The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 140

The door opens and Teresa walks in. "Ai, Ms. Lily, everyone is here and dinner is on the table."
I close out the tabs on my computer and stand, walking around to meet her. "Good. I'm starving."
We walk into the empty dining room. Blake and his parents are on the balcony with Sorina. Carmen pulls Sorina into a bear hug.
"Hey," I yell. "Time to eat!"
Standing by the table, we gaze at the wonderful Romanian spread she has put out. Everyone files into the room, standing behind their chairs, confusion on their faces as they stare at the foreign food. Sorina glances from the food to me, a megawatt smile on her lips.
"Lily . . . this is amazing," she says, hugging my side.
"What is all this?" Carmen says, standing next to her stepson.
"Confortul de acasa," Vlad says, grinning.
"The comforts of home. This is a Romanian style dinner. In honor of Sorina being here with us," I say, smiling down at her.
For the next several hours, there's nothing but laughter, conversation, and great food. I don't think about anything but the people around me and the moment we're in. Focusing all my energy on the family that’s slowly formed over these last few months.
Life would be perfect, if every day was like this. Waking up and working some kind of normal job, coming home to dinner with Blake and Sorina, school trips with her and business events with him. Part of me believes I could survive in this world . . . but a bigger part of me worries I'll fail at it miserably.
What kind of mother can I possibly be?
There's no model to base myself on. My mother was before the auctions, and memories of her are hidden somewhere in the recesses of my mind. Saladinya wants me to remember, to fill in the gaps of Jax's information, but . . . I don't want to. She sold me, there's nothing more important than that knowledge, and that isn't the kind of mother to model oneself after.
"Lily," Vlad says, pulling me back to reality.
"Când se va termina, ar trebui sa le ia pentru a vizita acasa," he says.
When this is over, we should take them to visit home.
"I don't know about all that," I say shaking my head. "Nu am mai fost acasa de când aveam opt ani."
I haven't been home since I was eight.
"Please, Lily? Could we?" Sorina begs practically bouncing out of her seat.
I laugh. "Calm down, kiddo. Blake si am pentru a ob?ine actele pentru ai facut mai întâi."
Blake and I have to get the paperwork for you done first.
"Am trimis hârtiile de adop?ie noaptea trecuta, dupa ce te-ai dus la culcare. Acesta va fi oficial într-o luna," Blake says.
I submitted her adoption papers last night after you went to bed. It will be official in a month.
It takes a minute for my brain to process that Blake has just spoken my native language. Slowly, my head tilts, eyes narrowing.
"You speak Romanian?" Sorina blurts out.
He chuckles. "I speak seven languages other than English, Sorina. Romanian, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Gaelic and Latin."
"So you knew what I said in the car?" I say, astonished.
"Yes, but I had no intention of ruining your fun." He leans over and presses his lips to mine.
"Tâmpit," I mutter, picking up my wine glass.