The Auction Block (Agents of Interpol 1)

Page 156

Blake removes the ring and slides it onto my hand. It fits perfectly.
Dresden and I sit in the back of Monroe's sedan— waiting for the SUVs to pull onto the airfield. We left two hours before the others this morning, at Hyde's request, to finalize the plans for the next leg of our mission. An assignment Dresden and I will handle alone. We'd both spent the better part of the morning in tears, and cussed this whole damned world up one side and down the other.
I try to steel myself against the pain and heartache I know is coming. A bright light pulls my attention to the landing strip. Four SUVs approach. They park across from us, and slowly, we exit the car. I stand, my arms locked behind my back, staring straight ahead.
The SUV doors open and as they climb out of the back, we both start to shake, hardly able to keep
ourselves together. My breathing catches in my throat, and I gasp, forcing the air into my lungs. Dresden sucks in a breath, and I put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Vlad approaches, a frown on his lips.
I take a step forward and he breaks into a jog, grabbing me in a bear hug. I bury my face in his shoulder and will myself not to cry. He breathes into my hair, sighing, squeezing me tighter.
"Don't take forever."
"I won't," I say, standing up.
He nods, moving to Dresden. Rhett steps up and holds his hand out. I shake it, and pull him into a hug.
"Be careful, Lily."
"You know I will."
Jameson stops in front of me, tears in his eyes.
"Don't let Dresden drive. He'll wreck the car," he says, trying to smile.
I chuckle. "Yes, sir."
"Fuck you, I drive fine," Dresden snaps, grabbing Jameson in a hug, slapping him on the back.
"Lily," Sammi says, pulling me into a hug.
I squeeze her against me. "Take care of them for me, Boa."
"You know I will. Just hurry back to us," she says through tears.
My chest tightens.
I hug Shannon as she steps toward me and kiss her cheeks, knowing she needs as much time with Dresden as possible. Sorina steps up, her shoulders shaking. She stares at the ground, only a foot away from me, and my heart splits in two. Tears spill over, running down my cheeks. I reach out, placing a finger under her chin and force her to meet my eyes. Her face is blotchy.
"It's okay, kiddo," I whisper, pulling her into my arms.
She erupts into body splitting sobs, sagging against me. I hold onto her tight, kissing her hair, running my hand up and down her back.
"Mom . . . please, don't go. Come with us, please," she begs.
I grasp her shoulders and kneel on one knee, looking into her eyes. "I wish I could. You and Blake are my life. I never knew I could love the way I love the two of you."
She reaches out and holds my head in her hands, the way Blake does. "When will I see you again?"
My heart stops. "You'll always see me, Sorina. Every time you close your eyes, picture my face. I'm in your heart now, and you're in mine. As long as you keep me there, and remember how much I love you . . . I'll always be with you."
Teresa steps up and takes Sorina's hand. "Come on, Sori. Your Dad needs to see her too. Let's say bye to Mr. Dresden and get settled on the plane."
I smile sadly at Teresa. She wipes a tear from her eyes, lightly touches my face and pulls Sorina away. Blake stops in front of me, his back straight, his face guarded. I look down and pull a black ring box from my pocket. My hands shake as I hold it out to him.
"What's this?" he says his voice shaking.