“Agent GQ?” Rhett’s face appears between causing Blake to sit up and me to shift closer to the door. “Don’t hate on my good looks. Just because I work for the government doesn’t mean I have to look like a middle-aged deadbeat with no soul.”
“Hey,” I say motioning for him to sit back so I can straighten my posture. “I don’t have a soul and I don’t look like a deadbeat.”
Rhett signs loudly. “You have a soul, Lil. You just pretend you don’t.”
“Meh,” I say shrugging. “Let’s agree to disagree there, Rhett.”
Blake clears his throat, interrupting the banter that I honestly enjoy with Rhett. “If you two are done, an answer?”
"I'm an undercover agent for The Human Trafficking Taskforce."
"Wait . . . you go undercover? You look like you're barely twenty-five," he says astonished.
I narrow my eyes, biting the inside of my cheek, my agitation rising.
And you’re a pompous ass-hat.
"I get it, you can kick some ass, but seriously, what are you like twenty-three? They send you undercover?" His face is littered with disbelief, and his tone is on the verge of condescending.
I purse my lips together.
"I'm thirty-one. The younger you look, the easier it is to sell you at an auction. Regardless, I'll be the one that keeps your ass alive. We may be here to protect you, but if you talk to me in that tone again, I'll show you how I keep men in their place. Understood?"
He bursts out laughing, his eyes darting from the road to my face again. "That was saucy!"
I bite my bottom lip trying to keep the smile off my face as I shake my head and Rhett snickers. He doesn't act as I expected. He's egotistical, yes, and radiates authority, but he seems very carefree. I guess when you're as rich as him it’s an affordable luxury.
"You know, it’s okay to laugh. I promise I won't tell anyone," he says, grinning at me again.
My breath stops as he licks his lips.
. . . Damn it! Stop!
He sits up straighter in his seat as I shake the fuzziness out of my head. This has never happened to me before. No one has sidetracked me . . . ever. When I first met Dresden, he used to flirt with me all the time and I ignored him easily. Rhett makes jokes a lot, and so does Jameson, but they understand how I am. It’s all in good fun and I don’t give them a hard time for being themselves.
"What's your specialization?" He tries for nonchalance but fails.
"That's classified." I crack my knuckles hoping he lets it go.
His face hardens. "I thought Hyde would’ve made it clear, I don't work well in the dark. If a wom— you’re my lead protector, I'd like to know what your qualifications are." His voice is stern and irritated. That's the voice of a multi-billionaire.
"I specialize in assassination, Mr. Mason. That's why I'm your lead protector." I shift in my seat to face him.
"Assassination . . . seriously? That’s what your file says?"
I chuckle. "No. My file says I specialize in undercover and tactical solutions, which translates into 'I kill people who’re better dead than arrested'."
He swallows and takes a deep breath. "And I need that kind of protector, why?"
"You don't know shit about the people you've pissed off, do you, Mr. Mason?"
It dawns on me that while he's campaigned against the sex trade, his knowledge of the inner workings of the trafficking world may be very limited. That’ll get him killed quicker than anything else does. While ignorance can be bliss, it can also be deadly.
"I've worked with Interpol and other agencies for the last five years. I'm not an idiot, Agent."
"I wasn't saying that. I'm saying that you obviously have no idea how trafficking rings work internally or how they deal with people like you. I do. I can spot another assassin easily. If you continue to get in the way, without us, you'll end up dead." Trying to sound stern yet pleasant at the same time is harder than I expect.