The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 56

"Fuck!" I rub my hands across my face. I haven't had a nightmare in years..
Throwing the deep blue blankets back, I force myself out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom. Fuck, my head's pounding. I splash cold water on my face, and dry off with a towel. Flipping the light off, I walk to the balcony doors, and push them open. Cold air off the bay caresses my face soothingly. My lids droop as I inh
ale the crisp, salty, breeze.
I don't want to say goodbye to this . . . or him. Not yet.
Blake's standing behind me, his unique energy giving him away. I need to reign in these emotions. A few weeks ago, no one would’ve entered this room without me hearing them. I sigh, squeezing my eyes closed until I see black dots dance behind my lids.
"Hi, Blake," I whisper.
He chuckles softly. "How'd you know it was me?"
"Lucky guess." A sly grin creeps onto my face. Opening my eyes, I turn my head. He's standing next to me, bathed in moonlight. He's not wearing a shirt, so it reflects off his mocha-colored skin, giving it an almost luminescent glow.
"I need to talk to you."
"I figured as much. I didn't think you came into my room at this hour to play chess." I laugh quietly.
"Why did you change your mind, Lily?" He tilts his head toward the sky, the breeze shaking his mussed up hair.
Wow . . .
"Because I need to do this." My voice cracks with unshed tears. "I don't expect you to understand."
"Tell me."
Looking at him, knowing the reality of the coming days makes my chest hurt. I reach out and take his hand in mine, shaking slightly. Pulling him to the bed, I sit on the edge, dragging him to sit in front of me. "The Taurus is a very dangerous ring. You’ve no idea how deadly."
"Explain it to me then."
"The girls they capture don't survive. The Taurus caters to the sickest buyers. Sadists, pedophiles, degenerates of all types. The girls spend their time beaten, raped, on the verge of death. They always retain their slaves. Once an owner's done with her, he gives her back to the ring to be resold, assuming that she lives through her recent owner."
"Jesus Christ . . . "
"Some of the girls get used in snuff films. It's madness."
"Why were you screaming tonight?"
Shit. "How did you hear that?"
"I was on my way up the stairs. I'm surprised you didn't wake the whole house." He tilts his head trying to catch my gaze, but I avert it. I can't look him in the eyes right now. If I do, I'll break and confess everything. It'll ruin the only chance to save his sister.
"Just a nightmare. First one I've had in a long time."
"What was it about?"
I shake my head. "I can't, Blake. Don't."
"Lily," he pleads quietly. "I'm not giving up on you. Please don't shut me out."
"I'm not shutting you out. I don't talk about this shit— to anyone." I bring my gaze up to meet his. The skin around his eyes is tense and he bites his bottom lip gently, running his fingers through his hair.
"You can't hide forever, Lily. You gotta let someone in."
I huff, rolling my eyes. I haven't let anyone in for nineteen years. It works fine. Well . . . it did until this shit happened.
"I was abused as a kid," I whisper, staring at my hands.