Jager:SEALs of Steel, Book 7(8)By: Dale Mayer
Allison had been happy to talk to him as she was hoping for news on Freddie’s disappearance herself. Instead this guy didn’t appear to know anything. But, when he brought up the car accident, it was all she could do to hold back the tears. Fatalities happened all the time. Death by car accident happened all the time. And she had been at one or two where the person was still alive and had later passed away in the hospital. But, in this case, Emelia had died in her arms. Allison had helped the emergency crew cut her out of the vehicle. She’d been alive then, and Emelia had grabbed Allison’s hand, and they’d stopped the stretcher long enough for her to talk.
“I’m sorry, but she died soon afterward. She didn’t even make it long enough for the ambulance to pull away.”
“They could have done more to save her,” he said, his voice harsh.
She looked at him sadly and shook her head. “No, there was no way. I’m surprised she lived as long as she did. Her chest was badly damaged, and she had a major head injury. She did ask about her husband, but she already knew he was gone. She basically said she wanted to join him.”
The man across from her stared out the window, and she could tell how much the news affected him. “I’m sorry.”
He nodded. “Just when you think you’ve dealt with it, you find out you haven’t dealt with it at all.”
The waitress returned with a cup of coffee for Allison. “How’s my favorite police officer?” she beamed.
Allison chuckled. “I’m doing well. How are you?”
The waitress grinned. “I’m, as always, doing fine. We’re skiing up in the glacier all weekend.”
Allison’s eyebrows rose. “Rich boyfriend again, huh?”
The waitress chuckled. “The only kind to have.” She nodded toward the menu. “Did you make up your mind yet?”
He looked at the menu, and Allison could tell he didn’t give a damn about what he ate at the moment. “What’s the special?” she asked.
“Roast beef sandwiches. And darn good too. Nice sliced beef covered in gravy. Lots of fries on the side. I can add a salad for you too if you want.”
Allison nodded. “Sounds perfect.” She glanced at Jager. “What about you?”
Clearly disinterested and still reeling from the shock of her words, he pulled himself together as she watched him.
A trick she admired. She didn’t think she’d have the presence of mind to do that.
He looked up at the waitress and nodded. “I’ll have that too.”
As if happy that she finally got him to order, she didn’t appear to notice his state and promptly left.
“I guess in a small town like this, she gets to know everybody, particularly in her job?”
Allison nodded. “I think that goes for most small tourist areas. The tourists come and go, but the locals stay behind and reconnect every off-season.”
“I gather you’re here for the skiing?”
She laughed. “No, not at all. I’m not much of a skier. I’m also not much of a cold-weather person,” she confessed.
He stared at her. “So what the hell are you doing here?”
She shrugged. “It’s where I landed.”
“Just because a person lands somewhere doesn’t mean they have to stay there.”
She nodded. “But then there are other reasons for staying. One grows attached to the people.”
She watched as his gaze went straight to her wedding ring finger. A pale band of skin said a ring used to be there but no longer.
He frowned but refrained from asking.
She appreciated that. It was enough to have his personal issues brought up without bringing up her grief too.
“So there’s nothing you can tell me about Freddie?”
“No, I was hoping you would have something to tell me,” she said.
He nodded. “That’s the problem with missing people. Sometimes they want to go missing, and sometimes they went missing by accident or by someone else’s choice.”
She nodded. “What I don’t know is, which applies in this case?”
“Friends, family here? Anybody report him missing?”
“A friend he was supposed to meet. The friend got pissed when Freddie didn’t show and sent a few texts, then started looking for him, finally coming to the station to file a report.”