The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 94

Heaving a sigh, Hyde stands. "You forged documents and used an underage child as bait in sting operations. I don't even know what the fuck to do with this. We'll make it simple until I can talk to the proper people and figure this mind-fuck out. Jax you're fired. Dresden and Lily will head the team."
"Wait, Hyde, I can't run this team," I stammer, sitting up in Blake's lap.
"Yes, you can, and you will— with Dresden's help. Jax, let's go. You and I will go to DC and see what will be done about your endangerment of Agent Williams and your team for the last decade."
Jax and Hyde walk to the front door, my eyes following them the entire way.
What the fuck just happened?
Jax looks over his shoulder, a sad smile on his lips. "I'll see you again, Lily."
By Saturday, I need to get out of this apartment. My head pulses and aches— an atomic bomb looking for a place to go off.
I force Blake to stay home, placating his worries about me leaving by bringing Hayato with me. We're at the Harbor, sitting on a stone bench. I'm staring out at the water, mesmerized as the waves gently break against the walls and boats nestled around the docks.
Baltimore isn't so bad.
"You feel any better, Lily?" Hayato slides his cell phone into his pocket.
"Not really."
"Starting something new is never easy, especially for people like you," he says. "But, as my grandfather used to say, the one burnt by hot milk will blow on the ice-cream."
I press my lips together and tilt my head. "What?"
"You ever heard the phrase, once bitten, twice shy? Same thing. You been hurt by a man when you were very young, now, you fear all men or you did." He reaches over and places his hand on my thigh, squeezing gently. "You need to breath, Lily. Take it one day at a time. You’re still not healed fully. Don't rush it. Let it happen the way the universe intends for it to." He gives me a knowing smile, his black hair glinting in the sun.
"Yeah," I whisper, fidgeting with my fingers as I look back to the water.
Hayato and I sit for hours as the sun moves overhead, shifting the colors in the water and the glare off the buildings. It's peaceful, and there's no need to fill the silence with pointless chatter.
Someone clears their throat and we both turn our heads in unison. Dresden is standing two feet away, hands in his pockets. Hayato gets up, shakes his hand, and walks toward the car. Dresden sits down next to me, his leg almost touching mine.
"You okay?"
"I think so."
His eyes are full of concern. "Hyde called this morning. Jax is being sent to a hearing next week."
"I figured that would happen. Hyde seemed pretty pissed."
"We all are right now, Lily. You never should've been recruited." He pauses, dragging in a breath. "And while none of us can deny you're an amazing agent, the fact is, we all participated in the undercover stuff and you were a child."
"Do you regret working with me all this time?" The hurt is evident in my tone, even though I try to hide it.
He rubs his eyes, sighing loudly. "Of course not. I care for you, very much, Lil. But you were so young. Had I known . . . I never would've got you into an auction."
"I don't expect you all to understand."
"We don't need to understand why you followed Jax. There are things we'd like to know, but we have time for that."
"We should head back. You’ve been gone for hours, and Blake's starting to drive us nuts. Caleb's there trying to distract him, but it isn't really working."