It's 5:00 PM and so far, I've got twenty-eight missed calls, sixteen voicemails, and thirty-two text messages. I press my voicemail code and bring the phone to my ear. The first message kicks on and my chest tightens.
"Lily, it’s Blake. Please call me, hon. Don't do this. Don't run. I'm still here." The message is from 9:00 AM, ten minutes after I left the halfway house. I delete it and listen to the next one.
"Viper, call me. We need to talk about this." Dresden. I press delete.
I order another round and continue to listen to each message. I'm startled at the second to last one.
"Lily, I’ve watched you for the last half hour. You’re going get sick. Stop drinking."
I whip around, the room blurring and my stomach heaving. My eyes eventually find Hayato, sitting at a table in the back of the bar. I pick up my drink and stumble to him, flopping down in the chair across from
"Where's everyone else?"
"They’re at Mason's apartment. I told 'em I’d find you." His face is hard and full of agitation.
"Well, you found me. Should've left my cell phone in the damn car."
"Lily, I didn’t tell them where you were. You need to come back. Got to face this eventually."
"Yeah, no shit."
"Listen, I know you care for Mason. This mission is important to you too. Why don't you do the assignment for Jax, come back and resign. Go live a normal life. You’re still young, like me. People like us, still have a chance for life after Interpol." He gives me a hard stare.
"You thinking about leaving too?"
"I don't know. I’ve done this a long time. There are other things I want to do."
"I don't know what to do, Boomslang. This shit has me all fucked up."
"Follow your heart, Lily. It always leads you in the right direction."
He stands and pats my shoulder, sending a wave of tremors through my body. I sit for a while, thinking over his words. Hayato's a good person, and it takes a lot to defy Jax just to help me. Not telling them where I am speaks volumes to me of his friendship. My team really is better to me than I ever realized.
Time for something stronger.
I meander back to the counter and flag down the new bartender. Shift change.
"What can I get ya, sweetie," the younger gentleman asks, smiling happily.
"Something stronger than this." I hold up the little bit left of my Jack and Coke.
"You ever try any of our bombs?"
"Your what?" I down the rest of my drink.
He walks away smiling. A moment later, he sits two half-full glasses in front of me. One filled with a dark liquid, the other a clearer one. Next to each, he sits a shot glass. I eye them apprehensively.
"This one's a Jagerbomb," he points to the clear liquid duo. "And this one's an Irish Car Bomb. Drop the shot in the large glass and chug it."
I take a deep breath, hoping these things don't taste like shit. I pound back the Jagerbomb first, swallowing the last bit and hold my mouth closed. Once I'm sure I won't puke, I down the other one, which is much better. Slamming the glass down, the bartender reappears.
"Two more of the Irish ones. What's the beer in that?"
"A bottle of that too."