“Ah. Yes. Things have changed you see.”
“Your blood match died?” she guessed.
“She did. She was quite old. A frail woman. She couldn’t keep up with the…demand.”
Reyna clenched her hands into fists at her sides and then released them. Such careless and thoughtless murder.
“And the antidote doesn’t quite work like you hoped,” she added.
“It nourishes the body, but not the illness,” he admitted freely. “Rh null negative blood is so rare and the components counteract the vampiric disease I have been carrying with me all these years. It turns out that I can re-create a universal donor and still not get it right.”
“Too bad you killed Washington, then,” she said callously. “He could have fixed it.”
Shock registered on Harrington’s face. “Roger is dead?”
“Uh…yeah. You dropped a bomb on him.”
“He got out.”
Reyna narrowed her eyes. “Nope. Pretty sure he stayed behind.”
“What a horrible loss.”
“Oh yeah, a ‘loss.’ Not another one of your murders.”
Harrington waved the comment away. “You and I both know that to get to the top there must be casualties. You’ve certainly sacrificed enough people to get to where you are.”
Reyna wanted to stab him for what he was insinuating. She was nothing like him. She was not casually sacrificing good people to get ahead. She felt every single loss like a shot to the heart.
And he felt nothing. Nothing!
“All I’m hearing is that you need me again. Big surprise.”
“I’ve always needed you, Reyna. It was you who did not realize that you needed me.”
She laughed. “I don’t need you.”
Harrington pressed a button on the glass desk and suddenly all of the windows changed to televisions. Every single one of them showed the battles being fought below them. Beckham and Bronwyn fighting in the observation deck. Meghan and Gabe back to back, taking on a pack of vampires. Drew leading a team of anti-vamps into a nest. Tye fighting, fighting, fighting, and finally failing. Succumbing to the vampire before him. Fangs piercing his skin and drinking his precious blood. Spilling it on the already red floor of the main room.
Reyna gasped as the vampire heartlessly dropped Tye’s body and moved on. Her hand went to her heart. Death. So much death. She had known there would be casualties in this war, but she hated seeing it happen. Hated being forced to watch.
“See. You do need me, my little queen,” Harrington said. “I can make it all stop.”
“As if you would.”
“I simply wanted you to play the part of a queen on the board instead of a pawn.”
Reyna ran her hand across her ponytail in frustration. “The game isn’t over yet.”
“Almost,” he agreed. “But I did know that you would show eventually anyway. Incredibly predictable. Haven’t we already walked this dance once?”
“Can you dance right now?”
He blinked at her. “You want to save your little friends, I presume. They are the reason that you’re in my office. Your little rebellion has failed. The L on your T-shirt means nothing. You have accomplished nothing. Except to kill everyone that you care about. Is that what you want? To be the last of your kind?”
“I didn’t think so.” Harrington leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers in front of him. “You are as self-sacrificing as you have ever been. You would do anything to save your friends and your precious Beckham.”
“God, you really love to hear yourself talk, don’t you? Couldn’t you have curbed that desire since we last met?” Reyna cursed and crossed her arms. “You’re right. Okay? I would do anything to save them. But I’m not here to be self-sacrificing. I’m here to kill you.”
Harrington laughed and Rowland joined in along with him. Apparently, she was a fucking riot.
“Kill me,” Harrington said, patting his chest. “Oh Reyna, you always do surprise me.”
“You couldn’t lay a hand on him before he’d snap your neck,” Rowland threatened.
“Except he needs me. So, we both know he’s not going to kill me.”
“Ah, but you are easily incapacitated,” Harrington said. “You’re a human.”
Reyna held her breath. She needed to stay in control. She needed to get this over with. She didn’t want to stand here and give him more time to figure out a different way to stop her. Her eyes flitted to Rowland’s. He was another complication she’d have to figure out.
“Come quietly, Reyna, and I can make this all stop,” Harrington offered, holding his hands wide.
He actually believed that he was being benevolent. That was the real kicker. He was so past recognizing his own evil. He believed that the ends always justified the means, and in this case, he would do anything to get Reyna. He would do anything to take Visage to the next level, and if that meant subjugating every human in the entire world, he would do it. And he wouldn’t even think twice.
It was infuriating because of Harrington’s intelligence. Unlike his lackeys, Harrington was the brains of the operation. He’d outsmarted and outmaneuvered everyone else on the board. He’d brought his competition together to work for him rather than against him. He’d given his subjects exactly what they wanted and he’d made himself look like a hero. The man was brilliant. But at some point, the scales had tipped. His ego had gotten in the way. He’d won so many times that he didn’t believe himself capable of losing.