“No!” Jodie shrieked. She tried to wrestle herself free, but there was no luck. She wasn’t stronger than a vampire. “Please, no!”

The vampire unsheathed a blade from her belt. She peeled open Jodie’s fist and held her index finger in her hand. The blade moved to Jodie’s finger. A trickle of blood ran down her hand. Jodie began to cry. Seeing her friend break down did her in. She couldn’t endure it. Even if Jodie could sustain the pain, Reyna could never watch her go through it.

“Wait! No, stop!” Reyna cried. She rushed a step toward Jodie. “Please don’t. Just let Jodie go and I’ll come willingly.” She brought her hand to her mouth and turned wide eyes on Harrington. “You don’t need her.”

“I had a feeling you would think that way.”

“Let her walk out of this building and then…then I’m yours,” she whispered in despair.

“Wonderful,” Harrington said as if she had just agreed to a business deal rather than given up her soul. “Come to me first and then I’ll release her.”

Reyna’s eyes flickered between Jodie and Harrington. She nodded her head. What other option was there?

“You will be happy with me. Together we’re going to take over the world. You can stand at my side while I rule. Come to me, my little queen.” He gestured for her to approach him.

Reyna took a step forward and then another. Her steps were heavy and reluctant. She couldn’t make herself take another step. She couldn’t do it.

“This was one step on the path to total domination. Vampires are in the light, but soon we will own the world. And I will do anything to make it so. Subjugate the humans, infect vampires with a blood disease, kill everyone who stands in my way. Be on the winning side of history. Stand by me.”

Reyna glanced once more at Jodie. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

“Reyna, no! Don’t do this!”

“Just get on with it,” Rowland said dryly from behind Harrington. He crossed his arms in irritation.

“Come here, Reyna,” Harrington coaxed. “Take my hand. Nothing and no one can stop me now.”

Reyna chewed on her lip and then opened herself up to Beckham. She wanted to sense him, know him one more time. He would be furious with what she was about to do. He’d never understand.

She took another step forward and placed her hand into the devil’s grasp.

Harrington’s smile widened in triumph. “Check.”

“And mate,” Reyna replied.

Then she grasped for Beckham’s powers, pulling them all into her like lightning into a conduit. Speed, strength, hearing. All of them at once, making her as unstoppable as the person before her believed that he was.

Her hand grasped at her ponytail holder, yanking it loose. Braided up into her ponytail was a small hidden vial that Genevieve had placed in her hand before she’d left. The last of its kind.

“This is for Washington, you bastard,” Reyna said.

Then she jammed the needle into the carotid artery in his neck and released the plunger.

Golden Blood flooded his system.

Chapter 36

“What did you do to me?” Harrington gasped, collapsing forward onto the glass floor. His cane clattered next to him.

Rowland took a step forward but she glared at him and there must have been something in her face to stop him in his tracks.

“What did I do to you?” Reyna repeated. She grinned devilishly. “I just cured you.”

“Cured…me,” he spat out.

“Oh, not of whatever has been ailing you for hundreds of years. Just of the virus you’ve been carrying around to keep yourself alive through it,” Reyna said. “A cure for vampirism.”

Harrington cried out as the Golden Blood whisked through his system, eating away at the virus that had infected him for centuries.

“Impossible,” Reyna heard Rowland mutter behind her. He tensed, and it seemed as if he wanted to move against her, but stayed back, clearly not certain of the new abilities she’d just demonstrated.

“Oh, it’s possible,” she said to Rowland with a glare. Then she turned back to Harrington. “Washington finally perfected it and we tested it. And you just got a dose.”

Suddenly he began to convulse rapidly. The seizures hit him fresh, rocking through his mangled body. Reyna moved forward and adjusted him onto his side the way that she’d seen Washington do for Brian.

“Uh-uh, we’re not ready for you to die yet,” Reyna said.

“How can this be?” Rowland asked. He sounded disgusted and terrified. She knew that he would be the last person alive to want to take such measures.

Reyna ignored him. She stood and wiped her hands off on her pants. She sent a signal to Beckham that all had gone as planned and he could come upstairs when he was ready. She was anxious to find out what had happened with Bronwyn and hoped that her using her abilities hadn’t weakened him too much before it was resolved. She’d delayed and stalled and made Harrington talk out of his ass for as long as she could stomach it.

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