"What's wrong, Dres? You look frightened." I snicker.
"Lily . . . please," Shannon whispers, stepping from behind Blake. She reaches up, rubbing her earlobe, a nervous gesture she took on after all the times Bennington yanked on it in the last two months.
"What did you tell them?" I keep my eyes on Dresden.
My heart skips a beat, my mind flooding with memories I'm not ready to talk about.
"Just about the nightmare," she whispers looking down at the floor.
"Good. Let's not air that shit." I step back from Blake, turning to the island. Teresa kindly slides me another full glass of Tequila. "This is pretty good once you get the first one down, Teresa."
She smiles as I bring the glass to my lips again.
"Lily," Jax snaps.
My body tenses, his voice like shards of glass in my ears. I clench my fists, my teeth grinding together hard enough to chip a tooth.
"How did you get back here?"
I swivel the stool to face him. "Monroe."
He huffs. "You went to Headquarters without permission?"
I want to kick him in the face.
"I don't need your fucking permission anymore."
"As of tonight, you're off this team. In the morning, you'll go home," he says, his voice dripping with authority.
"I'm pretty sure Monroe's orders supersede yours."
"Which are?" Jax takes a step forward.
"He says I stay on assignment."
"Does he know of your and Mason's unprofessional relationship?"
I smile. "He does."
"Lucky for me, I know people higher than Monroe. You're going home."
The dam holding back my emotions breaks into a million pieces. I launch off the stool and put a right hook into the side of Jax's face. Catching him by surprise, he falls, landing on his right knee.
I steady myself, my breath coming in ragged gasps. Lifting my leg, I bring my foot down into his ribs, sending him sprawling across the floor. I was trained well, too well. He rolls onto his stomach, pushing up on his hands and knees. I plant my foot in his ribs, knocking him back on his side.
"You sent me in fucking blind! You didn't even bother to let Interpol know I was going in. Monroe had no fucking idea I was missing until I showed up with that girl at his office in the middle of the night!"
Jax staggers to his feet, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. "They didn't need to know, it was an easy case."
"Easy! Easy! You think being tied up; having the shit kicked out of me for two months is fucking easy?"
He opens his mouth and I slam my fist into the side of his face, again. He staggers backward.
A strong embrace crushes my arms to my sides, and I twist and thrash trying to throw them off. "Let me go!"
"He isn't worth it, Lily," Vlad hisses in my ear.
"Let me go," I scream, my voice cracking as the tears flow, unwanted, from my eyes. "Fuck!"