"You have to, Dresden," she screams.
Their voices mix, taking over the room. The pain intensifies and I'm close to breaking. Dresden shakes violently. I've never seen him this upset. My body trembles, my
knees growing weak the more they scream.
"Stop!" Dresden bellows whipping around, silencing the room. "We don't have a choice. It's the only way."
"We're going off the grid to hunt down the leaders of The Taurus," I say.
Blake's shoulders slump, his body shaking as his chest rises and falls rapidly.
He stands, sitting a sobbing Sorina on the sofa, and moves quickly in front of me, his eyes begging. "Please don't do this."
I step back. Distance is the only way for me stay strong. He reaches out and grabs my shirt, pulling me into his arms, crushing my body to his. He cries into my hair, pressing his lips to my head, repeatedly.
"Please don't, Lily. I can't be without you," he cries.
"I don't have a choice. It's the only way to keep you and Sorina alive."
He drops to his knees, pressing his head to my stomach. My dam breaks and tears stream from my eyes as I wrap my arms around his head.
"Forgive me, baby. I'm so sorry." The scent of his shampoo fills my nostrils, committing to my memory as my lips press against his head. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Shannon is locked in Dresden's arms. I scan the couch, meeting the faces full of anguish. Sorina jumps up and runs, throwing her arms around Blake and me. I crush her to my side, kissing her hair and then Blake's repeatedly. I strangle a sob, their arms tightening, pressing into the wounds and bruises across my back.
"We have eleven hours," Dresden says. "Let's make them count."
"Okay," Shannon whispers.
Blake stands and takes my head in his hands. "I'm selfish enough that I don't want to share you."
I grin, sad and full of defeat. "I know, but I need time to say goodbye to them too, baby. They're my family."
"I know. God, Lily, Please stay with me," he begs.
"I'll always be with you, Blake. Even if you can't see me."
Teresa cooked an amazing dinner. We spent quality time together for our final evening in the apartment. Part of me will be glad to get out of here. It's stained with horrific memories now. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I try to stay in the present, pushing back the darkness threatening to overtake me. Blake's in the shower. He's broken down several times and I'm close to falling into an abyss of suffering that will consume me.
I sigh, wiping unwanted tears away angrily. Every fiber of my being wants to curl up in this bed with him and never leave. Blake brings me to life. He's altered my view on the universe and my place in it.
The shower shuts off and I breathe deeply trying to calm the jitters shooting through my body. This is my last night with him for a long time . . . maybe ever. I don't want to think about tomorrow morning. It's better to lose myself in him and pretend this situation isn't killing me.
"You okay?" Blake's voice startles me. "You seem nervous."
"Come to bed with me," I whisper lying back.
His sadness penetrates to the depths of my soul, shattering me all over again. He crawls up the bed, lying beside me. My hand presses against the side of his face, my thumb gliding over the stubble on his cheek. Tears form in his eyes, causing my chest to ache.
"Please don't, Blake. I can't take it anymore."
"I can't help it, Lily. I've never felt this way before and I don't know how to deal with it." He runs his fingertips lazily over my bare thigh, sending heat straight to my sex.
I open my eyes and splay my hand across the back of his neck. He shivers under my touch and his lips find mine. Our mouths move together and it's heaven. My stomach clenches with need. My body twists toward him, tilting my head to deepen the kiss. His hand cups my ass, kneading against my skin.