The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 93

"Yes. I couldn't say no knowing you were in there. It was my only chance. If I didn't act, you'd have been lost. The ring would've killed you. No one would've found your
body. Your family would've been left wondering what happened. No one deserves to be forgotten." I close my eyes, breathing deep.
"He almost beat you to death," she whispers.
"I'd do it all over again if it meant you’d never feel the bite of a cane or the way your flesh tears under a flogger. You're his sister, I care about you whether I want to or not."
"You almost died! Do you have any idea how hard that was to watch?" She shoots up off the sofa.
"Not as hard as it was to experience." I try to smile.
"Oh, screw you and your smart mouth." Her face turns a darkening shade of red.
My eyes widen in shock. Shannon hadn't struck me as the yelling type.
"Calm down, it's over." I shrug my shoulders, pushing the pain to the back of mind as I've done so many times before.
"No, I won't calm down! I watched him beat you and rape you, and then I watched you slit his throat as if he was a god-damned animal, oh, and that was after you strung him up and beat him with his own weapons! I can't even close my eyes without seeing one of those moments replaying in my head!"
"Enough!" I push out of my chair. Shannon drops to the sofa, her mouth hanging open. My heart pounds in my ears, blood rushing to my face and heating it like lava over a village.
Breathe, Lily.
"Saving you was the first truly good thing I've done in ten years. You have a family that loves you. I'd have given anything for that. I don't remember my life before being a slave. My parents sold me when I was eight, and by the time I was seventeen, I'd had enough. Jax saved me, trained me, and gave me a purpose— a promise of revenge. It's all I know."
"Seventeen," Monroe says with venom, glaring from me to Jax.
I ignore him.
"I've killed a lot of people since then and enjoyed every minute of it. If you didn't notice, I had a smile on my face as I ran that knife across Bennington's throat."
"Lily, stop," Blake says quietly.
"No, that life is all I know. It was all I knew . . . until you." I round on Blake, gritting my teeth. "With your smart ass comments, warmth, and your inability to just let me be, you gave me the one thing I needed more than revenge, and it took being in that torture chamber for the last two months for me to see it."
"To see what?" Blake whispers.
I smile a sad, defeated smile, my anger evaporating.
"I needed someone to love me enough to not give up. The team's been here, but they've been nothing more than friendships I refused to accept. I never questioned the assignments or being used as bait because I never thought I was made for anything else. And, I don't care if this ends my career or ruins my life."
I take a step forward.
"Working for Interpol did more damage than anything else. The last thing I needed when Jax found me was an auction, but that was the only thing he saw when he looked at me. Raw clay he could mold into the perfect weapon." Slowly, I turn toward Jax.
He stands, his eyes locked on mine, his gaze defiant and pissed. I walk over, standing directly in front of him.
"I gave you a purpose," he growls, looking down at me.
"You kept me shattered. Every buyer, every kill, every auction— kept me locked in the past. That's why you tried to take me off this case. I see it now. You know you can't have total control anymore. I don't care why, but I know I'll never do it again. I'll never go undercover, and I'll never stand on another auction block. I'm done."
I turn and walk toward Blake.
"You loved it, Lily. Your eyes light up when you kill and you know it. No matter what you think, this is what you're made for." Jax's voice rises with each word.
"You're right. I loved every minute of it," I stop in front of Blake, gazing up into his eyes. "But I finally found something I love more."
Blake reaches out and runs his fingers through my hair, leaning in to kiss my forehead. He sits down and pulls me into his lap, nuzzling his nose in my hair. It doesn't matter what else is happening, he makes me feel okay, and I'm not going to spend every minute of my life fighting it anymore.