Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 5

“Nothing about this has been smooth,” Jordan informed him. “You were the one who rescued her that night. If you hadn’t been there, she would have died six years ago. It’s unfortunate we weren’t fast enough to save Lord Harrington though or to identify the killers.”
Travis regretted that as well. And sometimes it shook him to think that it had been mere luck that had saved Lilly’s life that night. He and Noah had been there hoping to steal the information Lord Harrington was going to turn over to MI5.
“So is MI5 in on this?” Travis asked.
Jordan shook his head. “We’ve been involved with this one since the beginning and it concerns one of our own agents, so they’re handing it over to us completely. Besides, you know they’d prefer not to have to go after one of England’s most privileged themselves, and that’s exactly where this thing is pointing.”
Jordan sighed. “As for Lilly, this is her chance to go home, Travis. We both know she’s missed it, despite the fact that she never mentions it.”
“Even if she doesn’t belong there anymore?” Travis ran a hand through his hair.
“Yes,” Jordan said with a joyless smile, “even if.”
Travis paced to the large window, though he didn’t pull the curtain aside to stare into the night beyond.
Lady Victoria Lillian Harrington.
Victoria Harrington had been quiet, filled with laughter, and as polite as hell. She had been all woman, though.
He remembered dancing with her before his own “death.” He had been very married at the time. He had also been very aware of his wife’s infidelities. He’d danced with Lilly and fought his arousal as he saw the very innocent, very feminine hunger in her eyes. He’d seen her regret, too, just as sharply as he had felt his own.
“Do you think it’s truly possible for her to go home after the life she’s lived the past six years?” Travis mused. “She’s not that innocent, idealistic young woman any longer, Jordan.”
Was it really possible to return to innocence no matter the memories lost?
Jordan breathed out roughly at the question.
“Who knows?” He finally shrugged. “Either way, we have a mission to complete and a very dangerous person to find. Lord Harrington was a very specialized, well-trained agent. Whoever killed him knew what the hell they were doing.
“MI5 focused on the new lord. Desmond Harrington, Harold Harrington’s half-brother from their father’s second marriage. He’s caretaker of the Harrington title now.”
“I’m surprised Lady Harrington remarried so quickly.” Travis knew Angelica as well. There were few things that mattered as much to her as appearances did.
Jordan sat back in his chair and finished his beer before speaking. His expression was thoughtful, suspicious.
“If she hadn’t, the title would have been lost to her son. If Desmond Harrington married and had other children, Jared would have no chance of inheriting it.” He looked at Travis. “Speaking of Angelica, it seems she tried to have Lilly sent to a psychiatric clinic in France to cure her of obstinacy.”
Travis grimaced at the information. “It’s a very nasty but common occurrence in some of the titled families,” he responded. “It’s kept quiet, considered a shameful secret, but highly relied upon to control the actions and decisions of the younger generations.”
Jordan was staring at him as though he were crazed.
Travis sat down heavily on the bottom of the bed and stared back at his commander in resignation. “Did you read my wife’s file?”
Jordan frowned. “There was nothing there about psychiatric problems or hospitalization.”
“There wouldn’t be,” Travis agreed. “It’s kept quiet, as I said. Very quiet. Even I was unaware of Patricia’s ‘stay’ in France until after her death. It was then her father informed me of her psychiatric problems. The fear of going back ensured that Patricia kept any activities her father or I would disagree with carefully hidden.”
Not that Travis would have allowed her to be hospitalized again.
“Hell.” Jordan shook his head in amazement. “Will Lilly be at risk?”
Travis’s lips thinned. “It’s possible. If Lilly associates with Travis Caine, Lady Harrington might try. However, when she discovers her daughter’s past as a paid escort, one day she may simply disappear, and then we’ll be looking at a mess.”
Jordan’s expression hardened. “A mistake Lady Harrington doesn’t want to make.”
Travis’s smile was mocking. “Lady Harrington doesn’t make mistakes. She’s always right. Always perfect. And she’ll be a pain in our collective asses.”
Chapter 2