Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7(10)

By: Dale Mayer

She picked up her fork and took several bites of the salad.

“That’s a big salad,” her companion said.

“It is.” She frowned. “Where are you from?”

“Czechoslovakia,” he said. “Originally. But I’ve been living in the US since I was very young.”

She nodded. “But not born here?”

His shoulders stiffened ever-so-slightly, and he leaned back, shaking his head. “No. Does it bother you?”

“No, of course not,” she said, startled. “My husband’s family was originally from Russia.” That seemed to settle him down again. “You’re pretty touchy.”

He shook his head. “Not really. I was in the navy for many years until this.” He held up his hands. “And there were many immigrants. There were some comments every once in a while but, given my size, not too many.”

She chuckled. “It helps when you’re big.” She took another bite and watched as the waitress came toward them again. “Hannah, you’re killing me.” Allison shook her head as two huge platters of roast beef sandwiches and fries were placed before them.

“You can take yours home,” Hannah said. She turned to Jager and scolded, “Not you. You need to eat all of that.”

Startled, he looked at her.

She pointed to his hands. “You’re still healing. You need red meat for that.” She stalked off.

Mute, Jager looked over at Allison.

She barely held back a laugh. “Hannah is very direct.”

“Apparently.” He picked up a fry and crunched into it. “But these are good fries.”

Allison tried one and moaned. “I know. I can’t stop eating them once I start. So what will you do if you can’t find your friend?”

“Not my friend. The friend of my friend.” He shrugged. “I’m not sure. But I’m hoping he’s still around.”

“Well, according to his flatmates, he’s pretty footloose and fancy-free.”

“As in lots of traveling?”

“Yes, including over in the Far East.” She saw him frown and tucked away that titbit of information in the back of her brain. “That interest you?”

His gaze, when he lifted it, was cool. “Everything about him interests me.”

And that same tone confirmed he was hiding something. Something very important. “What do you plan to do with him if you find him?” she asked, her tone direct.

“Talk to him,” he said. He picked up another crispy french fry, crunched down on it hard and gave her a savage grin. “That’s all. Just talk to him.”

She slowly lowered her fork. “I can’t have you hurting him.”

He shook his head. “I don’t have any intention of hurting him.”

“Talk to him about what?”

“About my friend who passed away. I already told you that.”

“Sure. But something’s going on here that I don’t know about, and, what I don’t know, I don’t like.”

He studied her for a long moment, then turned his gaze back to the sandwich. He picked up half of it, looked at the amount of meat inside and said, “Wow. They do know how to fix a sandwich here.”

“I come here often,” she said. “They’re fairly expensive, but they’re also worth it just because of the quantity. I’ll take half of this home, and it’ll be more than enough for my dinner tonight.”

He nodded. “Well, I missed breakfast, so don’t mind me if I go ahead and plow my way through this.”

And he proceeded to do just that as she sat back and watched. She finished all her salad and half the sandwich and left the bulk of the fries and the other half of her sandwich to be packed up for later. Something was very controlled, powerful about the way he ate. Something was dark and broody about his whole look, almost as if he came from historical romance novels of days gone by. And obviously he was broken in many ways, given the injuries she could see. She wondered if his friend had died in the same accident. And what did any of that have to do with Freddie? “How much do you know about Freddie?”

He cocked an eyebrow at her. “I don’t know anything about him. What can you tell me?”

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