Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 62

Travis felt an edge of sorrow for the other woman. She had her daughter back, but it wasn’t the daughter she remembered, and it was one she was having a very hard time accepting.
“The party will wind down around midnight,” Lilly stated as they entered the ballroom. “Be ready to go to the garage with me, or I’ll go alone.”
She kept a smile on her face the whole time.
“I wouldn’t advise that,” he warned her tightly.
“I’m certain you wouldn’t, but it doesn’t really matter.” She stopped and stared up at him, ice filling her gaze. “Someone has tried to kill me twice now. I’ll find out who it is, Travis, and when I do, they’ll pay.”
There was more than anger in her voice now, there was pain. The frosty reception she had received from her friends, the condemnation in their gazes, the unsympathetic curiosity, all were taking their toll.
She may have been one of the Ops’s best female agents, but she was also one of the few that had managed to retain her heart, as well as her dreams.
“Travis, Senator Stanton wants to meet.” Nik edged close, his voice pitched low as Travis watched Lilly while she listened to one of Desmond’s closest friends brag about a recent business deal he and Desmond had made.
The stiffness in her body was telling. The observation of moments ago cemented in Travis’s mind as he noticed her discomfort.
“When?” Travis murmured.
“It’s set for now. Santos, Rhiannon, Noah, myself, and you. You have five minutes.”
“Your limo.”
Travis gave a quick nod. “Inform me I have a business call and I’ll take it in the limo.” Travis lifted his drink to his lips as he spoke.
Nik inclined his head before moving to stand behind Travis, taking his stance as bodyguard.
/> Travis continued to move about the ballroom with Lilly, listening, watching, as she reconnected with those old friends.
Their discomfort and guilt nearly matched hers.
There was no doubt in his mind that Lilly no longer fit in with the society she had been raised in. The fact that she was no longer Lady Victoria was becoming more and more apparent.
“Mr. Caine, you have a business call,” Nik announced just loudly enough to allow those he was standing close to to hear.
“Lilly, dear.” Travis bent close to her ear as she turned to him. “Stay in the ballroom. Keep your eyes open. Let’s see who approaches you while I’m gone.”
She nodded, but her gaze was filled with suspicion as he laid a quick kiss at her brow before heading out of the ballroom and then the house.
His limo was parked at the far edge of the wide circular drive. Opening the door, Nik stepped aside as Travis slid in, then joined him before closing the door securely.
“Senator.” Travis nodded at the older man sitting across from him.
“Good to see you, Travis.” Senator Richard Stanton reached out his hand for a quick shake before sitting back with a smile. “Jordan told me you were surprised when you learned about Elite Command. Did you think he shouldered the entire burden of the Ops on his own shoulders?”
“They’re broad enough, sir.” Travis grinned. “Though I doubt he’d thank me for saying so.”
“Hell, no,” Stanton grunted a laugh. “That boy is a hell of a commander, but politics aren’t exactly his forte. He pisses off most of the members of Command every chance he gets.”
“As do most of us who are unfortunate enough to come in contact with them,” Santos stated ruefully, his aristocratic features mocking.
“I would guess there are days Travis wishes he didn’t know about us now.” The senator grinned back at Travis.
“I’m glad to know men such as you are there, if someone has to be, sir,” Travis stated.
“Suck-up.” Rhiannon rolled her eyes.