Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 59

“Cover! You make me sound like some sort of fucking agent,” she snapped back. “For both sides? Don’t tell me fairy tales, Travis, because I’ve read the report Desmond has on you as well. You’re a ‘facilitator.’ A man that works both sides for any country. You’re no more a patriot than I was, evidently.”
“I’m a businessman.” His jaw tightened furiously.
“You’re a liar!”
Lilly was shocked at the words that fell from her lips, the knowledge that suddenly stormed through her brain, bringing an explosion of pain to her temples.
She nearly doubled over for the brief seconds that the agony radiated through her skull, but at least this time, the knowledge remained.
He was lying. He was so much more than a businessman, and a hell of a lot more than a man that worked both sides. But what was he? That answer remained as elusive as ever.
“Lilly!” She felt him jump toward her as she stumbled, the reverberating pain lancing through her head like acid through her veins.
Pinpoints of rich colorful starbursts exploded before her eyes, nearly stealing her consciousness as the light from it intensified the pain to an agonizing level.
“Shhh, it’s okay. I have you, baby. I’m right here.” The words echoed through her head, as memories threatened, for the briefest second, to explode through her head.
“I have you, Lilly,” he whispered again, supporting her body, holding her upright as she fought against the brutal pressure in her brain.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped as his arms went around her, holding her against him as the pain slowly receded. “I didn’t mean that.”
His hand cupped the back of her head as he held it against his shoulder.
“I don’t lie to you,” he said gently, his lips against her ear. “I have no reason to lie to you, Lilly.”
And that, too, was the truth. How could he lie and yet be telling the truth? The conflicting instincts inside her were driving her mad.
“I want to make sense of what’s going on inside my head,” she whispered, a breath of sound that she knew only he could hear. “I want to make sense of who I am, and what I know and don’t know. And why, Travis, why do I trust no one but you?”
Why was her voice so low? It was a breath of sound covered by the rasp of tears she refused to shed as Travis held her close against him.
She could feel the tremors racing through her now, almost like shock, trembling through her body and rasping her voice as she fought to make sense of who she was. What she was.
“It’s shock, baby.” He kissed her forehead gently before swinging her up in his arms and sitting with her on the bed, holding her close. “It’s just shock. You could have died today. It’s finally catching up with you, that’s all.” There was an edge of warning in his voice, the same warning she often saw in his eyes.
Her room wasn’t secure. That thought raced through her mind once again as the pain eased entirely away. There was no way, at this moment, to ensure that no one was listening.
“Just shock,” she repeated as she stared over his shoulder into the dimming sunlight that glowed through the balcony doors, knowing it was more than just the shock.
She eased away from him, staring up at him intently. The pain had left slowly, but in its place was a certainty that if she didn’t figure out who was trying to kill her, quickly, then it would be too late. And perhaps it would be too late for both of them.
Travis held her tight, fighting his own demons, fighting the emotions that threatened to overwhelm him. When he had been inducted into the Elite Ops, he had been warned that his loyalty was to the team, and no one else. He no longer had a family, a country, or a lover. His entire loyalty was to the team and to nothing and no one else.
He’d had no problem with that then. He hadn’t wanted to divide himself, to risk his heart, or the lives of those he loved, again.
Standing there now, holding onto Lilly, he knew that that loyalty had changed, shifted focus. Hell, it had done so six years ago and he hadn’t even realized it. The team was taking a backseat to the woman, and he knew it.
Staring into her eyes as she looked up at him, Travis had to fight himself, to keep from telling her the truth. At that moment there was nothing more important than giving her the answers she needed with such desperation.
Lilly breathed in deep and hard to regain control of herself. The emotion and the needs ripping through her, the fear that battled with confusion.
I’m checking the garage later, Lilly mouthed. Someone had tried to kill her. Her cycle had been parked in the underground garage, unattended. Perhaps something had been left behind.
He shook his head firmly. He wasn’t arguing vocally with her. That was telling.
They had worked together often, he had said. She was trained for covert maneuvers, personal protection and guerrilla tactics. She sensed that. They were partners in more than the bedroom games they had been playing. It was time she put some of that knowledge, those instincts to use and figured out what the hell was going on. She might not have her memories, but she still had her instincts and the bits of knowledge that were coming to her in bits and pieces, every day. She knew just enough to make her dangerous now. Just enough to possibly get her killed.
But she wouldn’t go alone.