No Love Lost (Masters & Mercenaries The Forgotten #5) - Lexi Blake Page 0,1

husband now went by the name was simply another way to twist the knife.

She strode toward Ari and wondered if it wasn’t fate that had brought her here. Ari, that was. It hadn’t been fate that brought Solo. It had been an order from her boss to stay in London and finish the job she’d started. “Well, I’m sure he’s upset because he knows I’ll be here today. He’s been good at freezing me out since Paris.”

They worked together on her last mission. It had been the mission that brought Tucker and the rest of the remaining Lost Boys out of the shadows. She’d started the job because she’d wanted to see if she and Beck could try one last time. She’d ended up staying because she’d believed in those men, wanted what was best for them. They’d been through a lot of shit and all because an evil doctor had decided to treat them like guinea pigs. Although now that she thought about it, she didn’t like people who treated guinea pigs like test subjects either.

Now she wanted to know who’d supported Dr. Hope McDonald with money and assistance. She wanted the names of everyone McDonald worked with. It had been the whole point of her being in Europe. She’d worked with McKay-Taggart and Knight to get the list of McDonald’s consortia from the pharmaceutical company who’d backed her in the beginning.

Ariel’s expression turned serious. “Why aren’t you back in the States? The Agency took the data. I assumed you would go with it.”

Yes, she’d assumed that, too. “The boss wanted me to wait here in England and liaise with MI6 and German intelligence. Not to mention I’ve had to deal with DGSE.”

“Well, you had to know the French would want in on whatever you found,” Ariel pointed out.

The French intelligence agency had been key in trapping the man who’d tried to trade Roni Croft’s life for the data Tucker had hidden all those years ago. “Yes, and they’ve been perfectly reasonable. It’s Beck who isn’t. He thinks I’m hiding something from him.”

She was hiding so many things from her ex, but this wasn’t one of them.

“I think it’s hard for him to trust anyone from an intelligence agency,” Ariel replied with sympathy. “Kim, I have to ask you what you’re doing. Not with work, but with Ezra. It’s been years since you divorced. Don’t you think it’s time to move on?”

Her heart clenched at the thought, but she knew her friend was right. “When I found out he was getting involved with McKay-Taggart, I knew he would be in danger because of who they were investigating. I’d stayed away for years, Ari. I gave him space. He was grieving and he needed a place to put it all. Then he was angry because he found out about the mistake I made with Levi.”

The biggest mistake of her life, and she’d made so many. She’d been divorced and she’d gone out with a man she’d thought was her friend, and he’d taken such advantage of her. She didn’t even remember the night. She was a deadly CIA operative and that night had proven she was still a woman and still fucking vulnerable.

“I don’t know that he’s in a place where he can forgive,” Ari said slowly, as if she knew the words would be a blow. “I’m not sure he ever will be. Obviously I didn’t know him before his brother was killed, but I know the man he is now. He’s perfectly reasonable until it comes to you. Normally I would say that means he’s still got feelings for you and as long as there’s an emotional connection, the relationship isn’t truly dead.”

“But his feelings for me are hurting him.” It was the conclusion she’d come to after long hours of self-reflection.

Ariel reached out, putting a hand on her shoulder. “They’re hurting you, too. I don’t like saying this, Kim, but he’s not in a place where he can find any peace with you around. And I don’t think you’ll find any either. Do you want to go have lunch? We can talk. I’ll wait around if your meeting takes longer than mine.”

The last thing she wanted to do was cry to her gorgeous, happily married friend who would likely start having babies and raising a gorgeous family with her loving husband. She hated the jealousy that gnawed at her. It wasn’t Ariel’s fault she’d done everything right.

But Kim had thought she would have a family by now.