On Sunday at 5:30 a.m. CST but 12:30 p.m. per WAT, Brandon cleared security and walked across the tarmac toward the next, much smaller plane. Harrison was at his side. Neither had said a word since arriving in Africa. Brandon had slept on the plane. If he could sleep on those US military cargo carriers, he could sleep anywhere. He presumed Harrison caught some Zs as well. Both knew what needed to be done, and they realized how important the job was. It was even worse that Bullard was the one in trouble. It was always harder when a friend or family member went missing.
With Merk and Stone already over here, Brandon and Harrison knew they’d be met and debriefed as soon as they landed. But, in the meantime, traveling was a bitch.
Before boarding the transatlantic flight, Harrison had brought out his laptop and said, “We’ll need to download some information first.” He quickly copied files onto a USB key and handed it to Brandon. “Just a little light reading. Make sure you’ve got it all down before we land.”
Once the pilot finally gave the go-ahead to move about the cabin and to use the tray tables, Brandon pulled out his laptop, popped in the USB and opened the files. It was intense reading—a full character workup of all of Bullard’s men and Kasha. He learned a lot of the history about Bullard’s group. He read Kasha’s background info with interest. She’d been with Bullard for five years and had started in an administrative capacity that had quickly morphed to being Bullard’s right-hand man—or woman in this case. Her hobbies were listed as swimming and guns acquisition. As a former SEAL, Brandon had to smile. Yet more they had in common.
At the end was a brief on the issues they currently faced. Brandon had been a part of the initial conference call, so he knew the basics. Outside of some minor details, not much was new. “Bullard had been at the new holding for five days, so are we thinking it’s most likely a local job?” Brandon asked.
Harrison shook his head. “It’s hard to say. Bullard has connections in the military too, both US and African, so it could be someone who wanted retaliation because Bullard helped take them down or could be some freelancer looking for an opportunity to get control of this area, seeing Bullard as an up-and-coming threat. Also remember Kasha’s comment that Bullard had put out the call for new hires at the holding. That was tantamount to broadcasting where he was at that moment to any local mercs.”
“Great. He could be in big trouble and with way too many factions possibly looking to take him out.”
“Exactly. This trip is all about helping Bullard. He’s assisted Ice and Levi many times. He’s also the one who helped set up security on the compound. He and Ice go way back. If either puts out a call for help, the other comes running.”
“But nobody’s heard from Bullard or Kasha since the first transmission?”
“Correct. However, Merk already checked in at both holdings with the help of a helicopter pilot who Ice knew was temporarily in the area. Still no sign of Bullard.”
A fact Merk confirmed when Harrison and Brandon arrived at the local airport. Merk talked and walked outside, nodding to the two of them to toss their gear in the back of the jeep before they all climbed in. He didn’t say much else, just, “It’s about a twenty-five-minute drive. Sit tight. I want to make it in fifteen.”
He took off like a race car on a practice run. There was a careless skill in the way he handled the jeep. The roads were rough once they got past the town limits. Then Merk really put his foot to the gas pedal and let the engine rip. He was just past his ETA when they pulled into an estate. It was bigger than Levi’s and fancier. Like some ornate European mansion had been transported deep within Africa.
Brandon gave a silent whistle as he hopped out. “Wow, this is something.”
Merk nodded. “Bullard has offered to do the same at our place. He says the compound is too ugly for his taste.”
Brandon was starting to like Bullard even more. They walked in to find Dave, Bullard’s manservant, with his hands clenched tightly together.
Again Merk asked, “No sign of him?”
Dave shook his head.
Brandon, the newest member of Levi’s team at Legendary Securities, heads to Africa. Bullard purchased a new holding there, but, shortly after arriving, went missing.
Kasha has worked for Bullard for five years. She’s familiar with most of those who work for Legendary as well. Brandon proves his worth almost immediately, planning her boss’s rescue and staying right by her side in the days that follow while they determine what imbroglio Bullard’s stepped into. Accident or a deal gone horribly wrong, it seems Bullard was running guns and now his newest holding is under attack.
Their emotions, heightened by danger, run hot as Brandon positions himself instinctively at Kasha’s side–which is exactly where he hopes to be permanently if they can just find a way out of this rapidly escalating mess.
About Dale Mayer
Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She’s best known for her Psychic Vision Series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in different genres.
To go with her fiction, she writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system.