The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 38

The money flashing, pompous assholes mingling in the ballroom are nauseating. They make Blake seem like a saint. I'm scanning the room, my arm shaking in the crook of his elbow. His hand is over mine, and he glances down at me often.
"Mr. Mason, a photo, please," says a nerdy kid wearing a Baltimore Sun badge.
"Of course."
I try to remove my hand from his arm, and he shifts, putting his arm around my shoulder, snuggling me closer to his side. The kid snaps several pictures, moving to his left and right, changing the angle of each shot. I try to smile and hide the seizure worthy convulsions racking through me.
"Thank you, Mr. Mason, and Miss . . . .."
"Williams," I say tightly.
Blake squeezes me gently, another round of shakes rippling through my body.
"Lily, how you holding up?" Jax's voice echoes through my ear-piece.
I turn my head towards Blake's chest as if I'm nuzzling up to him, bringing the communicator-watch close to my mouth by running my hand up his chest. "I'm fine, Jax. This fucking blows."
"I know. You're doing great, just keep smiling."
Blake smiles down at me, but it doesn't reach his eyes. I answer with a smirk and he rolls his eyes, chuckling.
"Are you up to something?"
"Why would you think that, Mr. Mason?"
"Don't be obtuse, Lily. I know that smile already."
I let out a genuine laugh. His eyes widen, his smile finally reaching his eyes. He removes his arm from around me, sliding his hand into mine, our fingers lacing together.
Just breathe, Lily, you'll be fine.
"I'd like to introduce you to some people. Think you can manage being lady-like for an hour?" He raises an eyebrow.
I shake my head at his audacity, a slight smile playing at my lips. "Of course, Mr. Mason."
"Blake," he snaps, and my eyes widen.
"Blake," I whisper.
I feel strange saying his first name. He's a mission, one I can't let become something more, but my world goes into chaos around him. I keep losing my train of thought, and feeling almost . . . shy, in a way. It's fucking annoying to say the least.
He leads me to a small crowd of people standing near the makeshift stage and stops in front of a beautiful, older couple, a tight smile directed at them.
"Carmen," he says leaning down to plant a kiss on her cheek. "Dad." He shakes the man's hand.
"Hey sweetie, isn't this a wonderful event? You must be so excited." She glances at me, her eyes widening.
"May I introduce my date? Lily, this is my father and stepmother. Carmen and Dr. James Mason."
James sticks his hand out, and reluctantly I shake it, willing my hand not to tremble. I repeat the same with Carmen.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," I say in a low voice.
"Lily, how did you and Blake meet?" Carmen tilts her head to the side.
It's a good thing I'm quick witted and intelligent, and did my research on Blake before tonight.