The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 26

"Ah. Do you all have names like that?"
We step into the elevator. "Yes."
"So you're Viper, Vlad's Rattlesnake. Jameson is Mamba. What about the others? You guys are like the real life version of G.I. Joe or Kill Bill." Blake laughs and I can't help but snicker.
I run my hand through my hair as the elevator doors open. Blake and I walk quickly down the street. A few minutes later, he stops in front of a small café, holding the door open for me. I walk in and we're greeted by silence. The place is empty accept for two elderly woman standing behind a counter.
Blake smiles at them and moves to sit at a table near the far wall. It's a small two top with little room underneath. He sits with his feet separated, giving me somewhere to put mine. This is really . . . intimate.
One of t
he women comes to the table and places two cups of coffee in front of us with two menus. I'm surprisingly hungry, despite the breakfast I ate this morning.
"You going to try and order for me again?" I smirk.
"Depends." He looks up from his menu, meeting my gaze. My body tenses under his scrutiny. "Are you going to willingly eat or do I have to try and guess your favorite lunch food too?"
I chuckle. "As it happens, I'm actually hungry, so I think I'll eat."
"Good, and I'll pay. Don't be a bitch about the check this time," he says in agitation, looking back to his menu.
Twenty-five minutes later, I'm eating a chicken Caesar salad while Blake has a club sandwich. We've hardly said anything, but I have an overwhelming urge to talk to him. His voice is deep, rich, and wonderful to listen to.
"We all got our codenames from aspects of our personality or some other unique trait."
He stills, holding his sandwich an inch from his mouth, his eyes widening.
I set my fork down. After a beat, he takes a bite of his food, keeping a constant lock on my face. I pick up my napkin, wipe my mouth, and take a sip of my water.
"How did you, Vlad, and Jameson get yours?"
"Jameson got his for his speed. Black Mambas are one of the fastest snakes in the world. He's fast both on foot and in a vehicle— any vehicle. Vlad's is because of the god-awful bracelet he wears. It's a wonder his targets don't hear him coming a mile away." I shake my head.
"And you?"
"Vipers are one of the most venomous families of snakes known worldwide."
"You consider yourself venomous?"
“Yes. I kill people for a living. That's my job. Vipers are unique because they decide how much venom to deliver in a single strike. I can kill clean and quick, or torture my targets until they've suffered enough or their bodies give up." I glance up from my hands to his eyes locked on my face.
He sits quietly, staring at me for a few moments. His face is blank, giving no indication of his thoughts. "Is that supposed to ward me off or something?"
"If you're smart it will." I pick up my fork and take a bite of my salad.
"Well, I’ve no intentions of defining you by your career."
"There's no difference between the two."
He smirks. "I don't believe that for a second. Now, what about everyone else?"
I groan. "Jax is Cobra. Rhett is Adder. Sammi is Boa, Hayato is Boomslang, and Dresden is known as Python."
"Python? That's suitable. His biceps are insane." He laughs.
I can't help but join in. "Yeah, he's rather proud of his physique."
"I can tell. Dude struts around my apartment like he owns the damn place."