The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 54

I lay on my bed for hours thinking of what to do. A soft knock brings me back to reality and I sit up, huffing. "Come in."
"Lily?" Sammi pokes her head in my door.
"What's up, Sammi?"
"Can I see you in my office for a moment?"
My eyebrows shoot up. She's tapping her foot rapidly and chewing the inside of her cheek.
"Yeah, sure." I follow her quickly.
Sammi ushers me inside her office, locking the door behind us. My eyes widen.
Something's wrong . . . seriously wrong. "Sammi . . . you're starting to worry me."
"I did some digging in the Interpol files for Mason," she says, hurrying to her desk. "I think you need to read this." She hands me a manila folder with the label Shannon Mason on the tab.
I open the folder to a briefing.
Department: International Affairs and Covert Operations/Human Trafficking Taskforce
Agent: Edmond Bates/Hyde Monroe
Subject: Shannon Mason
Matter: On June 23, 2011, Mr. Blake Mason, of Baltimore, Maryland contacted us concerning the kidnapping of his younger sister, 19-year-old Shannon Mason. A man identifying himself as ‘The Procurer’ contacted him, demanding a ten million dollar ransom for Ms. Mason. He instructed that if the ransom were not met within twenty-four hours, he would sell Shannon Mason to a human trafficking ring. Upon our orders, Mr. Mason did not pay the ransom, and a team of agents tracked Shannon to the holding facility for the trafficking leaders. When we arrived at the location to extract Ms. Mason, the leaders and their captives were already gone.
"Fuck me."
Turning the page, I find a picture of Shannon from the year of this report. "She hasn't been found?" I meet Sammi's eyes.
"No, but I did some digging into the ring Jax mentioned."
"Come look," she says taking a seat at her computer. "I hacked the city cameras in the area of the auction. They've got twenty-seven girls, at least, but I ran face recognition using that picture."
Sammi moves her mouse over the images, clicking rapidly. Slowly, the image of a dark haired, sullen girl enlarges on the screen. There's no mistaking her . . . it’s Shannon Mason— alive, and still in the ring.
My blood boils. "Why weren't we given this case?" I flip through the papers again.
"I don't know. Looks like Jax turned it down. We were finishing up in Moscow at the time," she says, venom in her voice.
"We should've been told regardless. Though . . . "
"What is it?"
"We've never taken a case involving The Taurus. That's why you guys didn't know who they were. Why didn't Jax ever take a case involving them?"
I think back through the cases we've worked over the last ten years, and the oddness of it all hits me like a freight train. When I was seventeen, Jax promised me revenge against The Taurus . . . but they're the only ones I haven't got the chance to go after . . . until now.
"That doesn't make sense, Lily."
"Does anyone else know about this?"
She meets my gaze, her eyes cold. "No, mate."
"Sammi, I think I need to go into this auction."