The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 77

"You wish, fucker. You're going down," Dresden says, setting up the cue ball.
I step back and lean on the pool stick as Dresden breaks. They're both good players. The three of us, and Rhett, have used this as a means of distraction for the last several days. Jameson joins us occasionally, but mostly he sits staring at his cell phone. I’m pretty sure he’s hoping she’ll call, or that someone will and tell us something— anything. Jax and Sammi stay in their offices, and rarely come out, while Hayato has spent the last week hacking every communications tower he can hit trying to get a bead on her whereabouts. They may act as if they're okay, but I know Lily's lack of communication has them on edge, maybe even more so than me.
Two games later, Vlad's agitated and ready to hit one of us with his stick. I won the first game and Dresden the second, beating me by one ball. I lean down to break as Sammi and Hayato step into the room, Jax closely behind them. My stomach falls as Sammi's eyes fill with tears.
I straighten myself, an overwhelming sense of dread sending chills through my body.
"What's wrong?"
Sammi sniffles, swiping at her eyes. "Jax heard from his informant."
The blood drains out of my face, and I lay my pool stick on the table, taking a step toward them. Teresa comes into the room, standing to the side of the door, her hands behind her back. She stares at the floor, and I shake my head, denying what I know is coming.
"No," I growl.
"We've lost track of her buyer," Hayato whispers, the pain evident in his voice.
My chest tightens, the world going dark around the edges. I focus my anger where it belongs— Jax. He never should've sent her into that goddamn auction in the first place. Without thinking, I barrel forward and slam my right fist into his face.
"This is your fault!"
Strong arms grab mine, pulling me backward. I struggle as Jax straightens himself, wiping blood from his lip. He glares at me, and in this moment, I hate him. I want him out of my house, and for ten cents, I'd kill him if I could get away with it.
"Blake, calm down," Dresden hisses, tightening his grip on my arm.
"No! She's missing and it's his fault. You never should've sent her in there!"
The adrenaline evaporates as quickly as it came on and they sit me on the edge of the pool table. My chest heaves, limbs falling heavy to my sides as all the moments with Lily before she left flash through my memory like a slide show.
"Listen to me," Dresden says, moving to block Jax from view. "She's the single strongest woman I've ever met. She'll get herself out."
I look him in the face and nod. Teresa clears her throat and steps toward us. She holds out a white envelope with my name written in Lily's handwriting across the front.
"What's this?" I take it from her hands.
"Miss Lily made me promise that if she wasn't back here in one week, I'd give you this letter."
Teresa turns on her heels, a
sob spilling from her lips and leaves the room. I stare after her for a moment and then down at the envelope. With shaking hands, I turn it over and open it, pulling out a letter.
There's a lot I want to say, but can't seem to get the words out. If you're reading this, it means I'm not coming back. I promised you I would, and I'm sorry I won't be. God help me, Blake, I'll think of you, every minute of every day I'm gone. I need you to know, if something goes wrong, if I don't survive, your face will be the last thing I see in my mind, your voice in my ears, your touch against my skin.
In the short time I've known you . . . you've derailed me. All that time I spent hating the touch of other people and working so hard to keep them out— it couldn't keep you out. You got in my head, Blake, and I love it. I love your arrogance and your charm, and the way your muscles feel under my hands.
I’ve felt alive with you, for the first time ever.
I need you to know that you can move on. Don't wait for me. You deserve happiness, a lifetime full of it. All I ask is that you keep helping the victims at the halfway house. Especially Sorina. For me, Blake, please. I wish I'd had a place like that when I was rescued. Maybe, if I had, I wouldn't be so broken. What you're doing is amazing and inspiring and please don't ever stop.
God . . . I love you, Blake. There's the truth. I don't know how or when, but sometime between you stepping into that Interpol office and now, I fell in love with you.
I'm so sorry, baby.
I love you.