A Beautiful Lie

Page 42

Milo pressed his gun against her temple and pushed against the soft skin until Parker was sure there would be an indent.

"Those girls were far from innocent. They were whores. No one wanted them. No one cared about them. Their own father's couldn't stand them. Kind of like you," Milo said with a sneer.

"Fuck you," Parker snarled.

Milo frowned and Fernandez looked at him expectantly. After several moments of silence, Fernandez spoke.

"Put her in her place, son."

Milo moved so quickly all Parker saw was a blur of color as he pistol whipped her across the cheek with the hand that held the gun.

Her head snapped to the side with the force of the blow and she squeezed her eyes shut to ward off the pain. Parker leaned over as far as the goon holding her arms would allow and spit a mouthful of blood onto the floor by Milo's feet.

Hands grabbed a clump of hair from the back of her head and yanked her face up until she was staring into Fernandez's eyes.

"I allowed you to live as long as you have because I thought that one day you might prove to be useful to me. With your checkered past, deadbeat father, and CIA background, I thought recruiting you would be easy. How perfect would it be for me to have not one but two U.S. government employees at my disposal? However, you my dear have proved to be nothing but a thorn in my side. At least my son is proving to be somewhat useful, which is why I went along with his ludicrous plan to keep you for himself. His ridiculous jealousy of Mr. McCarthy has caused him to become quite sloppy as of late. And I just can't have that, Miss Parker. I'm sure you understand."

Parker's eyes narrowed as she looked back and forth between Milo and Fernandez in confusion, picking apart everything he'd just told her and noting that two times in a matter of seconds he had referred to Milo as his son. As she studied the two men, realization dawning on her as she saw the similarities: the same deep brown eyes; the same long, dark lashes; the same olive skin tone; brown hair highlighted by the sun, and the same dimple on their left cheek. Milo's looks had changed considerably in the year since she last saw him. His hair had never been this light, his skin never this dark. The Dominican sun had brought out every single similarity between the two men, making it glaringly obvious who they were to each other.

"Oh, isn't that sweet? You didn't know, did you?" Fernandez asked Parker with a sick smile on his face when he noticed her confusion. He threw his head back and let out a booming, obnoxious laugh. "The big, bad CIA agent doesn't know everything. Isn't that amusing?"

While Fernandez laughed at her obvious naivety, Parker wondered how in the hell she could have missed something so vital. She had no idea how, in all of their research, they never uncovered information this big. How could no one in the CIA, FBI, or SEALS know Milo was the son of one of the biggest criminals in the world?

"It's a shame you had to tell my son that you never really loved him. He had grand disillusions that you would follow him anywhere and do anything for him, even when I showed him physical proof that you preferred to spread your legs for another man in uniform."

Parker's stomach rolled with every word that Fernandez spoke. Garrett and Parker had known they were being recorded the entire time they were at the palace, but the moment got away from them and the chaos that ensued when they got back to the resort gave her little time to dwell on that fact. Hearing that Fernandez, Milo, and God knows who else had listened to every intimate moment between the two of them disgusted her.

"If you'll excuse me, I need to check on the status of, shall we say, a disposal. My son was distracted earlier, and it seems he's not as good of a shot as I thought," Fernandez stated as he turned and left the room. The guard who held a gun pointed at her head followed closely behind him.

Parker's head whipped in Milo's direction, and she stared at him with anger and revulsion.

"You shot my father?"

Milo shrugged like it was no big deal.

"I knew he was there to tell you about me. I couldn't let that happen. Not before I had a chance to explain and make you see how much better it would be if you came with me. But you opened the door, and I saw Garrett in there with you and it made me so angry!" he shouted. "I lost focus. I fired too soon. I just want to make my father proud but because of you, everything keeps getting fucked up."

Milo turned and started to walk away while Parker began struggling against the guard who held her arms.

"You son of a bitch! After everything I did for you, everything I gave you, why are you doing this? You were my friend!" Parker screamed to Milo's back as he paused with his hand on the doorknob.

"You ruined everything, Parker," Milo stated calmly. "You had to stick your nose where it didn't belong. I was just supposed to keep an eye on you. Make sure you didn't get too close to what was going on here. He told me it would be the most important job I would ever do for him. I made Garrett go to that coffee shop off of campus that day even though he said it was too far away. But you were going to be there, and I had to make contact. You just had to like him more than me, didn't you? I always knew you did, and it made me hate you. The only good thing was I finally had something Garrett McCarthy couldn't have. And pretty soon, I'll get to have one more thing he can never have."

Parker wouldn't cry. Not now, not in front of him. Even though she'd never loved him like she did Garrett, it was still real to her. Every moment, every memory, it was genuine and it meant something to her. She had been nothing more than a job to him.

And a way to make Garrett jealous.

Milo turned around to face her. "Go on. Ask me what I'll have that Garrett won't."

Parker refused to look at him or ask his absurd question. She wouldn't play his game anymore. She suddenly realized just how alike Milo and Fernandez were. They were both sick, sadistic bastards.

"Fine. You always were a stubborn bitch. I guess I'll just tell you," Milo said as he walked back across the room to her. The guard tightened his grip on her when Milo got to her and pressed his body up against hers. She craned her neck as far away from him as she could and cringed in revulsion when he wrapped one of his arms around her waist and pulled her tighter against him. She could feel his breath against her neck as he took the gun that was still in his hand and trailed the barrel down the side of her face until it was under her chin. Milo roughly pressed the gun upward and forced her face to turn toward his.

He looked back and forth between her eyes as Parker gritted her teeth.

"The one thing I'll have that he won't," Milo said softly, leaning forward to press his lips against one of her cheeks and then pulling back to look at her again, "the one thing I'll take from him," he said, pressing his lips to her other cheek before sliding them across her skin until they were brushing her ear, "is his poor, sad, beating heart ."

"Son of a bitch!" Garrett yelled as he tried for the fifth time to get a hold of someone from his team. Marshall, Vargas, Conrad – none of them were answering his calls. He'd left Margarita-Michelle-whoever she was in his room with strict orders not to leave. If what she'd told him was true, and he was betting his life it was, then she was in just as much danger, if not more, than any of them. Fernandez wouldn't take too kindly to having his wife betray him.

His calls to Parker had gone straight to voicemail, and even though he knew Parker could take care of herself, the fact that she wasn't answering and he had searched the entire resort and hadn't found her made his blood run cold. As he knocked on doors and asked if anyone had seen Parker or Milo, his anger grew in leaps and bounds. He knew just because Milo was Fernandez's son didn't necessarily mean what he'd told them earlier was a lie, but something in his gut told him Milo wasn't at all what he seemed. He never would have just trusted Milo blindly like Parker had. She should have known better. And now she'd gone off with him to God knew where and wasn't answering her phone, and he had no way to tell her what he'd learned. Maybe if she knew Fernandez was Milo's father, she'd realize just how stupid it was to trust anything he said.

As Garrett headed towards the lobby to question people there, his phone rang. He glanced at caller ID and saw it was his boss.

"Tell me you've heard from someone on my team within the last hour," Garrett answered, skipping over a greeting and getting right to the point.

"Actually, that's why I was calling you," Captain Risner replied. "I've tried calling everyone and no one has answered. What the fuck is going on there? Did SEAL team four arrive?"

Garrett got to the lobby and stalked across the floor to the front desk, glancing around to make sure one of the guys wasn't there.

"According to Brady, they landed fine a few hours ago; he briefed them on the situation and put them in place surrounding the perimeter of the resort," Garrett told him.

He spent the next few minutes explaining as quickly as he could about Milo showing up and feeding them some bullshit story about being a double agent.

"Parker decided to believe every fucking word that came out of Milo's mouth and is probably at the moment, letting him fuck everything up," Garrett said with a growl as he got to the front desk and rang the bell for assistance.

"Whoa, hold on a minute. What do you mean Agent Parker believed what he said? She sent me a text asking me to find out as much as I could about the possibility that Milo was a double agent. Her message said, and I quote, 'I don't believe a word that comes out of this asshole's mouth. I need proof.' She said she would go along with him just to keep him occupied while I looked into it. I've been trying to call her and let her know I couldn't find anything to support what Milo told her, but she's not answering her phone either." Risner explained.

Garrett shook his head in an effort to clear his thoughts.

"Wait, Parker sent you a text? When, just now?"

Garrett wondered if Parker had finally come to her senses after an hour with Milo. It pissed him off again to think that it had taken her so long.

"No, the first text I got from her was at twenty-two-forty-five," Risner replied.

Garrett glanced at his watch. That would have been at ten-forty-five. He would have still been standing there with Parker and Milo when she sent that text. She hadn't trusted Milo. Not one bit. And he'd overreacted and acted like a complete jealous ass and walked away from her.

"Shit! Mother fuck!" Garrett cursed into the phone as he ran his hand down his face.

"Tell me what you need," Risner told him.

"I don't know. I don't fucking know!" Garrett muttered angrily. "Get somebody over to Hospiten Santo Domingo ASAP. I want Joe Parker under twenty-four-hour surveillance. No one gets into his room without my approval. I think he came here to warn us about Milo and someone knew it. They aren't going to stop until he's dead."

"Done. What else?" Risner asked.

"I need to find Brady. He'll be able to put a trace on Parker's phone. In the meantime, try to get a hold of Parker's boss, Agent Richmond. She's been trying to reach him all day and he hasn't been returning her calls."

There was too much silence on the other end of the line for Garrett's liking.

"What's going on? Do you know something about Richmond?" Garrett asked.

Captain Risner cleared his throat before answering.

"Agent Brad Richmond was found this morning by a friend in his apartment. His throat was slashed."

Garrett sagged against the counter.

"Jesus Christ. Parker told him everything. He knew all about the things we'd uncovered and what we'd learned. Her dad knew everything too. He must have and that's why they took a shot at him. Fuck! They're going to take out everyone who knows about them," Garrett surmised.

"I already have someone en route to the hospital and they've made contact with security there. Mr. Parker is already being heavily guarded by the CIA, so that's one less person to worry about," Risner told him. Garrett could hear the rapid clacking of his fingers on the computer through the phone. He tried to block out the guilt he felt knowing he had let Parker down. She'd trusted him, loved him, given everything to him, and he'd turned right around and threw it back in her face. For one moment, he actually believed she would go back to Milo. He'd forgotten everything between them and let his mistrust of Milo trickle over onto her. Just like everyone else in her life, he'd let her down. She'd never forgive him for this. And he didn't blame her one bit.


He turned in the direction of his name being shouted and some of the worry seeped out of him.

Garrett ended the call with his captain, making him promise he'd stay in his office on base where he was surrounded by guard towers and electric wire fences.

"Brady, Jesus fucking Christ! Where the hell is everyone?" Garrett asked as he moved across the lobby and met Brady in the middle.

"I was keeping an eye on Parker and Milo like you asked. I got a call from Austin saying there was a breach in security and he couldn't get a hold of anyone else. He needed my help subduing someone behind one of the villas. When I got to him, he was unconscious. Gunshot wound to the right shoulder," Brady explained quickly.

"Fuck," Garrett muttered, looking at the front of Brady's shirt for the first time and noticing the splatters of blood.

"He'll be okay," Brady told him. "The bullet went through and through and didn't hit anything major. When he finally came to he was cursing a blue streak and wanted to put a Band-Aid on it and go find the fuckers responsible. Cole found me a few minutes later when I was calling for an ambulance. Actually, he stumbled to me. He had a nasty gash on his head and a knife wound to his torso," Brady explained.

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