Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7(5)

By: Dale Mayer


“Did you ever find any proof about my parents’ accident being a double homicide?”

“No, but I highly suspect it was another hit—and, considering the location, maybe this Freddie Brown is responsible or at least knows something.” Erick paused. “Maybe by now he’s another victim.”

“I’ll let you know.” And Jager ended the call. Within minutes his flight was called for boarding. He settled into his assigned seat, still immersed in his thoughts. He and his parents had been close, though he didn’t see them as much as he would have liked as he grew older. Now the motorhome crash had put an end to changing that.

Another vehicular accident. In his heart he understood what he would likely find out in Vail when he delved deeper into their deaths. Still, he couldn’t think about that now. He had to direct that fury inside him into something useful. That meant finding this Freddie Brown. Jager checked his watch. It was getting late. If he could calm down enough to sleep, he might get a couple hours on the flight. By the time he arrived in Vail, cleared security, cleared the airport, grabbed his rental and drove to the nearest hotel, he was in time to register at his hotel. At the reception desk he couldn’t help but get started immediately.

“Do you know a Freddie Brown?” Jager asked the receptionist at the front desk again. “I heard he’s not been around for a couple days, but I was hoping he was back by now.” Jager wore his winning smile, but, based on the woman’s reaction, he didn’t think it was very winning or effective.

She gave him a suspicious look. “I don’t know that name.”

“How can I find out if he worked here then?” he asked more officially. “May I speak with the manager?”

The woman looked at the clock and shook her head. “No, he’s gone for the day.”

Jager gave her a bland look. “At eleven o’clock in the morning?”

She gave him the same look back and then smiled sweetly. “Yes, he works from five ’til noon.”

“But it’s not noon yet,” he pointed out.

Her smile firmed, and she brightened up with a cheerful tone. Then said, “Sorry, he’s not here at the moment. If you’d like to leave a message, he’ll get back to you.”

Thanking her politely but refusing to leave a message, Jager walked out of the hotel. He then went to two more. There had to be sixty hotels here. Then there were the bed-and-breakfast establishments, which he would check out too if the hotels were a dead end. He walked into a coffee shop and plunked down on the bench of a booth near the window and stared out. He needed to find someone who knew Freddie, but, so far, Jager had struck out.

He was also working up enough courage to check with the police on the details of his parents’ accident firsthand, but, at the same time, he was loathe to reopen the wound. They’d only been gone six months. They’d been on a road trip they’d planned for years in one of those motorhomes. He was grateful they’d at least had four months together to enjoy their trip. They’d started on the East Coast and were driving all the way across the country. At Vail they were well over three-quarters of the way. But they never got a chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of America. And, for that, he was sorry.

They should have been allowed a chance to finish. Hell, they should have lived well into old age.

He’d heard about the accident, but, like Badger, Jager had just gone back into the hospital for some reconstructive surgery. The flesh on his hands still showed scars from that last surgery. They’d put balloons in his abdomen to grow more skin, then grafted it on the damaged places of his hands. The good news was, the surgeries had all worked. The bad news was, he looked a whole lot like a Frankenstein model with bits and pieces stitched together.

None of it helped when he spoke to people who backed away from him at times. He hadn’t thought of it as being a deterrent to his work because he’d already been in California with Geir. He’d never made a comment. Then why would he? He was his own patchwork kind of guy. And Morning Blossom was very much the kind of woman who wouldn’t say anything either.

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