Beth had been right. She was black and blue at the end of her session with Elijah. Well, she goddamn felt like she was. Not that she cared much; she’d managed to take him down a couple times. And didn’t that make things worth it. Of course, it had only been because she’d managed to catch him off guard but she’d still done it and now she couldn’t wipe that stupid grin off her face.
“You’re good, Beth,” Eli complimented her as he cracked his spine. “You’d make it as a vampire, easily. One of us, I’ve no doubt.”
“One of you? Part of the Brotherhood? But... I’m a girl,” she said, still smiling despite her words.
“It can happen. Not very often, of course. You rarely find a woman who would rather fight for her race every night than sit around her family estate sipping tea,” he replied casually.
“Kendal would take offense to that, Eli,” Liam said, laughing nonetheless.
“Good job she’s not here to hear me say it then, isn’t it?” he grinned back.
Beth turned and found that a small crowd had gathered in the gym. Four Brothers were stood there. Matt, Mark, Nathan and Lucas were staring at her.
“We heard you’d knocked Eli down,” Mark said. “Caleb found it incredibly amusing. I’m afraid everyone knows you were beaten by a girl, Elijah.”
Beth expected the Brother to joke in response, or even take offense and act defensively to the comment. But no, what he said wasn’t something she’d expected whatsoever:
“Beth is not a girl,” he responded seriously. “She’s a warrior.”
That shut the others up.
“She’s one of us at heart, never mind her gender or race. And the latter I’m calling into question,” Elijah murmured.
Liam was the first to speak. “You weren’t going easy on her, not when she took you down. You were taking advantage of your speed. And so was she.”
All eyes turned to her. She imagined that if she hadn’t been inside this body she’d be staring at herself too, because what the hell had Liam just had?
“I...” she started. “I’ve no idea.”
“We need to look at your lineage,” Nathan said, his dyed pale blue hair falling into his brown eyes, making him look like a sulky teenager.
“How?” she asked.
“Your blood holds the key to that.”
“Why has blood been the answer to every question recently,” she murmured.
Elijah laughed. “Why do you think vampires chose it as sustenance?”
She couldn’t help smiling at that. “What time is it?”
“It’s dinner in about two hours. Oh, not to have a mate today,” Lucas chuckled.
She wondered what Robert would be doing for her today, because she knew that she almost certainly wouldn’t be in the gym fighting with Elijah if Robert was here. He wouldn’t have stood for that anyway; he wouldn’t have trusted his Brothers to be careful with her. He would have been the one training her, and she knew that it would have ended with a long drawn-out kiss at the very least. Her eyes drifted across the cushioned mat. It would be comfortable enough if Robert had wanted to—
No, she so wasn’t going there, she thought as she blushed. Her spark of arousal brought six pairs of male eyes on her, deepening her blush further. Caelan’s eyes, however, remained focused on that wall in front of him, his music still playing.