Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7

By: Dale Mayer

Prologue





Jager Elstad shifted impatiently. He couldn’t wait for the surprise to happen. He’d been instrumental in making it come about, but a bit of doubt remained if he’d done the right thing.

Geir was slumped in Badger’s living room. Dotty, as if understanding his mood, lay at his side. Jager knew all his friend thought about was finding a way or an excuse to get back to Morning. She and Geir had talked constantly for the last two weeks, but this long-distance stuff sucked.

Finally Badger said, “Geir, are you with us?”

“I’m here,” Geir responded, his voice heavy. “What the hell are we doing now?”

“The same as we always were,” Badger said. “So far we ran Poppy down. We confirmed that our Mouse impersonated Ryan Hanson. The police and NCIS are looking into what happened to the original Ryan.”

“And yet we still don’t know who betrayed us,” Jager growled. “That’s pissing me right off.”

Just then the doorbell rang. Dotty jumped up barking as Kat walked from the living room toward the front door. A muttering of voices was heard there.

Jager looked over to find Geir still staring up at the ceiling. Everybody else knew about the surprise, except for Geir. He’d been like a lovesick teenager since returning from San Diego, so the unit had finally gone behind Geir’s back to make something happen.

Kat walked into the room, and Jager grinned. Beside Kat stood a very hesitant, a very nervous Morning Blossom. Jager looked over at Badger.

Badger studied Morning with interest. Dotty was wiggling at Morning’s legs, her tail wagging furiously. Morning had a hand down on the gentle dog’s head, but her gaze was on Geir.

Jager hopped up. “Whatever else has to be done, it’ll be my mission. You’ve all had your turn to lead one leg of this. Now it’s mine.”

Geir shook his head, but he hadn’t turned to look toward the front doorway. “It’ll be me again. You can’t go alone.”

“You’re not coming with me,” Jager said cheerfully, wondering how long it would take Geir to notice his visitor.

“And why the hell not?” Geir lifted his head and glared at him. “No way in hell I’ll stay—” His gaze locked on Morning Blossom. He bolted to his feet, raced across the room, caught her up in his arms, twirled her around and crushed her against him.

She burst out laughing, her arms wrapped around him as she hung on tight. Dotty barked several times then, when ignored, wandered back to Badger’s side.

Overcome with emotion, Jager had to turn away. He’d helped bring this about, but, at the same time, something made him so very sad. He was the only one alone now. Not that he ever wanted anything like that for himself, but how did he face his six buddies and all their partners and be the odd man out? He shoved his hands into his pockets and said, “I might have to go back to the beginning.”

Badger stared at him. “Are you serious? Back to Kabul?”

“Do you have any other suggestions? Any other lines to pull?” Jager asked. “I thought for sure we’d find the answers in California, and we came to a dead end there. That was Mouse’s launching point to get into the navy. But we didn’t find another lover there. We didn’t find another person who would want to go after us because of Mouse’s death.”

“Should we contact the stepfather again?” Badger asked.

“No,” Talon said. “He doesn’t know anything. He’s been gone from Mouse’s life for a long time.”

“Well, this is something at least,” Erick said, shaking the cell phone in his hand as he walked into the living room from the kitchen. “I just spoke with Nelson, the San Diego detective handling Poppy’s file.” Erick wore a wide grin, but the gleam in his eyes said a whole lot more. “Their initial investigation so far came up with a name found in some files kept at Poppy’s main residence. The detective wanted to know if it meant anything to us or not. Mouse had a good friend, Freddie Brown.”

“And where was this good friend?” Badger asked.

“In Colorado.”

Talon frowned. “Where in Colorado?”

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