Close Cover (Masters and Mercenaries #16)

Close Cover (Masters and Mercenaries #16)

Lexi Blake


The light in his face blocked out the view of the man interrogating him. Remy blinked in the glare and sighed. He should have known this wouldn’t go the way he’d hoped it would. He’d come back to Dallas as a courtesy and now he had to worry that maybe he wouldn’t make it out of this office again.

He should have filed his report and run the other way, but the truth was this had been his team and it was in ruins now. Well, what some would call ruins. They had been a fully cohesive unit and then the last few weeks had played out the way they had and their ranks had been decimated.

One by one they’d fallen…

The team he’d known so well these last few years was gone and it wouldn’t be the same again.

“I want to know what happened,” a deep voice said.

Remy sat back. He wasn’t about to let that bastard know for a second that he was mildly intimidated. Besides, after everything that had happened in the past few weeks, the asshole probably had a right to take a chunk out of his hide. “It’s all in my report.”

There was the sound of shuffling and then his report slid across the desk and bounced into his lap.

“You mean this? This tells me nothing.”

“It tells you everything you need to know about what happened in Papillon. I’ve documented everything thoroughly, including all the bloody parts and where I buried the bodies in case you need them for anything. Of course, given where I was at the time, those bodies might not last long. The bayou tends to take everything it can from a man if he’s not moving. Sometimes even when he is.”

As his brother had learned. God, he hoped his brother forgave him one day. Of everything that had happened in Louisiana, his brother’s pain was the one thing he truly regretted.

Remy picked up the report he’d submitted only last week when he’d done all his exit paperwork. He thought he’d been extremely thorough in his mission report. His final report.

“Tell me what else you need from me, Tag.”

It was his last report because he wouldn’t be back here again. Not to work. After what had happened that wasn’t possible. He was needed somewhere else.

Of course, given the fact that this dramatic interrogation scene was how Ian Taggart handled his exit interviews, maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to change careers.

He suspected the real problem was so damn many of them were doing the exact same thing. If it had only been him, Taggart would have crowned a new head of the personal security division, tried like hell to not give the sucker a raise, and gone about his business.

But that wasn’t what had happened. Over the course of a few brief weeks, each man on the team had taken a case that had changed his life. And it couldn’t help that Ian’s own niece, Sadie, had left the company, too.

“I need answers. This was your team. How did they fall like a line of dominoes? Was it something in the water? Do you think the Agency did something to the team? We’re still not on good terms. This would be a good way to fuck with me.” The light winked out and Taggart stood up after pressing the button that opened the curtains. “Damn it, Guidry. I want to know what happened.”

“It’s complex and the truth is I can only tell you my side of it. We’ve all been through some crazy stuff in the last couple of weeks. You’ll have to get the rest of the stories from Declan, Riley, Shane, Wade, and Sadie.” It had been a busy few weeks. The truth was he was still reeling from all the changes, too. He thought about the last time the whole team had been together. It had been the night it all started for him. He’d thought he would be the only one leaving, but fate had different ideas. He was happy for that last night together. The next day was when their roads had split, taking them each in separate directions. He hoped it wasn’t forever because he would miss those bastards.

Taggart turned on him. This afternoon the big boss was wearing slacks and a button-down shirt. Remy had rarely seen him in a suit. Taggart was far more comfortable in fatigues, even all these years after he’d left the military. Of course sometimes Remy wondered if Big Tag had really left the Army or merely started his own. “Do you understand the chaos I have to deal with?”

“You’ve known I was going to leave for a long time,” he replied softly, because he did understand the last month had been hard on Taggart. The man hated change and he’d had a ton of it. “I let you know I was buying my family business back last year.”

“I didn’t realize you were going to spark a revolution,” Tag shot back. “Look at what’s happened. Declan gone. He’s run off after some chick who can cook, and I think she put some crazy ideas in his head. Sadie’s traded us in for some group of misfits at Fort Hood. Just good-bye, Uncle Ian. Gotta go break up some criminals, run from a crazy stalker, and find true love. Riley quit via text because he can’t leave his lady love in LA. I built this division from scratch over years, finding the absolute best and brightest.”

“You call us the full douche when we’re all together,” Remy pointed out.

Taggart waved that off. “An affectionate term. I built this all up and it fell apart over the course of a month. Of course I want to know what happened. I’m left with Shane, who smiles too much now. Does he honestly think smiling is going to stop a bullet? I get it. He’s getting laid regularly by his very own smarty pants, but the happy thing is getting to me. And on the other end of the spectrum there’s Wade. He got left out of the grand exit. He spent too much time with that country-western singer. He acts like he’s in one of those songs. You know the ones I’m talking about. Someone cheats and drinks and someone’s dog dies. What I’m saying is, Wade mopes. A lot. Now, personally I think moping will play way better on the bullet front, but it’s annoying. This was a great team. I fed you all. I watered you. What did I do wrong?”

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