"Night, man," I mutter, walking to the kitchen.
I pour a glass of tequila and sit at the dining room table. A million things could go wrong when we leave here and each one is a thorn in my side. Once this event is over, Blake has some time open. It'll be a good opportunity to spend time with Sorina. The last thing I need is to get attached to someone else, but on some deep, unexplainable wavelength, it's already happened with her.
"Evening, Lily," a soft voice says startling me.
I look up into the solemn face of Carmen Mason. She has a glass of wine in her hand, bags under her eyes.
"May I join you?"
"Sure," say quietly, gesturing to the chair next to me.
"Thank you." She sits down, turning slightly to face me. "I don't think I actually said that to you for saving Shannon. Of course, I should thank you for saving Blake as well. They'd both be dead by now if it weren't for you."
"You don't have to thank me, Mrs. Mason. It's my job and my pleasure," I say awkwardly, sipping my drink.
"I keep hoping all this will bring Blake, his father, and I closer, but it hasn't." Her eyes fill with sadness.
I'm not sure what to say. The strain between Blake and his parents hasn't gone unnoticed, but I assumed it was because of the current situation. They seem like the perfect family regardless of the fact Carmen is his stepmother. There wasn't any information about Blake's biological mother in his files, and I haven't thought to ask.
"I wasn't aware there were any issues between the three of you," I say in an even tone.
She chuckles darkly. "My stepson all but hates me, and I'm almost certain he despises his father."
My eyes widen in shock. "I doubt that Mrs. Mason. Blake seems to care for all of you very much."
"Shannon, yes. He's never blamed her for his younger years, or the way his mother went. He blames me greatly," she says with pain in her eyes.
"Enough, Carmen. I doubt Lily wants to be bothered with our family issues," James snaps from a few feet away.
His eyes harden like ice, contempt and anger etched in the tightening of
"On the contrary, Dr. Mason, I think your family's issues have very much become mine as well," I say with more irritation than intended.
"Blake's childhood wasn't great. I think that's all that needs to be known. Regardless of your involvement with my son, our family's past is none of your business."
"I think I'll be the judge of that," Blake says, venom soaking each word. My head snaps in his direction.
He glares at his father with an amount of hatred I've only ever seen within myself. My mouth drops open as he stalks forward, stopping inches from his father.
"Blake, our past is none of her business. It's no one's business," James hisses through gritted teeth.
His face reddens as he takes a deep breath, his fists clenching at his side. "She's my future, and I'll impart whatever information I deem necessary where my past is concerned."
"Thankfully, you and your girlfriend won't be worrying about us after tomorrow."
"Yes, that is something to be thankful for," Blake growls.
"I'm sorry, where will you be going after tomorrow?" I say, standing and moving to Blake's side, gently placing my hand in his.
He glances down at me, squeezing my fingers, his face and body visibly relaxing.
"Carmen and I will be going to our vacation house overseas with a small team of agents until the situation here with my son is dealt with."
"I see," I say in a low tone, my pulse quickening, cheeks heating in agitation.
It seems I've misjudged Blake's parents, assuming their high society status automatically meant they cared for him. Seeing their exchange tonight, I'm not so sure. My hand habitually tightens around Blake's.