SEALs of Honor:Jackson(7)

By: Dale Mayer

Her phone rang. She looked at the number and smiled. “Mason, I was just thinking about you.”

“Ah, now that’s a good sign,” he said. “The guys followed the black pickup, by the way.”

“Jackson did?”

“And Tanner, who volunteered to pick him up.”

“Did they find it?” she asked eagerly.

“No, but they found the military vehicle that went after them, flipped in a ditch. Both men are badly injured, and a bullet grazed the head of the driver, and he’d also been shot in the shoulder.”

She gasped silently. “Were they waiting for them?”

“Yes. They were ambushed.”

Chapter 2

Deli waited for James to unhook the vehicle. She knew the forensics team would come soon, and she wouldn’t be allowed anywhere close to the rig. She was a mechanic, but that didn’t make her high up on the pole, particularly a brass pole. James was an equal when it came to pole-climbing.

She’d been in the military four years, and she was damn good at her job. But she had no wish to be a lifer. At some point she wanted her own mechanic shop, like a small mom-and-pop place, where she could raise kids and just work on the vehicles she wanted to.

A pipe dream she knew. But she also had some dreams of designing. She was a huge fan of tricycles and knew a lot of people would laugh at her for that. But she thought they were fun and a safer alternative to motorcycles. She could ride those two-wheeled versions too, and she thoroughly enjoyed hitting the highway on her Harley. But she kept thinking about kids and safety and longevity of the sport. Which brought her back to trikes.

Jackson’s vehicle was parked off to the side in one of the slots. She pulled out her cell phone and started taking pictures. She captured everything on the outside first; then she took pictures from the inside, looking for another bullet that may have been lodged in the vehicle. After all, who is to say the shooter just shot the rig once? She really wanted to get a look at what was behind that radiator. Had that through-and-through bullet caused more damage in the engine? She bent down, took a look underneath, but it was getting dark, and she couldn’t see anything. She used her cell phone’s flashlight, but the machinery was too tightly packed under the hood to get a better view.

“So did you find anything?”

Surprised, she looked up, banging her head. Swearing softly, she pulled herself out from under the vehicle and glared at Jackson. “Did you have to do that?”

He motioned at her underneath the vehicle. “Did you have to do that?”

She hopped to her feet and brushed off her pants. “Yes, I did. I’m not likely to be assigned to any of the forensic investigations, and I wanted to see for myself just what happened.”

A curious light lit the depths of his brown eyes. He stared at her. “Well, give then.”

She shook her head. “Give what?”

“What did you find?” he asked in exasperation. “Come on. Share. Pretty please,” he said in a wheedling voice.

She stuck out her jaw, and he just grinned, charming her. She reached up and rubbed her temple. “I couldn’t see anything, to be honest. I took pictures, but, if I can’t get this rig on a hoist and take it apart, I can’t yet see if any more shots were fired at the rig. I was hoping to find a bullet is still here.”

“Let’s find out if we can get you assigned to the case then,” he said. “I bet Mason could pull some strings.”

“I wouldn’t ask him though,” she said. “You know there’s a time to pull strings, and this might not be it. Besides, the investigators won’t tell me anything now.”

“No, but we do know people who could help us with that,” Jackson said.

“You might,” she muttered. “But I’m a mechanic, remember? I’m not one of those dashing-hero types. I don’t have all these networking connections you do.”

He walked around the vehicle, but then he stopped and turned to look at her. “You know Mason. He’s one of the best networking guys you can have in your corner. How well do you know him?”

She shrugged and said, “I know Tesla better.” She watched that same curious light warm his gaze again.

“Tesla is a sweetie,” he said. “We all want a Tesla for ourselves.”

She laughed. “I can see why. She’s a good friend. But I personally wouldn’t want a Tesla for myself.”

At that, he burst out laughing. “Nice to know you’re looking for someone, and it’s not her,” he said smoothly.

She frowned, wondering if he’d suddenly jumped the conversation to a personal level or if she was only imagining it. She gave a headshake and walked around the vehicle to the other side. “I don’t see anything else that indicates what the hell went on,” she said. “I wish I’d been at the accident scene.”