Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 32

“Remind me to check your schedule next time before I decide to visit you,” she snapped, her voice low. She looked presentable again. “You have too much damned company at inappropriate times.”
He grunted at that, ran his hand around the back of his neck, then strode to the door and jerked it open.
“Travis.” Santos Bahre, co-commander of Elite Two, stood on the other side, along with his partner, Rhiannon McConnelly.
Santos was six-three, had dark hair brushed back from his face, a neatly trimmed beard and mustache, and he wore a gray silk suit and white shirt, paired with expensive leather shoes. He was every inch the suave, debonair Irish pimp he portrayed.
Beside him stood his counterpart and co-commander, Rhiannon McConnelly. The madam to his high-class pimp. The cover they had created was perfectly designed to allow the female agents they oversaw to work closely with the covert agents sent in on specialty assignments.
“Santos, Rhiannon.” Travis stepped back, wishing there were some way to warn Lilly, to guide her through this.
If she remembered her commanders at this point, then they were fucked. The risk to the Elite Ops would be too high to allow her to stay in the game.
“You have company.” Smoothly cultured, Rhiannon’s voice was friendly and warm as she entered the room, her gaze going to Lilly.
They knew she had seen the file. They knew Lilly was aware of the report the investigator had compiled.
Travis turned in time to watch her face pale, her green eyes darken, widen, as she stepped back into the room.
“I’m leaving now.” Her voice trembled as she cast him a look filled with betrayal. “I won’t be back.”
Good. Lilly thought she was coming face to face with her pimp and her madam, not her commanders. And she was searching for a way to leave, a way out of the room other than the one they blocked.
“Does she think we’re here to force her back, Travis?” Rhiannon asked gently, her smile one of compassion and sympathy as she stared at Lilly. “What have you been telling this child about us anyway?”
“Child?” Santos murmured, the smooth hint of a brogue entering his voice. “You’re only a few years older than she, Rhia love.”
Lilly backed up further, her fingers moving restlessly at her thigh as though for the weapon she once wore there.
Instinct or memory? Travis wondered.
“I haven’t mentioned you, Rhia,” Travis assured her quietly as he watched Lilly, watched the pain and the denial that filled her face, her eyes.
He knew parts of her. Over the years, he had learned things he hadn’t realized he’d known about her. One thing he’d learned was that Lilly had pride. Enough pride that it had gotten her into trouble more than once.
She couldn’t see herself as a call girl, no matter how highly paid, no matter how exclusive or security-trained.
“He didn’t have to mention you,” Lilly spat out furiously. “My uncle has a full file on you.”
“Then he must have one on you as well.” Rhia stepped further into the room as she laid the red purse she carried on a side table.
The purse matched the red high heels she wore with well-creased silk slacks and a light cotton blouse. The shoulder-length dark red hair was brushed back from her face, her bangs skimming her brows.
She was classy and stylish. Pretty much exactly what Travis would have imagined a successful madam looked like.
“I’m leaving.” She moved around Rhia carefully as she stared at the doorway Santos and Travis still stood in front of.
“They just wanted to see you, Lilly,” Travis told her quietly. “You’ve worked with Santos and Rhiannon for over five years now. You’re friends as well as associates.”
“So Desmond’s file says,” she retorted sarcastically, as Travis sighed and stepped back from the door.
“Running won’t help, Lilly,” he told her softly, though he hoped she could read the message in his eyes to do just that. To run. To get the hell out of there before her past rose up and bit them both in the ass.
“I’m not running,” she informed him sharply, fear and anger showing in her eyes now. “And I’m not frightened. I’m simply refusing to be a part of this.”
She edged around the room, watching them all carefully, her fingers still searching instinctively at her thigh for that weapon. He was damned glad she didn’t have it; he had a feeling she would have shot them all.
“Lilly, you’re running,” Rhia said softly, her gaze never losing that innate compassion as she watched the woman she had helped train for so many years. “Surely you remember something about us.”