I give him my sly grin. "You know me better than that, Dres. I'll go in, kick ass, take names, come home and we'll have a beer to celebrate."
"To Lily's safe return," Blake toasts, holding his beer up.
We each raise our glasses. The boys fly into a discussion about sports. I wasn't even aware Vlad or Dresden liked sports. Blake's a true Baltimore fan though. The Ravens for football, and the Orioles for baseball. He even gets into a heated debate with Dresden over how underrated the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are.
My thoughts slowly slip into a dark place. If I told them the real reason for going in, they'd stop me. A rescue mission without back up is a huge risk, even more so than me going in to assassinate one lone guy.
Slowly, I stand, and Blake turns his head, his eyes suddenly full of concern.
"I'll be right back."
He reaches up and grasps my neck gently, pulling my lips down to his for a brief, heated kiss. As he lets go, he winks at me, and I grin. Here's to hoping my ass makes it back. I turn and quietly sneak up the stairs.
Inside my room, I find a pen and piece of paper. Let's hope I'm better at writing than I am talking, otherwise, I'm fucked.
Pressing the pen to paper, I write my first letter . . . ever.
Folding the letter, I stick it in an envelope and seal it. I glance at the clock— 6:00 AM, already. I've got eight hours.
As I enter the kitchen, Teresa's clearing the island, placing the leftovers in warmers. Blake, Dresden, and Vlad are shooting pool in the game room. I make a beeline for the kitchen.
"Teresa," I whisper. She turns around, rai
sing her eyebrows. "I need to talk to you in private."
She glances at the guys, tossing a towel on the counter. "Follow me."
Once inside her bedroom, she closes the door. "What's wrong, Miss Lily?"
"I need you to promise to do something for me."
I hold out the envelope.
She takes it, scanning Blake's name on the front. "What's this?"
"Listen to me, carefully. Where I'm going is more dangerous than I want Blake or the others to know. Jax's plan could very well get me killed."
"Oh, no, Miss Lily—”
"Stop, just listen. If I'm not back here in one week . . . one week, Teresa, it means I'm not coming back. Do you understand me?" I hold her gaze, my voice fervent.
"Yes," she whispers, tears falling down her cheeks.
Moisture builds in my eyes. "If I don't make the deadline, give him the letter."
She nods, turning to hide it under her pillow. She stops in front of me and I grip her in a vice like hug. Her sobs erupt, sending me over the edge, pain lancing through my heart.
I'm so thankful to have met you, Teresa.
"Do you love him, Miss Lily?" She stands back, searching my face with her gaze.
"Yes," I whisper, my heart breaking.
"You have to make it back."