Dresden and I turn at the same time, the entire team mimicking our movements. We're a well-oiled machine after ten years together.
"Please be seated."
I take the seat closest to me as Dresden sits to my right. Another one of my teammates, Rhett, sits down on my other side. His hair is cut short on the sides but just long enough on the top that it has a little curl to it. If it wasn’t for the dark, close-shaved beard and tattoos I know are hiding under his long sleeved shirt; I’d say he could be part of a boy band. A small diamond stud glitters from his left ear matching the megawatt smile he gives me. I return it, chuckling to myself.
Turning my attention to the front of the room, my chair jolts forward, pushing my stomach into the edge of the table. I growl, shoving against the polished wood. Dresden covers his mouth, chuckling, as Rhett shakes his head, his shoulders quaking with silent laughter. I lift my hands as if to stretch and slap both of them, hard, in the backs of the heads.
"Ouch! Dammit, woman!" Dresden chuckles.
I snicker as he and Rhett both rub their heads.
"Enough!" Jax's voice is a deep grumble, effectively wiping the smirks off all our faces. He points toward the top end of the table and we all look in that direction, scolded once again.
"I've met most of you during your time with Interpol, but for those of you that don't know me, I'm Hyde Monroe— Head of International Affairs and Covert Operations." He sits stiffly in the head chair.
Affairs and Covert Operations . . . yeah right. Elitist douche.
I've met Monroe a few times over the years, but this is the first time he’s called the whole team in. We don't see eye-to-eye.
"Agent Unnami, I know your team usually operates in undercover missions, but there's an assignment Interpol believes this team is uniquely suited for."
"What do the powers that be want this time?" Dresden rolls his eyes.
"Lose the attitude, Agent Scholl," Hyde says.
Jax gives Dresden the death glare. I chuckle, catching Dres' eye. He smiles wickedly and winks. Shaking my head, I turn my attention back to Hyde.
"Two days ago, a Baltimore businessman received several threats from different trafficking cartels."
"You'd like us to track the cartels?” Jax sits forward.
"No, Agent. We need your team to act as his personal security."
"Excuse me?" I sit up straighter. "Do we look like security to you?"
"You look like eight Interpol employees to me, Agent Williams."
"You have specialized units for things like this. Use them."
"Save that attitude for someone else. This team has enough intelligence on human traffickers to keep this man alive. Blake Mason works very closely with Interpol's rescue units, and my boss believes his safety is of utmost importance."
"Tell your boss to fuck-off," Dresden snarls. "We don't babysit rich boys."
I gesture toward Dres in silent agreement.
"Dresden, Lily— enough." Jax's voice is low and full of authority.
I stare down at my hands.
Dresden forcefully taps his fingers on the tabletop.
"What are the details of the assignment, Monroe?" Jax leans back in his chair.
"You'll still be outside protocol. Mr. Mason is less than accepting of this idea, but his friends here at Interpol talked him into it."
"So he'll probably be a complete asshole on top of everything else?" Dresden glares at Hyde.