The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 32

He's the protection specialist, which is what we need for this. This isn't an intelligence mission. The sole purpose is to allow Blake to attend this stupid event and make sure no one tries to kill him while he's there.
"Sammi and Hayato will be in a communications area close to the main location. We'll be going in later this week to set up security cameras of our own while Sammi taps into the ones already in place by the owner."
Sammi smiles. She loves breaking into other people's security systems.
"Jax, Rhett, Dresden, and I will be inside the building keeping an eye on things. It won't be suspicious for Mason to have personal security. Not when the threats on his life have been publicized."
"I'll be staying in the car in case we need to make a quick escape," Jameson chimes in quietly.
"So, that just leaves Lily," Jax says meeting my gaze.
Everyone's staring at me. Talk about uncomfortable. "What about me? Why are you all looking at me like that?"
"We need you to go undercover with Mason, Lily . . . as his date."
"Um, no," I say, standing up straight. I don't risk looking at Blake. My eyes stay locked on Jax and his pleading gaze. "No, Jax. I'm not dressing up and waltzing around some stupid ball. Isn't it enough I follow him around all day as it is?"
"We know, Lily, but we need someone close to him at all times. There'll be over a thousand people at this thing," Vlad says. At least he has the decency to sound ashamed of even posing this as an option.
"Jax, I can't." I let the desperation saturate my voice.
Posing as Blake's date means wearing an evening gown— which means showing my scars. I can't do that. The team has never seen my scars. Plus, this means he'll have to touch me and something says it’ll be more than just my hands. It's impossible— considering the physical reaction I have . . . and being in front of a thousand people. In the ring, shaking to the point of seizure is normal, but at something like this, people are bound to notice.
"Lily, come talk to me," Jax says moving a few feet away from the table. I'm well aware of every eye following us.
"Jax, please," I beg in a whisper, looking down at my hands.
"I know, Lily. I'm not any happier with this than you are— trust me. I'll make sure the dress covers your back entirely, and I'll warn Mason about keeping his hands to himself. Please, Lily, we need you to do this." He places his finger under my chin, sending a wave of tremors through my body, and gently forces me to look him in the eyes.
"Jax . . . "
He holds my gaze until I roll my eyes.
"Thank you, Lily," he says louder for the others to hear.
He walks back to the island and the others gaze at me waiting for me to join them. Fuck this. I turn on my heel and practically run back to my room.
"What's her fucking deal?" Miranda sneers as I open my bedroom door, slamming it shut behind me.
I knew this flirtation bullshit was going to bite me in the ass.
My heart pounds in my ears at the mere thought of dresses and dancing. I walk out to the balcony and grip the railing. The wind's calmer now and barely tosses my hair.
Give the man a chance.
No. I shake myself. I was eight the last time I trusted a man. I'll never forget what that got me.
I barricade myself in my room all day Saturday and Sunday. The first three days of the work week are hell. Blake tries to talk to me about the charity event, but I don’t say anything. Only two days left, and I'm thankful he decides to work from home for the rest of the week. This way, I can avoid him and try to rebuild some of the barriers I need for Saturday.
I've spent the last two hours standing on the living room balcony. Everyone else is still sleeping and my nerves are in overdrive. This charity ball is the last thing I want to do. Why can't we go hunt down some scumbags or something? Anything other than this.
Okay, yes, Blake's good looking and sweet. I'm attracted to him, which makes no sense. I've never been attracted to anyone before and I've spent the better part of the last three weeks trying to ignore it . . . unsuccessfully.
Even if there's something between us, when this case is over we'll be reassigned, and I'll probably never see him again. There's no point in trying to make something out of what can never be. I've had enough pain in my life.
I force my fingers through my hair, taking deep breaths. Walking into the kitchen quietly and flicking the light over the oven on, I scan the counters, spying the Keurig machine. I stare at it, trying to figure out why the hell there are so many buttons.