"Why don't we all sit down? Dresden, care to help me get some extra chairs?" Blake says walking toward the dining room.
I groan and stare at the ceiling. This is not how I wanted to spend my morning.
We're sitting around the coffee table in a large circle, waiting for someone to speak. It's like a fucked up meet and greet.
"So, let's get this over with," Dresden says reluctantly.
"Agent Williams, we need to know what happened after you left this apartment two months ago," Hyde says.
I let out a loud sigh. "You know I could just write a debriefing like we do with all the other cases."
"Yes, you could. But, I think the Masons and your team deserve to hear the truth from you, not a deposition," he says, smoothing back his salt and pepper hair.
"Once inside the ring they started auctioning girls off in pairs. I got lucky to be paired and sold with Shannon." I meet Hyde's gaze, unable to look Blake or my team in the face. "We were sold to a guy named Bennington for $10 million."
"Why would someone pay that much for two girls?" James Mason says astonished.
"Because your daughter was sweet looking and described as a nice fuck, and I can take rough treatment to a whole new level. Best of both worlds for a buyer," I snap.
"Dear God . . ."
"We were blindfolded, drugged, and taken to Bennington's apartment." My gaze falls to the floor, my voice hardly more than a whisper. "The first night he bound us, and attached our hands to chains hanging from a torture room ceiling. Over the next two months that was the only place we stayed. He collared us to wall anchored chains, and hung us on the hooks when he came in for . . . you know.”
I run my hands over my face. "Each night he'd come in, beat the hell out of one of us and leave. Bennington was a sadist."
"So, how is it you look like someone threw you in front of a truck and Shannon barely has a mark on her?" Hyde looks from me to her.
I meet his eyes, my resolve hardening. It isn't his business how or why things worked out this way.
"The second night we were there, he came in and starting hitting me with a belt. Lily got smart with him and he ended up leaving me alone . . . beating her with . . ." Shannon says her voice small.
"Beating her with what?" Hyde coaxes.
Tears fall from Shannon's eyes and I sigh.
"It's called caning," I whisper. "And it hurts like hell."
"Every time after that, he’d come in the room and move straight for me, but before he could touch me, Lily would do something or say something to piss him off and direct the beating to her."
"Shannon, stop," I breathe.
James reaches over and squeezes his daughter's hand in his. "You never told me why, Lily. I asked you a million times . . . why?"
"Does it matter why?" I say irritated. "I made a choice, end of discussion."
"It matters to me," she says, scooting to the edge of the sofa. "I need to know."
Tears form in my eyes as I look into hers. "Because when I looked in your eyes, all I could see was your brother. I knew it wasn't likely for both of us to survive, and I'd do anything and give anything to make sure he got you back."
"What?" Blake says in disbelief.
"You all remember I told Jax no at first. Then Sammi did some digging, and found Shannon's original case files and tracked her through face recognition. When I knew for certain she was in that ring, I changed my mind."
"You came in there just to save me?"