Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 20

“Who is it, Nik?” he snarled.
“I do believe it’s the girl’s uncle,” the “Nik” in question answered. His voice, though lower, was no less rough. “He’s demanding to speak with you.”
Demanding. Yes, that sounded like her uncle, but he’d picked a hell of a time to demand anything.
Staring back at Travis, her body aching in regret, she watched, felt the complete distance he placed between them.
“Would you like to freshen up before facing him?” he asked, his hand gesturing toward a guest bathroom. “Make yourself at home.”
He fixed his pants, tucked in his shirt. Within seconds the only outward sign of passion was the slight flush to his cheeks and the glitter of green in his brown eyes.
Lilly stepped back. She wanted to know why her uncle was there, but she had a feeling she would learn much more if they both believed she was occupied.
Lilly knew the fine art of pretending to give what was wanted. It was one of the first lessons her mother had taught her.
She had excelled.
Chapter 4
travis stepped into the reception room. The room was off a small foyer at the wide front door, marble-floored, the furniture less than comfortable but sleekly modern. Nik had had the butler light the fire, which glowed with cozy warmth in the huge fireplace. It did little to warm the cold appearance of the room though.
“Mr. Harrington.” Travis stepped into the room casually, displaying the lazy, almost insolent grace he had brought to the persona he had been given.
He didn’t extend his hand; an insult, he knew, to a man considered near royalty in England. Desmond Harrington was a lord of the realm as well as a member of the House of Lords now that he had acquired the Harrington title. He was a powerful, dignified figure, despite the fact that he looked more like an American thug.
His red hair was cut close to his scalp. His mustache grew long down the side of his lips and beneath his chin to meet a sparse beard in a wide goatee. The rest of the beard was trimmed closer to the face and gave him a scruffy appearance, while the minute lines on his forehead and at the corners of his eyes, along with the hollowed appearance of his cheeks, spoke of a rough-hewn determination.
Blue eyes watched Travis with a hint of anger, his lower lip tight with disapproval as he moved to the couch across from the chair Travis had taken.
Behind him was his bodyguard, and Travis almost laughed when the he recognized the man. Amazing that a man suspected of terrorist ties and international loan-sharking would have a bodyguard known better for his sense of fair play and honor than he was for his brutality.
“Mr. Caine.” Desmond hitched his slacks with an angry jerk of his hands before taking his seat with regal arrogance. “I won’t take up much of your time. Produce my niece and I’ll leave.”
Travis arched his brow as he sensed Nik moving in closer behind him.
The butler, Henry, balding, under six feet, but more than capable of providing any backup they needed, entered the room and went over to the bar.
“Would you gentlemen like a drink?” Travis asked Desmond as the other man glared at him.
“My niece, if you don’t mind.” The precise English accent was clipped and demanding.
“She’s in the powder room.” Travis shrugged. “You know how long such things can take. I suggest you relax for a bit and we can chat.”
“I have nothing to chat about with the likes of you.” Self-importantly, he lifted his rather heavy nose in the air as though he smelled something offensive.
Travis chuckled. “Ah, I have to say you’re quite wrong there,” he retorted. “We have quite a bit to discuss. I want my Lilly back.”
It was kind of funny to be “playing” Lilly’s lover when he actually was her lover. Except there was nothing the least bit humorous about the situation.
“Lilly Belle no longer exists,” Desmond hissed as he nearly came out of his chair, his face flushing brick red in anger. “She is Lady Victoria Lillian Harrington. Period. She is related to royalty and her station does not allow her to be your toy any longer.”
Travis’s brow arched. “That’s Lilly’s choice to make, not yours.”
“She no longer remembers you. She will never remember those years she has lost. The doctors are certain of that. Leave her be, man. Allow her the life she was born to live,” her uncle demanded.
“The life she ran from?” Travis asked as he leaned forward. “She was nearly killed living your life, as I remember it. Lilly left voluntarily. She didn’t return with the same mind-set. She’s back, not because she wanted to be, but because once again someone tried to kill her and she forgot she was running. So don’t presume to preach to me about the life that she should be living, or the reputation she should be cultivating.”
“Victoria belongs with her family,” Desmond snapped. “No matter how you twist the truth, you are nothing but a danger to her.”