“What kind of a problem?” His stomach was clenched, a sense of foreboding raging through him as he stared back at his commander.
“Lilly’s disappeared. She left the estate twelve hours ago and hasn’t been seen since. Her family is searching for her, but no authorities have been called in as of yet. Santos and Rhiannon are screaming at Command to pull in unit four to find her, and Command is refusing to answer the summons.”
Travis froze. “What do you mean, missing?”
“She walked out of the house and disappeared. The last time she was seen she was arguing with her mother over you. Wild Card was in house at the time and reports Angelica has made arrangements to have Lilly committed to an asylum in the south of France because of her refusal to stop seeing you.”
“Fucking bloody bitch!” Travis quickly circled the vehicle and jumped in on the passenger side as Jordan put it into gear. “Any leads?”
“All we know is that her family hasn’t found her,” Jordan reported. “Things went from bad to worse real fucking fast, Travis. We’ve contacted Senator Stanton but he’s refusing to give us any information on any damned thing. Command is silent. The only response Santos and Rhiannon have had is to take care of their own house-cleaning. And I’ll be damned if I like the sound of that.”
“Have you heard from Elite Two?”
Travis needed his cell phone. The sat phone had been damaged just after arriving in England. Lilly would have called.
“MIA,” Jordan responded. “They can’t be found.”
“That’s not unusual.” Travis stared straight ahead, forcing himself to be patient until he could retrieve the cell phone. Lilly would have left a message. He knew she would.
“Give me a break here, Travis,” Jordan grunted. “I’m not Santos. I know how close this unit is to those girls. You know where they are, and I bet you anything they know where Lilly is. Thing is, if she doesn’t contact myself or her commanders soon, if she doesn’t make the right moves, then her mother will have the power to get her committed, just as she wants to do. She’s already making arrangements to have the case heard in England. And we both know how that goes.”
“She’ll make contact,” Travis informed him. “I need a cycle and a communications helmet as well as my cell phone. Keep Santos and Rhiannon in the dark until I find out what the hell happened. I don’t want to spook Lilly or the girls.”
Travis shook his head. “The girls are watching her, Jordan. If they had her they would have contacted.”
Jordan shot him a surprised look. “You’re certain?”
There was a chance she had made it to the safe house she owned. He would look there after contacting the girls and learning what they might know. He was praying they were with her.
“Wild Card didn’t follow her when she left?” he asked.
“No one knew she was gone until it was too late.” Jordan shook his head. “We have a serious situation here, Travis. An Elite Op on the run, her memories compromised, her ability to protect herself hindered.” His voice became angrier. “And didn’t I warn those fucking fools this would happen? The minute Lilly stepped out of line, her mother was ready to ship her ass to Ridgemore. Exactly where we can’t risk her being.”
The drugs and advanced shock therapy Ridgemore would use could possibly destroy Lilly. The psychiatric drugs Ridgemore was known for could be disastrous.
It was a problem Jordan had indeed warned Elite Command of. Angelica Harrington’s circle of friends knew only one way to deal with children determined to lead their own lives. That was by enforcing their wishes through restraint and drugs.
It was no damned wonder those same kids were becoming drug addicts, and many of them were eventually taking their own lives.
“I’ll find her.” He would find her, or there would be hell to pay.
“travis gathered most of the information over the past few months.” Raisa spread the hard-copy files and maps out on the long kitchen table two days after Lilly had arrived.
Lilly had spent most of her time at the farmhouse sleeping. The headaches were bad; the shots Shea had given her had barely touched them. It had taken the medic more than twenty-four hours to find a combination of medications that would help and to acquire them.
She was finally headache-free, though, and able to figure out exactly what was happening to her, and to her life.
“Here’s what he’s been working on.” Raisa drew her attention back to the table. “This is the warehouse where you were shot six months ago.” She pointed to the top of a warehouse across from another unmarked warehouse. “You were parked here.” She pointed to the Land Rover parked between the two warehouses. “The shot was fired perfectly, but you turned at the last second. That’s all on video but we can’t access the video file from here yet.”
“We’re still uncertain why you were targeted or by who.” Nissa Farren, the communications whiz kid of the group, turned from her equipment to look at the rest of them. “Travis has been running down leads the past few days—that’s why he’s not here. We didn’t expect your mother to try to have you committed. But never fear, Black Jack will take care of everything.”
Black Jack. His code name. She was Night Hawk. She was part of a group of women trained to provide backup and distraction on missions conducted by the male counterparts of an elite covert operations group. The name of which the other women still refused to give her.