Beckham gently pressed her back down.

“Yes. He’s aware. He’s rallying everyone into action to get them out as soon as possible. They have a system in place. They’re moving quickly just in case Everett gave up their location too.”

“Where are we going?” Reyna asked. “Without the cult-y place and the mansion…?”

“I have a place.”

“You…have a place? We stayed at the mansion and left them at the cult place and all this time you had a place?”

Beckham sighed slowly. “It’s a temporary place. I stayed there when I was healing. I wasn’t sure if Harrington knew about it so I’ve been having it monitored. It can’t house everyone so it won’t work long-term.”

“I thought you stayed in a safe house when you healed.”

“Of sorts.” He placed his hand on her shoulder. “Now rest. I’m going to need to feed before I heal you so I don’t weaken. We reached Meghan and she’s going to look after you.”

“Do you have blood there?”

He kissed her temple and said nothing else. She sighed and let it go. What he drank was his business. He needed to be a hundred percent and get her back to a hundred percent, because the time was now. They’d waited long enough. They’d planned and schemed and used every advantage they had. Harrington had to be stopped. She didn’t want anyone else to be kidnapped or tortured or experimented on or killed for his ambition.

* * *

“Hey,” Meghan said softly. She was running her fingers gently through Reyna’s unbound hair. “It’s time to wake up.”

She opened her eyes and stared up into her friend’s face. “What happened?”

“I had to sedate you. I got the shrapnel and debris out of your body, but it was painful and tedious. Beckham did the rest.”

Reyna turned her head and found Beckham standing on the other side of the table. She eased up into a sitting position.

“Let’s not do that again, okay?”