The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 145

"Blake . . . it's beautiful."
He takes the bracelet from the box, and holds it out. I extend my left wrist and he secures it against my skin. It sparkles as the light catches the diamonds.
"Every time you look at this, I want you to remember that I want you and Sorina, forever."
"Pentru totdeauna," I say, smiling up at him.
"Forever sounds good to me," Sorina says, wrapping her arms around both of us.
Blake leans down and kisses her hair, and then my lips.
We spend the rest of the day with Sorina. She's more inquisitive than Blake, just less annoying about it. She bombarded both of us with a million questions. I tried to keep up and answer everything truthfully, but some subjects are still too touchy for me to discuss in detail.
Surprisingly enough, when I refused to answer certain things, she simply says okay, and moves on to the next question. We got a lot of the rules and expectations down at least. I lie in bed, well past exhaustion and smile. He's going to be the nicer parent. Go figure, I'm the strict one.
Blake's standing in the door leading to the closet, a towel wrapped around his waist looking like some GQ model. He sifts through his clothes, the muscles in his back rippling from the movement. My belly clenches and I bite my lip.
"Just drop the towel and come to bed. You've been standing there forever," I say in mock irritation.
He looks over his shoulder and smiles. Turning to face me, he lets the towel go and my eyes wander greedily down his body as I lick my lips. He looks better than brandy to an alcoholic. He saunters over to the bed, his eyes never leaving mine, and lowers himself on top of me, running his nose along my jaw.
"We need to go to bed," I whisper, tilting my head back as he gently nips my neck.
"Then you should let me put clothes on," he says in a husky tone.
"Blake, I like you without them for more than just sex," I say seriously.
He sits back and looks at me, the questions dancing in his eyes.
"You forget you're the first person I've had this with. I really just like the way your skin feels against mine."
His eyes soften and without another word, he sits up, pulling me with him. In one swift movement, he pulls my shirt over my head and twists, lying on the bed with me on his chest. I close my eyes and drift. This is the only place I want to be.
I sit up straight in bed, panic choking me. I flip on the bedside lamp and look over. Lily isn't in bed . . . again. As I run my hands over my face, somber tones from the piano reach my ears. I sigh and climb from bed, grabbing a pair of sweats.
The music gets louder as I walk quietly down the stairs. My heart stops as I take in the two, most beautiful women sitting there. Lily is in her bra and a pair of shorts with Sorina next to her in a tank top and sweats. Both their backs are clearly visible, and my chest tightens.
Most men would shudder at the sight, but they're both perfect to me in every way. I know they hate those marks, and looking at them now, as Sorina, my new daughter, sways to the music, while Lily, the woman I want to be my wife, sings like an angel, I'm reminded how much they’ve been through, how similar they are, and how much I still have to learn about their pain.
I walk as quiet as possible toward them. Lily doesn't stop singing but her head turns ever so slightly and I know she's aware I'm here. Sorina looks up at me as I gently lay my hands on Lily's shoulders. She doesn't even tense up. I'm so proud of how far she's come in the last five months. She's so much stronger emotionally than she knows.
"You should be in bed kiddo," I whisper to her as Lily finishes singing.
"I couldn't sleep. I'm sorry," she says looking upset.
I reach over and tip her chin up. "Don't apologize. Tomorrow's a big day for you, Shannon, and the other girls. I want my girl to be well rested so she can enjoy herself."
She stands, walks around the bench and crushes herself to my side. Trusting men is hard for both of them. They have no idea how much it means to me that I'm the one they trust. I've never thought about having kids until the day Lily decided to announce she wanted to adopt Sorina. I'm not sure what kind of father I'll be, but I know I'll be better than my father, that's for damn sure.
I kiss Sorina's hair and she skips off to her bedroom. Lily's shoulders rise and fall, a signal she's sighing at something. A grin plays on my face, and I massage her arms gently. She's so tense all the time. Even when we make love, which is when she's the most relaxed, I can feel the knots in her muscles.
"What's wrong, baby?"