The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 153

Dresden rubs his hands over his face. "We fucked up, royally."
"Yeah, no shit."
"I don't know if I can do this anymore," he whispers looking up to meet my eyes.
I study his face. "Me either."
"Goodnight, Lily. Tomorrow is going to be a bad day." He stands and walks from my office, his shoulders rolled forward.
I stare at the framed sketch on my desk.
Tomorrow will be the worst day we've had combined.
Dresden and I stand in front of the coffee table, his body tense, mine shaking for the first time in months. Our team, Shannon, Sorina, and Blake come into the room with Monroe, their faces etched with worry. His parents left this morning with a group of agents for their transition into Witness Protection.
Blake's eyes burn into mine as he holds Sorina to his side, and I stare down with pain lancing through my chest. In the next twenty-four hours, I'm going to rip them apart, but there's no other way. I almost got them killed . . .
"Everyone, please sit down. Dresden and Lily have something to tell you," Hyde says.
Dresden takes a shuttered breath. I turn to him, clasping his head in my hands, forcing him to look at me. Tears shine in his eyes, matching the ones ready to spill from mine too.
"It's the only way, Dres," I whisper, my voice shaking to match my hands.
He places his hands over mine, pressing our foreheads together. This is killing us both, slowly, but we can't go back now. It's our only chance and if we don't do this now, we'll change our minds and everything will be lost.
"I feel like I'm splitting apart, Lily," he whispers, trembles running through his hands.
I lift my head, gazing into his face. "Me too, but it's now or never."
"Guys . . . " Sammi's voice is full of fear and confusion. "What's wrong? You're scaring us . . . "
"Fuck," Dresden snaps, tearing from my grasp and turning his back on the group, a sob escaping his lips. "I can't fucking do this."
"Baby, what's going on?" Shannon says scooting to the edge of her seat.
"Don't get up," Dresden barks, keeping his back to her. He knows her too well already. "If you touch me right now, I'll go back on my word and everything will fall apart."
"What are you talking about? What will fall apart?" She cries, tears forming in her eyes.
Blake has tears trickling down his face, his eyes locked on me. My heart sputters and lurches in my chest. I can't look at Sorina.
Oh, God . . . help me.
I close my eyes, breathing deeply. Opening them again, I take in the line of faces, all full of fear and pain. I'm going to crumble us all in one fluid motion.
"At 8:00 AM tomorrow morning, you all will board an Interpol jet heading for Australia. The Masons are being placed into Witness Protection, to be headed by Sammi and Vlad until a time when it is safe for them to return to the United States," I say, false bravery in every word.
"Wait . . . what about you and Dresden?" Vlad says, his voice uneven. He heaves a breath, realizing what I'm saying. "No . . . Lily . . . you . . . you have to come with us."
Before he finishes his sentence, I shake my head, willing the pain coursing through me to stop. "We aren't coming."
The anger erupts from Blake and Shannon, as I knew it would.
"What the hell do you mean you aren't coming?" he yells.