Garret's Gambit (Bullard's Battle #4) by Dale Mayer

Chapter 1

Garret Balderson and Kano walked toward the front doors of the airport. They carried only duffel bags with them, and Garret hadn’t even had a chance to regroup from his last trip, still dealing with the aftermath of his coma, yet powering through that too. But he was here now, walking into the same airport that he’d only left a few minutes before. He never made it out of the parking lot before being informed of his newest destination. Once on the plane and in the air, he finally started to relax. Without realizing, he slipped into a deep restorative sleep.

Kano shook Garret gently, as the plane began to descend. “Okay, time to get busy. So, how bad is your relationship with Amy?”

“It sucks,” he said grimly.

“Wonderful,” he said. “She didn’t ask for you specifically. Is that important?”

“No, she wouldn’t,” he said. “Not unless it was a dire emergency.”

“Well, with your brother missing, it potentially is.”

Granted, they worked on different teams for Bullard but, with compartmentalized ops, there wasn’t any crossover, unless one team had to bail out another. Garret didn’t respond because he, Amy, and his brother, Gregg, had all been caught up in a nasty triangle that ended with Garret being the odd man out, once he discovered his fiancée was having an affair with his brother.

As far as he knew, his relationship with Gregg was still strong but maybe not. Maybe Garret just used that as a way to keep his mind clear and to help his heart disengage.

As they walked out into the hazy, rainy day, Garret stopped and sighed. “I wonder if London has ever once looked sunny with clear skies?”

“Not any time that I’ve landed here,” Kano replied. “Come on. Let’s grab a rental.”

“Isn’t it already arranged?”

“Supposedly but waiting on confirmation, as my messages download. We seem to be having some network trouble since we landed.” Just then both of their phones went off, showing the updates that had come in. Kano looked at his phone and said, “Oh, we have a ride here waiting for us.”

“As long as it’s not Amy,” Garret said, with feeling. “I’m not quite ready for that.”

“Maybe not,” he said. “Charles sent a car.”

Garret stopped, looked at him, and said, “Charles? How did that work out? Are we staying with him?”

Kano shrugged. “Potentially. Have no idea as yet.”

“That means MI6 is already aware that we’re here,” Garret said.

“No surprise there,” Kano said. “I’m sure they flagged us as soon as we came through security.”

“And yet no need for them to know,” he said.

“Doesn’t matter that there is or isn’t. We’re on their home turf, and we sometimes do property damage while we’re here,” Kano said, with half a smile.

“I don’t really think that’s a fair assessment,” Garret said, with a chuckle of his own.

“No, you’re right,” he said. “We always do property damage when we’re here.”

“Not intentionally though,” Garret clarified. “It’s not like we intend to leave a path of destruction in our wake.”

“No, but, whenever we’re here, we’re after bad guys, and they are the ones causing damage.”

“A much better way of looking at it,” he said, with a smirk. When they made their way outside, they saw a black luxury car waiting, its driver leaning against the door, his arms crossed.

They stopped, looked at him, and Kano said, “Ah, it’s Jonas.”

“Wow,” Jonas said, walking toward them. “Did you think it would be anybody else?”

“Don’t you have somebody else better to babysit?” Garret said, complaining.

“You land in my country, then you land on my turf,” he replied in a reasonable voice. But his jaw muscle twitched.

“We thought somebody else was coming to get us.”

“Maybe, but you’re not going anywhere before you talk to me,” Jonas said, and his tone brooked no argument.

So they stood at the side of the vehicle. “Here and now?” Garret asked.

“Sure, and then I can drop you off wherever you want to go.”

“Of course you can,” Garret said, with a sigh. The three men got inside, Jonas driving, with Garret and Kano taking the back seat, but the car was not moving.