Lily shifts her weight, uncomfortable with Carmen's tone and probably closeness. She said the other night it doesn't bother her to be touched anymore, but I worry about it all the time. I do everything possible to show Lily that not everyone will hurt her, but I know her past runs deeper than any of us can or will ever understand.
"You and your team probably saved our lives tonight. We owe you a great deal. Especially Blake," Carmen says, glancing at me.
I narrow my eyes. She's the last person who should be telling anyone about owing others. The only reason I tolerate her or my father is for Shannon. I love my sister dearly, but my relationship with Carmen and my dad is nothing more than a beautifully crafted smoke screen. It has been for the better part of twenty-three years. Lily seems to think we're the perfect family.
Oh, if she only knew.
Before my mother killed herself, she made me promise to be nice to my father— to try and be a good son. I was twelve. Had I known what she'd planned . . . things might be different. I've detested Carmen since even before that moment. She'd been my father's mistress, and taken him away from us. He'd done everything for her, bought her everything she ever wanted. Yet all the time he was married to my mother, he treated her like a servant and helped her with nothing.
I hate both of them. What they did to my mother is why my entire being is geared toward taking care of Lily. I won't be like my father and let the woman I love struggle through life. No. It's a thought that makes me grin in a sinister way. Schooling my father on how t
o be a man, how to treat a woman, and if all goes right in the future, be a real husband.
"Blake doesn't owe me anything, Mrs. Mason. I'd say it's my job, but with him, it's more than that." She shoves her hands in her back pockets. "You guys really should get some sleep."
Carmen nods, and I glare after her as she walks away with my father. Even after they disappear from my sight, my eyes stay glued on the hallway. I wish my mother were alive to meet Lily. To get to know the woman I want to spend my life with. I know Carmen likes Lily, since she gushes over her all the time to my father. Rolling my eyes, I huff.
"Hey," Lily says softly, startling me as she sits close to my side on the couch.
"Hey, hon," I whisper, turning to gaze at her.
Her eyes are the most beautiful things I've ever seen— sapphire blue with deep gray around the edges. It's the first thing I noticed about her, and I'm lost staring into them. She searches my face, a small frown forming on her lips.
I lean forward, pressing my lips to hers. She's warm, inviting, and before I can stop myself, I reach over, running my hand up her leg. Her hand slides up my shoulder and tugs my hair roughly, sending a round of shivers down my spine. It's the same every time we touch each other. My erection stresses against my pants, and I moan into her mouth.
I want her, right now on this couch.
"Come to bed with me." I'm unable to control the need in my voice.
She groans, pressing her lips quickly to mine again. "I can't right now. I need to call Hyde and finish taking care of all this," she says disappointment evident in her tone.
"They can't handle this without you for an hour?"
"I'm lead, Blake. It's my job. I'll meet you up there as soon as I can." She kisses me again, gently biting my bottom lip.
Damn it, woman.
I pull her face to mine, kissing her hard. Her body tenses as she digs her nails into my shoulder. I tilt my head, invading her mouth with my tongue. She tastes like heaven. Being with her is the one place I forget everything and everyone else. It's like plunging into a hot bath at the end of the most horrible day. The world fades away and she's all there is. Too soon, she pulls back, resting her forehead against mine.
"Go get some sleep, baby. I'll try and hurry."
"Okay," I whisper, leaning back and heaving myself off the couch.
I stop at the bottom of the stairs and glance back at her. She's grinning as she runs her index finger over her bottom lip. I shake my head and walk up the stairs quietly.
What did I do to deserve a woman that beautiful?
We’re almost done setting this shit up, and I'm itching to get upstairs with Blake. I've been on and off the phone with Hyde, and everyone's been working non-stop. Hyde made good on Rhett's list and then some. The new weapons arrived early this morning. Vlad called and got approval to replace all the windows in the apartment with bulletproof glass as well.
"We'll need to take them to a hotel for the day tomorrow. That way I can get the windows replaced without putting them in harm's way. The apartment will be vulnerable for a while," Vlad says, sitting next to me in the kitchen.
"I'll let them know. Have Sammi use my credit card to book us rooms somewhere."