I woke up with a throat that could beat the Sahara dessert for the title of being the driest. My eyelids felt heavy and my body felt beaten black and blue. Everything hurt.
Surprisingly though, I felt comfortable. I was lying on a giant marshmallow of a bed, nestled between a million pillows. Where was I?
Tryingly, I pulled my eyelids apart which felt sticky and crackly. I looked at my surroundings and found myself in a luxurious place. A suite. Beige colors, white sheets, a couch and a mahogany table. Soft lights in the ceiling and carpeted floors. No windows.
I turned my head, the slight movement making me grimace, and licked my lips when I caught sight of a person in the corner of my eye. She was standing with her back to me, messing with something. From the sound of it, her guns. Nobody was allowed to look that good, even from the back. I could see her deltoids through the jacket of her suit, and in case you were wondering, yes, she lifted.
Licking my lips again, I hoarsely spoke, "Where am I?"
My voice was a mess, but it caught Lauren's ear and she turned around. The deep, green eyes flashed with relief for a moment before they settled back to the constantly amused expression she always wore. "If I told you, I'd have to kill you."
"So a secure Italian safe-place? That figures. What continent am I on then?"
Omitting a nod, I groaned and tried to sit up. Fuck, my body felt beat.
"Are you sure you're up for that?" Lauren asked, a smile twitching on her lips when she saw my stubborn resolve to sit up. I actually managed to do so, even if my muscles protested.
"How long was I out?"
"Just a day. The doc said you would be out for at least three."
"My apologizes to the doc, but the only reason to stay in bed for that long is if you have a marvelous lover in between your legs."
"That could be arranged."
I fought the urge to roll my eyes when her devilish smirk grew. Instead I looked down at my chest which was clothed in a plain white top, just like I could feel my legs were pushed into a pair of loose, silk jammies. I didn't even want to think about who dressed me. "Why am I here?"
Lauren leaned back against the mahogany table and crossed her legs and arms. "When I found you, you were close to dying. Would you have preferred if I'd left you there?"
"Why would you even care? I'm an enemy to your government."
"True, but a life is a life, Camila, and even though we might not play on the same team, you're an agent like me. You were fighting for your nation, and I respect that. So we rescued you."
I pursed my lips and tried not to let her act of compassion hit me where it shouldn't. She was still a target on my government's radar, and if the chance was given, I had orders to capture her or kill her. Whichever one was available, but for now, I was still too weak to do so. And the human part of me also acknowledged that I now owed her one, despite the fact I didn't ask to be saved. I didn't like owing people.
Slowly swinging my legs over the edge of the plush bed, I winced as I supported my body into a seated position. Everything inside me screamed and begged me to lay back down, but I couldn't. I needed to get back to the States to give my report. "What were you doing there? In Russia."
"I could ask you the same thing, dolcezza. I wasn't expecting to run into you there."
I saw no point in hiding the truth. There was no secret in it. "A few days after you stole whatever it is you stole, the collateral damage followed. Someone hacked into our system from abroad. We actually thought it was you coming back for more." I said, wincing again as I tried rolling my shoulders. That hurt. "But it wasn't. The new hacker wasn't as... skilled as you guys, so they left a trace. Our guy was able to track it to Russia and connect it to the Russian Bratva. We didn't know what they wanted, but my supervisor thought it best to eliminate the threat." I growled, thinking back to when Monroe had dealt out the order. "It was suppose to be an easy, clean operation; Take out the Bratva's hideout, gun them down, arrest a few for interrogation. But it was a setup."