The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 39

"I work at the halfway house Blake runs," I say, squeezing his hand.
He stares at me, a shocked expression on his face. Thankfully, he recovers himself before his parents notice.
"Oh, are you an advocate of his campaign?"
"Yes, ma'am. Twenty-seven million slaves within the human trafficking trade is heart wrenching. Blake's effort to help them and bring the slave traders down is awe-inspiring. I couldn't imagine working for a better cause."
"Lily's very knowledgeable when it comes to the inner workings of human trafficking. Her efforts are helping us locate more auctions than we ever might have without her," Blake says, gazing at me . . . a hint of . . . something in his eyes.
"What area do you practice in, Dr. Mason?" I try to be polite, though I know all this information already.
"Psychiatry. I'm a leading therapist at Sheppard Pratt."
"What about you, Mrs. Mason?"
She moves next to me, slipping her arm around mine. "I'm a judge at the Circuit Court in Towson."
Blake squeezes my other hand. We move to the closest table and she lets go of me, walking to sit opposite us. I sigh in relief.
Blake releases me, and pulls a chair out for me to sit in.
"Are you okay?" he whispers, leaning toward me as he sits down. I nod. "If you need a breather at any point, let me know."
"Okay. Thank you, Blake."
He smiles, his eyes sad as he gazes at me. "You're welcome, Lily, and thank you for coming tonight. You look sensational, completely breathtaking."
Blake Mason has got game . . . that's for damn sure. I blush, looking down at my hands.
For the next hour, several men
come to chat with Blake, and I damn near lose my shit. Each one of them makes a point to touch me in some way when they ask him who I am. The innuendos and comments make me want to puke, and remind me why I dislike most men in general. Blake's cheeks redden and his eyes narrow at each comment as he retorts with something equally rude. The men pretend like he's given them a compliment.
He keeps a watchful eye on me at all times, which is both endearing and annoying. I'm supposed to be watching him, not the other way around. A bell chimes throughout the room, and a hushed blanket falls over the party-goers as an older man steps onto the stage.
Let the games begin . . .
"Hello, and Welcome to the 8th Annual House of Ruth Charity Ball," the Master of Ceremonies says in a proud, clear voice. "If everyone would please take your seats, dinner will be served momentarily."
Blake hands me a white and blue card.
"Blake," I whisper, leaning toward him.
"Yes," he says, his lips next to my ear.
"You realize I’ve no idea what half this shit is, and I don't drink . . . hardly ever."
He leans back, staring into my eyes, an amused smile playing on his lips. "No worries, hon, just try it. The wines are good, and cost a damn fortune."
I glance out of the corner of my eye, and his stepmother is watching us intently. Sighing, I smile at him and sit back.
The food is amazing. I've taken three bites of dessert and can't manage anymore, though I'd like to. The servers clear the plates, and the band takes the stage. Polite applause resounds through the room.
Shouldn't have drank the wine . . . fuck, my head is fuzzy . . . shit.