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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“Roxy?” he asked, resting his hands on the table.
“Yeah. What happens to her now?”
“Probably what happens to all the women tied to the club. They get by somehow.”
“I’m going to vanish, James, into thin fucking air. It won’t sit well with her. She loves me.”
“Do you love her enough to risk everything?” He tilted his head, studying my face. “She’d hold your life in her hands.”
“I don’t know. I do love her, but what if she looks at me as a traitor?”
“It’s something you’re going to have to decide and talk to headquarters about. They’d have to sign off on that shit.”
“I know, and they’re going to be cocksuckers about it. That shit I know.”
A knock on the door broke the silence that had developed as we both thought about the repercussions of this mission. When you’re inside, it’s hard to see the end. I’d lived day to day and hadn’t thought about the future. After a while, it’d felt like it would never get here, so I’d allowed myself to become one with my new persona. I’d thrown caution to the wind, and now, my heart would be the casualty.
“Time to go,” James said, nodding toward the door and standing.
I followed suit, sighing as I felt my shoulders slump from relief. “When will I see you again?”
“I’ll meet you up in D.C. in a couple of days. I’ll be with you the whole time. We were both neck deep in this, and since I was your contact person, I need to be there. It’ll be soon.”
“You’re coming straight there?” I asked as I moved toward the door, quirking an eyebrow at him. I wondered if he’d take a side trip to see Izzy before he met me.
I grabbed the doorknob and turned slightly. “When you call Izzy, can you tell her I’m okay and to let everyone know I’ll be home soon?”
“I’ll tell her. She’ll be relieved.”
“Yeah, I’m sure they all will be.”
At times, I felt like a criminal as I was debriefed at DEA headquarters. I’d been grilled hour upon hour, day after day, and it was becoming annoying. I was ready to go home. I’d given the agency enough of my time.
James had arrived a few days after I did and had been put through the ringer too. We were outsiders within the agency. Everything that had occurred while I’d been undercover was called into question, and we were both being asked to explain the actions. We had been interviewed about the evidence, our behavior, and everything in between. Finally, after fourteen days, we were told we could leave, but had to be ready to come back when called.
Before I went back to the hotel to pack up my shit, I headed to the deputy administrator’s office to have a heart-to-heart. I hadn’t seen Roxy or spoken to her in two weeks, and I had done a shit-ton of soul searching during that time.
I was ready to fight for her and us. If she loved me the way she’d professed, how I knew she did deep down in my bones, then it would all work out in the end. I didn’t worry that she’d out me. By now, some of the people had to have talked if she’d started looking for me. I needed to see what she knew and if the cat was out of the bag.
I knocked on the door, cracking my neck, turning it from side to side, and readying myself for a fight.
“Come in,” a voice called from the other side of the door.
Opening the door, I saw the Deputy Administrator sitting behind his desk, riffling through papers. “Sir, I need to speak with you for a moment.”
He stopped moving, looked up, and stared at me. Slowly, a smile spread across his face as he stood. Then he walked toward me with his hand held out.
“Thomas, good to finally see you again.”
There was no way in hell this paper-pushing fucker remembered me. I was sure he’d been briefed on the entire situation and knew about the case.
Shaking his hand, I said, “You too, sir.” I was lying my ass off, but by now, it had become second nature. “I needed to speak with you about something important.”
He backed away, motioning toward the chair in front of his desk. As I sat, I took a moment to look him over. He was wearing an expensive suit, and he had perfectly combed and gelled hair, a clean-shaven face, and probably not a day out in the field under his belt. He was a just a suit. He’d never put his life on the line, living a lie each day and trying to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He didn’t understand how the lines blur and the small pieces of you get muddled to the point where you’re not the same person anymore.
“I’ve dedicated over a year of my life to this mission—”
“We owe you a debt of gratitude for all your hard work.”
“Please let me finish, sir.” I held up my hand and his mouth snapped shut. I was pissed off that he’d interrupted me. Sitting forward, I rested my elbows on my knees before I spoke again. “I’ve given more to this agency than most people do. I’ve put my life in danger as well as my family. Without my work, the Sun Devils would still be on the street with no inroad to bring them down. Without me, you’re nowhere.” I paused, letting him absorb my words.
He nodded, placing his hands together and resting his index fingers against his lips. He was studying me much the same way I had him when I’d sat down.
“There’s someone I can’t just leave behind from my time working undercover with the MC. I’m here asking permission to contact her.” I leaned back in the chair and crossed my arms over my chest.