Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7(2)By: Dale Mayer
“Worked in Vail. At one of the big hotels and was a lifty part time.”
“Can we call him? Talk to him on the phone?”
“He disappeared a few days ago. Nobody knows where he is.” Erick’s smile turned predatory. “That’s why the detective called us, to track him down. We have a name and a place.”
“Damn it,” Jager said. Then he froze, and his heart seized. “I’m definitely going. That’s where my parents’ motorhome ran off the road.”
At that moment, Geir returned, carrying Morning Blossom in his arms, his face beaming. He let her down gently on her feet, and she raced across the room and flung her arms around Jager.
He hugged her tight and whispered, “Nice entrance.”
She pushed her hair back, beamed up at him and said, “Thank you. For everything.”
He dropped a kiss on her forehead. “You look after him. That big bear needs somebody.”
She stepped out of Jager’s arms, gave him a misty smile and said, “So do you.” She patted his cheek. “You’re next.”
At that, the men burst out laughing. Jager just glared at her. He shook his head and walked to the front door. “If you get more information, let me know.”
“Where are you going?” Badger called out.
Jager turned. “Hunting in Vail.”
“Brown might not be there anymore.”
Jager waved a hand. “Maybe not, but, if he had anything to do with my parents’ deaths, I will find him.”
Jager walked home, just a couple blocks away from Badger’s place, and went inside long enough to grab his go-bag and to retrieve his laptop from his home safe, both of which he deposited at the front door. He checked all the windows and doors, making sure each were locked, then glanced at the stove to make sure everything was off before leaving for a few days.
Grabbing a jacket out of the front closet for the chillier Vail evenings, he picked up his bag and laptop and left.
As Jager drove his second vehicle, a beat-up truck, to the airport to catch any flight heading in the direction of Colorado, his phone went off. He glanced down at the number, smiled when he realized it was Badger and tucked it back into his pocket. Knowing each of these leads brought them closer to the truth, to the serial killer after them—which became more and more dangerous for his friends and their respective new partners—Jager had taken the decision out of their hands as to who should accompany him and had chosen to go on this fact-finding trek alone.
It wasn’t that he had a death wish, and he certainly understood a need for backup, but, right now, he didn’t think that was necessary because he didn’t know anything. His mind was still buzzing with all they’d learned about Mouse, and all they hadn’t learned. A naval investigation had been brought on by Mason looking into Mouse’s deceptive military background. It would send shock waves reverberating through the ranks.
Jager took a left onto the main highway. Already roadside signs for the airport were visible.
What his unit, with or without the navy’s assistance, also needed to do was find the body of the poor man Mouse had replaced. Jager didn’t even want to think about making calls to that family. But it did bring up another very interesting point. Did this man who Mouse replaced have a family?
Regardless, it was hard to imagine someone stealing another man’s identity.
Besides, no one in Badger’s SEALs team had known Mouse or the real Ryan Hanson prior to Mouse’s assignment to their unit. Presumably Mouse had had the same general physical features as his victim or had cosmetic surgery to make the transition. But, since Mouse, in his Ryan Hanson role, was a new recruit to Coronado base, his anonymity had worked for him. Mouse could step into Ryan’s shoes easily.
Jager stayed right as the main highway broke into two spurs.
It didn’t help Jager understand how Mouse had pulled off the water thing when he was scared to even walk by water. That one really bothered Jager because the water element was such a major aspect of their SEALs world. The last year of their unit’s missions—the only year that included Mouse—had varied from hostage rescues to taking out terrorists on the watch list to scout or recon missions. They’d skydived and conducted over-the-beach landings and had landed via small rubber craft. On one mission the takedown had been on the high seas. Their unit had chased down a ship in their own high-speed boats and had boarded it at night. Mouse had been with them all the way. And he’d been in the water—occasionally. But, when they’d been focusing on swimming two miles every day to build up endurance, something they had done on a regular basis when stationed close to water, Mouse had been on a firearms training upgrade.