The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 76

"I've never failed a mission, Teresa. I don't intend to start now."
The auction starts in twenty minutes. I'm locked in a pen, hands tied behind my back, staring at a terrified Shannon Mason. I'm amazed she has little to no identifying marks aside from the brand on her collarbone.
There are twenty-six girls and thirteen buyers. I'm floored as to how I got paired with Shannon. I've never been sold in a set, and the uneasiness in my stomach is making me want to puke.
The pen door slides open with a loud clank and a man four times the size of Dresden steps in, a set of handcuffs dangling from his belt. He motions for us to stand, and Shannon gets unsteadily to her feet. I follow, taking measured steps.
We stand shoulder-to-shoulder. The goon cuts my hands free and locks one cuff around my right wrist, the other around her left. He steps aside and we walk in front of him. He steers us down a long corridor which dead ends at a large metal door. Opening the door, he pushes us inside. She almost falls, but I grab her elbow and force her to stay on her feet.
She looks in my eyes, tears falling down her face. Her irises are deep brown . . . the exact color of Blake's. My heart pounds and breaks all over again. I've been without him a few days and I miss him so bad it physically hurts.
We're in a circular room with bright floodlights. One-way glass is all around us. It's the most terrifying part of the auctions, no matter how long you've been in them. Not knowing who's on the other side. When I was younger, my stomach would tighten with fear, but now, it constricts with regret.
At the top of the glass are thirteen small, red lights. One for each buyer, and they flash each time one makes a bid. The Taurus likes to fuck their slaves psychologically, and part of that is letting them know how hungry the buyers are for them. I used to wonder what was in store for me when the lights would go crazy during this process. Shannon stares at them as well.
"Welcome Buyers. Today for your bidding pleasure, we have a pair of opposites attract. The brown haired beauty on the left is a sweet thing for those nights you want to rub your hands over soft skin. The raven morsel on the right is your darkest fantasies come true. Pain is nothing to her, if you can't tell. Whether you're experienced or wanting to try the sadist role for the first time, there is nothing this one can't take. We'll start the bidding at $250,000."
Shannon's fingers wrap around mine as the first light flashes. Each time they flicker, the bid goes up $100,000. I turn my head and meet her gaze. Her eyes are large and full of pain, but there's still a small light in them. Five years hasn’t completely killed her.
My desire to free her and get her home is renewed. Most girls lose that spark, that life, after their first two or three auction. She looks so much like Blake it makes my chest hurt. Their cheekbones, hair, and even skin color are very much the same.
"Sold! For a solid ten million dollars!"
My legs shake. That's a damn high bid for a United States auction. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end as the door behind us opens. Jax's target is a buyer and I'm sure he's won the bid. The profile on this guy made my stomach turn. He's only been a buyer for a year, managing to kill sixteen girls and mutilate seven others so bad the Taurus killed them. He's also the highest roller on this side of the Atlantic.
We walk down the corridor again and he stands at the end. Number forty-four. Being handcuffed to Shannon is going to make killing him difficult, but I've only got one shot to take him while still in the building. My body tenses as I prepare to make my move, twisting my body slightly to block Shannon.
We stop three feet in front of him. I clench and unclench my hand. He gives us both a sinister smile. Shannon's so frightened she trembles causing the cuffs to rattle between us. We won't survive this guy. There's something evil shining behind his eyes when he looks from me to her, and for the first time in a long time, I'm afraid of what a buyer's capable of.
I lift my foot to take a step forward as a black cloth bag flies down over my face. Something sharp pinches into my arm and my head goes fuzzy as they push a stinging liquid into my bloodstream. Blackness flashes through my mind as the drug pulls me under. I've got to stay awake. This is my only chance to get us out of here. My knees buckle as reality slips from my grasp.
We're so fucked.
Lily's been gone a week and there's still no word from her. I've barely slept and my body's running on nothing but coffee. Going to work isn't an option most days. Since she left, I can hardly force myself to get out of bed. Thankfully, Caleb's running the business for me, and I'm abusing my power as CEO by staying in my apartment.
I never should've let her leave. Every fiber of my being told me to stop her, but Dresden was right. There's no reasoning with that woman once she's made up her mind. I've never felt this way about anyone. Lily is light and life, and she makes me want to be a better person. I'll never understand why she thinks so badly of herself.
I've been on edge since I woke up this morning, wanting her home. I've felt like a drug addict for the last week. My body craves everything about her. Her touch, her kiss . . . I even miss her smart mouth. I'd give anything for her to walk through my apartment door right now and tell me to shut the fuck up.
"Blake, come shoot some pool," Dresden says yanking me from my inner turmoil.
I blink rapidly, trying to clear my mind. Strolling into my game room, a grin spreads across my face as Vlad tosses me a pool stick.
"You two sure you want to get your asses kicked?"
Dresden laughs heartily. "Keep talking shit, dude."
"We playing Cutthroat?" I move to the far end of the table.
"Of course. And I'm going to kick both your asses," Vlad says racking the balls.