Her Perfect Mate(6)

By: Paige Tyler


He found it difficult to believe he’d been ripped away from his team, pulled out of the warzone, flown nonstop back to the States, and still didn’t have a clue what the hell was going on. He didn’t care what the report date on the orders in his pocket said—what kind of jackass actually wrote immediately on a set of reassignment orders, anyway?—he was going to find a place to stop, take a shower, and get some rest.

Great plan, but there was a man dressed in a dark suit with Captain L. Donovan written out on a piece of cardboard waiting for him the moment he exited the secured part of the airport concourse. He ground his jaw. Since when did the military send someone in civvies to pick up a new arrival at the airport?

Landon hiked his duffel bag higher up on his shoulder and walked over to the man.

“Captain Donovan?” he asked. “I have a car waiting outside. If you’ll follow me?”

Did he have a choice?

The vehicle was a standard four-door sedan with generic-looking plates. No decals, no markings, no nothing. The guy helped Landon toss his bags in the back, then didn’t say another word the entire drive except to answer the question about where they were going with a cryptic, “You’ll be briefed on that soon.”

Figuring he wasn’t going to get anything useful out of the man, Landon stared out the window. He’d only been to DC twice to attend conferences, but he didn’t remember going this way to get to the Pentagon. Landon’s brows drew together as the man pulled into a parking garage underneath the offices of the Environmental Protection Agency. What the hell?

“I’m being assigned to the frigging EPA?” Landon asked as he got out of the car and shut the door.

The man gave him a smile. “Not exactly. They’ll brief you on everything inside.”

Yeah, well someone damn well better brief him. And they’d better do it soon.

Landon followed the man through a set of unmarked, glass double doors and into a huge lobby. He hoped there’d be some official looking emblem on the wall to clue him in on what the place was, but no such luck. There wasn’t anything but some framed black-and-white photos of the various monuments in the DC area, and they weren’t very helpful.

The man led him to the U-shaped reception desk. “This is Captain Donovan, Vivian.”

The blonde looked up from her computer to give him a warm smile. “Captain, we’ve been expecting you. Let me show you to the conference room.”

Vivian was pretty, with a curvy body that looked damn good in the sleeveless blouse and tight skirt she was wearing. Something he would have appreciated if he wasn’t so irritated.

He did a quick recon of the place as she escorted him to the conference room. The people working there wore nothing that indicated they were in the army, or even with the Department of Defense. There were a few people in black uniforms similar to the Army Combat Uniform he had on, but they didn’t have any rank on them, which meant they probably weren’t military. At least no military he was familiar with.

“Can I get you some coffee?” Vivian asked when they got to the conference room.

He shook his head. “I’m good, thanks.”

“Are you sure?” She smiled. “I make a mean pot.”

“I’m sure.”

“Okay.” She seemed so bummed, he almost changed his mind and said he’d take a cup, but she hurried on. “Well, someone will be with you shortly. Go ahead and make yourself comfortable,” she said, then closed the door behind her.

Landon almost laughed. Make himself comfortable. Right. He scanned the room, once again looking for something that would tell him where he was, but except for the immense television screen at the front of the room, the walls were bare. He didn’t like the feeling he was getting. Special Forces qualified as black ops, sure, but an organization hidden in the garage of the EPA? That was another thing altogether. This had CIA written all over it and that wasn’t going to work for him. He was a warrior, not a spook. And he was going to tell that to whoever was in charge when he or she walked in. Which could be a while, so he might as well try to make himself comfortable while he waited.

Pulling out one of the chairs, he sat down and prepared to settle in, but the door opened as soon as he did. He immediately got up, wanting to be on equal footing with whoever walked in.

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