Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7(6)

By: Dale Mayer

So doing this leg of the mission alone had put Jager before the public more often, and it was … interesting to see some of the reactions.

The scar on Jager’s face wasn’t bad; the pink mark was fading. His hands, of course, were a whole different story, but, hey, the damage was mostly higher up. If he wore long sleeves, it wasn’t very obvious. It had been two-plus years since he’d last been in a relationship. That one had come to a particularly painful ending.

While his body was still heavily muscled, Jager didn’t think he was in any shape that a future girlfriend would like, not with the new addition of the scar tissue. He’d lost muscle in so many places that it was ridiculous. As he was thrown through the roof of their truck by the land mine explosion, the truck itself had done further damage. His right thigh was lean and mean and would always be weaker and was disfigured compared to his left. He was also missing his lower left leg.

But then that appeared to be normal among his friends in the unit. Something to do with the way the truck blew up and the way they were sitting that all the surviving men had their legs impacted. He was thankful he wasn’t missing an arm. He couldn’t imagine. And he wasn’t missing anywhere near as many internal organs as Geir was.

Jager himself had lost a kidney and in his case, had much muscle damage and burns.

The burns had been the worst. He had a whole new respect for people who experienced massive burns. What he’d been through had been bad enough. He’d been the navigator at the time of the accident, but the blast had come out of nowhere. Some of the guys had been sitting there quietly. Mouse had been sleeping in the back, jammed up behind the gear they’d all shoved around him.

Jager would never forget waking up to hear what had happened to his friends. And to Mouse … The event had festered inside. When finally back on his feet and mobile enough, Jager had started his own investigation. True to form, he’d gone dark, not telling his friends what he was doing or why. Then he’d found out they were suspicious too, and he’d joined forces with the rest of the team. Rejoining his team felt like a return to the family he’d lost for a time after the land mine accident. Now he’d do a lot to keep that family intact.

Mouse had pulled a few items up as a barrier to all the noise in the truck, and the guys had stacked the gear more to bug him because he needed silence to sleep. Unlike the rest of them who could drop off and sleep for a good hour, Mouse took a long time to fall asleep. Hence the reason for building a sound barrier.

And one would think this would have been something that would have helped save him. Instead it had ended up being his downfall. They had all been blasted out through the canvas roof of the truck, receiving multiple injuries. In Jager’s case, he’d lost the lower part of his left leg as it had been caught by the metal supports arching over the top of the truck. Same thing happened to his right thigh where slices had sheared off some of the muscle he was still working to get back up to full strength.

But his body would never be as fast, would never be as strong, and, hell, it sure as heck would never be anywhere close to pretty, but it was functional. And, as long as he remembered that, he didn’t mind. All the rest of it was just noise.

Inconvenient noise, and for a long time, depressing noise. He figured he’d be alone for the rest of his life because nobody would want such a scarecrow beside them. But the other men had shown him how wrong, how narrow his thinking was.

He looked up as the waitress walked toward him. She smiled, handed him a menu and said, “Can I get you some coffee?”

He smiled and nodded.

She returned in a few moments with a big mug full of a strong brew. He still hadn’t opened the menu. She looked at him and asked, “Do you want a few minutes?”

He just nodded again. And then returned to staring out the window. At least until somebody slid into the bench across from him. He turned a glare at the new arrival, intending to chase him away. But his gaze landed on a woman.

She gave him a tight smile and said, “I’m Officer Allison Monroe. I understand you’ve been asking questions.”

And he felt everything inside him still. He leaned forward and whispered, “Yes, I have, and?”

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