“I agree with you,” Gabe said, holding his hands up. “But we need more time.”
“You said that I needed to live so that this wouldn’t all be for nothing,” she said, throwing his words back at him. “Let’s not make it for nothing.”
“I’m sorry, Reyna. But you just saw Beckham murdered. You’re not ready for this,” Meghan said.
“Kid gloves off, Meghan. I appreciate you breaking me out of Visage, but please don’t baby me. You all lost as much as I did and you’re not falling apart. I’m ready to step up. Are you?”
Meghan leaned back and pursed her lips. She didn’t respond. Reyna shrugged and turned to face the guys.
“Whatcha got?” Tye asked.
Washington just smiled and tilted his head toward her.
“We have a lot to do, but first, we need to figure out what happened with the bunker. Tye and Meghan, you two should figure out how bad the damage is and work with Washington to make contact with whoever survived.”
“And you and Gabe?” Meghan snapped. “Where do you fit in all of this?”
Reyna turned and stared at her friend. She loved Meghan. But something had broken in her with this. She was no longer the upbeat woman that could charm the pants off of anyone with a smile. Reyna was using that energy for change. Meghan was letting it eat at her.
“Gabe and I are going to get Jodie.”
Meghan’s eyes rounded. “Jodie left almost a week ago. We have no idea where she is. It’s a waste of resources to look for her when we’re in the midst of all this.”
“Jodie escaped Visage with us. She’s our responsibility and my closest friend. She has never been on the streets alone. Ten years inside Visage and now she’s all alone? No, we have to find her. The mission is to get all of Elle back together. Jodie is part of Elle, and we do know where she went. I have an address. Once we have our team back together and more information, we can get back to the real matter at hand—taking down Harrington.”
“I think it’s a good plan,” Washington said. “We have much to do to get Elle back on its feet. This is as good as any place to start.”
“And we will get Elle back on its feet,” Reyna said passionately. “Visage will not win. They will not break us. No matter how they try. We will always come back swinging.”
Gabe, Tye, and Meghan looked up at her with a newfound respect. As if she had suddenly begun to grow into the person she was always meant to be.
“So, you really up for this?” Gabe asked. He arched an eyebrow as he pulled out an assortment of guns.
“Please stop asking that question. Between you and Meghan, I think I’ve been asked enough about my feelings on the matter.”
“Hey, you should go easy on Meghan.”
“I know,” Reyna said with a sigh. She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I know what she’s lost. I know what it all feels like. I’ve been depressed like that. But I just can’t stand being babied anymore. I’m not the same person I was when I joined Visage. Or the person Meghan met when she broke me out of Visage.”
“I can see that. But Megs can’t help but look out for you. It’s in her nature.”
Reyna shrugged. “You’re right. I’ll take it easy. Just trying to keep the train on the rails. I don’t want us to get so lost in our feelings that we stop doing shit.”
Gabe chambered a bullet in his weapon and then smiled at her. “Don’t worry. I’m all for doing shit.”
“You’re ridiculous,” she said with a laugh.
Gabe collected all the guns and loaded most into a duffel bag. He stuffed one into his waistband and attached several others to straps on his body. Then he handed one to Reyna. “Hope you don’t need this.”
“Me too.” She took it reluctantly, checked the safety, and then strapped it to her side. She pulled her jacket over it and they headed out the door.
“Can you believe that Washington has had this place since 1805?” Gabe said with a shake of his head. “Fucking vampires, man. How fucking old is he?”
Reyna hopped in the passenger seat of an inconspicuous car in the huge garage. Reyna’s eyes had doubled in size at the amazing selection of vehicles that Washington had revealed to them, from flashy sports cars to SUVs to a fucking Hummer. The guy was a collector. Thank God, he kept this place outfitted with up-to-date tech.
“Why the hell would he work as a doctor with this loot?” The car revved to life and then Gabe peeled away.
“It clearly didn’t start as an Elle establishment,” she said, voicing the thought she’d had all along. “Fifteen years ago, he would have been helping Harrington start Visage.”