Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 75

But he was leaving Lilly without so much as a warning. That didn’t set well at all with Travis, but at the moment, his choices were limited.
“Let’s roll.” Nik nudged his arm as he passed by him. “Faster we get there, faster we get back.”
He wouldn’t have a chance to warn her he had to leave, but he could leave additional protection. He wasn’t comfortable leaving her alone. Her memories were returning slowly, and only in pieces. There was too much she was still fighting, too many memories that were still evading her, leaving her vulnerable.
“We have her covered, Black Jack,” Nik said, his voice low. “Let’s find the bad guys, then you can figure out the rest of it.”
Travis gave a brief nod before turning and leaving the room. Stepping from the house, he pulled the phone from its holster at his waist and quickly keyed in the speed dial.
“What’s up, gorgeous?” Raisa, code name Raven, picked up the other end.
One of the remaining three Elite Two agents, she and the others were on standby in Hagerstown, waiting in case Lilly needed them. They were there unofficially; neither Elite Command nor their commanders were aware they had ditched their fact-finding missions and headed there to help Lilly.
They were a unit. They were family. Sisters, they called each other. They were Lilly’s sisters.
“You and the others have night watch. Be careful, though, because Wild Card and Maverick are on watch as well,” he ordered her. “I have to fly to London to meet a contact. Keep your eyes open and make sure she stays safe.”
A slight harrumph came over the line. “You think we’re not doing that anyway, hotshot? You taught us to be family, Travis. That hasn’t changed just because she doesn’t remember us.”
Travis’s lips quirked into a smile as the door behind him opened and Nik stepped out.
“Take care,” he told Raisa softly. “I’ll call when I land.”
Disconnecting the line, he shoved the phone back into the holster, disconnected the leather carrier, and handed it to Nik as he accepted the mission sat phone the other man tossed to him.
Any calls into the cell would be directed to the satellite phone. The satellite phone was more secure and reception more dependable.
“Let’s roll, Black Jack,” Nik sighed. “I’ll contact Fallsworth that you’re on your way in and see if we can’t get this over and done with as soon as we land. Hopefully, we can fly back and get the arrest warrant processed for our killer as a nice little present for Night Hawk.”
Travis had a f
eeling it wouldn’t be nearly that easy. It was a nice thought, though.
Rubbing at the back of his neck, he strode quickly to the Hummer and moved into the driver’s seat as Nik opened the passenger-side door and slid in.
Leaving like this wasn’t setting well with Travis. Something felt damned wrong about it.
The dull throb of a headache in her temples was becoming irritating. Lilly walked slowly down the curved staircase of the house that her mother and uncle, well, her stepfather now, she guessed, had taken for the summer, and headed for the kitchen.
Coffee might have a chance of easing it. She had developed a taste for the rich brew in South America during training exercises.
Pain seared her temples as the memory slowly filtered through her mind. It wasn’t a flashback, it was something that was just there when it hadn’t been before, and with it was heavy pressure and sharp pain at the sides of her head.
This could become a definite distraction, she thought as she extracted a cup from the cabinet and moved for the filled, heated coffee pot at the end of the counter.
Things had changed, not just with her, she thought as she filled the cup and moved to the heavy walnut table that sat in front of the bay window in the breakfast nook of the kitchen.
Things had changed with her family as well. Six years didn’t seem that long, unless one was dropped into the situation rather than easing through it as they lived daily life within it.
Her family had changed. Her uncle was now her stepfather. Her brother had disowned her, and without the steadying influence of her father, her mother was more neurotic than ever before.
Lilly almost grinned at the thought.
Her father had commented many times that perhaps her mother needed a vacation in the south of France. The wording in reference to her mother’s friends who checked themselves into the clinic, or forced their children in for whatever transgressions they had committed.
Her mother didn’t deal well when she perceived a threat to her social standing or the appearance of perfection that she strove to project where her life and her family was concerned.