Liam's Lily:Heroes for Hire, Book 14(3)By: Dale Mayer
Levi smacked him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. Ice is good at this sort of stuff.”
Liam looked at him suspiciously. “What sort of stuff?”
Levi had already stepped inside the house. He tossed back, “You’ll find out soon enough. Just keep an open mind—and heart—and you’ll be good.”
At the open-heart comment, the others grinned, then laughed.
Liam stared at them. “What the hell did he mean by that?”
Everyone walked away, some laughing, others whistling.
Liam glared at Brandon, waiting for clarification.
Brandon shrugged. “Trust me. Like Levi said, you’ll find out soon enough.” Then Brandon walked inside with Kasha, leaving Liam alone to contemplate what everyone else already knew and what he had yet to find out.
“Our first job together, working with Levi, that is. Interesting how that worked out.” Liam turned to look at North sitting beside him, as Liam drove the double-cab pickup to their assignment. “Brandon, Rory, Kasha and I were supposed to be on this one, then another job came in, and they were reassigned.”
“It happens.” North chuckled. “Luckily, even with our delayed start, we’ll still make it to meet the client on time. I highly suspect this job is a test,” he said. “They figure, if we can handle this, we can handle anything.”
“But really? An elephant sanctuary?” Liam asked. “I know I said I wanted to go to exotic places, but I wasn’t thinking exotic animals in common places.”
North laughed. “Honestly I’m delighted about spending some time in Texas. But this whole elephant thing? Well, that’s a different story, although it is kind of exciting.”
“Right? I wonder what kind of trouble they’re having.”
“You can bet, if it’s a sanctuary, chances are it’s probably a charity job. Levi and Ice are known for doing pro bono work.”
“So they send the two new guys.”
“Exactly. Still, the details are a little sketchy.” North added, “I know we’re supposed to see a Lilianna Howell.”
Liam filed the name away in the back of his mind. “And what has she got to do with this?”
“She’s a biologist on staff at the sanctuary started by her father.”
“I guess they have the land for them. And that’s a major part of what’s required for elephants. Lots of space.”
“I can see that,” Liam said. “When you think about it, if a dog needs a certain amount, then a horse needs a proportionally larger amount, and an elephant? Wow, they’ve got to need hundreds of acres.”
“I believe they have several square miles.”
Liam took his glance off the road in front of him and shot North a look. “Seriously?”
North nodded and tapped the page in front of him. “Apparently.”
“Well, that explains why we’re in the middle of nowhere,” Liam said. “And will be spending the next few days deeper in nowhere.”
“Levi didn’t say much about what the problem is,” North said, flipping through the file.
“What he said just before he left was they suspect sabotage,” Liam explained.
“Sabotage? I thought he said something about donations dwindling.”
“Somebody was blackening their name to stop them from receiving charity donations, right?” Liam guessed.
“Ultimately Lilianna’s afraid somebody’s trying to shut them down,” North said.
“Why would somebody care if she has a half-dozen elephants?”
“You and I both know it’s never that simple.”
“And since when are we investigating issues like that?” Liam asked. “You know how many interesting cases have crossed Levi’s desk?”
“I do.” North laughed. “I’ve been hearing about them for a while.”
Liam groaned. “Of course you have. I was thinking, you know, how we could go to Africa, maybe England, do something fun.”
“I’m kind of thrilled about the elephants,” North said.
Liam thought about that for a long moment. “I don’t think I’ve ever been close to one.”