"Ah, good ol' Thailand. That was a shitty assignment." I shudder remembering the four months undercover there.
"Blake mentioned you had a side mission here."
"Did he now?"
"Yes. He's very worried about you," he says standing. He walks around the desk and sits on the edge, staring down at me.
"He shouldn't be," I say. "I've gotten along fine all these years. Shit didn't get complicated until he showed up."
"Lily, you and I both know you haven't gotten along in any way. Do you even realize how much Blake Mason has helped you cope in the last few months?"
I sigh, tugging in the ends of my hair. "Yes."
"Really?" he says, skeptical.
"Yes!" I vault off the lounge and pace the length of the room. "I know and it fucking kills me. I can touch people now. How the fuck did that even happen? Years, years I've been through every treatment known to man to get over that issue and nothing worked. Then all the sudden, here comes Blake with his arrogance and compassion and it all just disappears. Now, I crave his touch more than I crave food . . . , water . . . , or air. How the fuck does that even happen?"
I stop and turn on the doctor, my blood boiling as all the pent up confusion comes to the surface.
"Love," he says plainly, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Love? That's your professional opinion?"
"Yes, Lily. You've never known anything but a harsh, evil world of men hurting you. Blake does the opposite of every man you've ever encountered, except your team. They love you too, which I'm sure you finally realize."
"How does that make you feel? Now that you know."
"I've spent ten years shutting them out and all this time all they wanted to do was help."
I flop onto the lounge and put my hands in my hair. The seat next to me indents and I sigh.
"Keep doing what you're doing, Lily. You're making more progress in the last few months then you've made in years. Keep letting it happen."
For the first time, Doctor Saladinya places his hand on my back and I don't react. His touch is soothing and for once, I need to use our time to get all this shit off my chest.
"Jax sent me into an assignment blind," I say, looking up to meet his eyes.
The last three nights were spent catching up on sessions with the good doctor. Part of me feels better, but the worries and anxiety of the future are still here. Tonight we sit around the formal dining room table, more laughter going on than ever.
I stare around at my team, the Masons, Doctor Saladinya and Teresa, all smiling and acting as if nothing is amiss in our lives. Teresa prepared the best dinner I've seen . . . maybe ever. The table is laden with authentic Mexican and Spanish foods. Everything from paella, enchiladas, tacos, empanadas . . . you name it, she made it.
I haven't touched a single bit.
Nothing has changed, and there lies my agitation. I want this to be my life, fully. Not just some fleeting moment scattered through an eternity of pain and misery. I love Blake and somewhere in the back of my mind, I picture this lifestyle with him.
At the same time, it scares the shit out of me. How, in these few months, has he turned my world on its head? I lie in his arms at night, wondering how I got so lucky, and praying morning will never come. It does though. Each new day, I look in the mirror, hardly recognizing myself anymore.
"Lily," Blake's voice snaps, pulling me out of my thoughts. "Your cell phone is ringing."