Drake Avery World

Maryann Jordan

Thin Ice

Excerpt

Post Date 11/22/2017

Excerpt:

Greg Lambert smiled at Logan as he moved toward him with his hand outstretched. He reached out, clasping it, his handshake firm.

“Preacher, you’re looking good,” he stated, his eyes roving over Logan from head to toe and back again.

“What the hell are you doing here, Sir?” Logan asked, not moving backward, still stunned at his visitor. His eyes quickly searched behind Greg, but ascertained there was no one else around. The only vehicle in the drive was a black sedan, rental.

“There’s no Sir anymore, Preacher…just Greg.” Jerking his head to indicate the house, he added, “You gonna let me in?”

Blinking, Logan stepped away from the door, setting the safety on his weapon and waving his arm to welcome his former Commander inside. “I was just at the store. You want a beer?”

“Wouldn’t turn one down,” Greg said, following Logan into his house. Looking around, he observed a living room to the left, furnished simply with a comfortable sofa and easy chair facing both a corner stone fireplace and a flat-screen TV on the wall. Warm paneling covered the walls, decorated with a few framed photographs of the Montana vistas in various seasons. A Native American, handmade blanket in reds and browns graced the back of the chair. A handwoven rug, of the same colors, covered the center of the wooden plank floor. To the right was a table, which appeared to have few meals eaten at it, since it was scattered with papers and a laptop. A map of the area was tacked to the wall nearest the table, post-it stickers denoting several locations. The kitchen, separated from the living room by only a counter, held wooden cabinets and older appliances, a testament that the owner was not a picky chef.

He moved to the sofa as Logan retrieved two beers and met him back in the living room, settling into the chair. They both took long swigs from their drinks before placing them on the coffee table.

“Comman—,uh, Greg,” Logan began, “sorry for how I greeted you. Don’t get a lot of visitors out here.” Shaking his head, he amended, “Don’t get any visitors out here.”

“I got that feeling, Preacher,” he chuckled. “I drove into town and, I have to say, I can’t imagine a more remote place in the country. When you decided to disappear, you chose really well.”

The use of his SEAL nickname Preacher sounded strange to his ears, having not heard it in almost two years. He still remembered the team giving it to him as a play on his last name of Bishop and…for other reasons. Shrugging off the memories, Logan replied, “Cut Bank’s a nice little town. Good people. They’d help anyone who needed it, but they stay out of my business and I stay out of theirs.”

“I notice you’ve got a hanger out back. That where you keep your birds?”

Nodding, Logan figured Greg had checked him out, for whatever reason, and therefore already knew the answer to that question, but he played along, curiosity outweighing all other thoughts. “I run tourists up to take pictures of the mountains and have a Lakota for rescues.”

“Get a lot of business?”

“Enough. Tourists can fill the spring through fall, but rescues can be anytime.”

“And how’s that working for you?” Greg asked, his eyes sharp as ever.

Logan leaned back, his body tight with the intrigue of the visit, but knew Greg would tell him his reasons when he was damn well ready. Answering the question, he replied, “It’s a living…I’m good with that. I turn down tourists when I’m not in the mood, but take all the rescues that I get called for.”

Nodding slowly, Greg took another long pull of his beer. Leaning forward, he pinned him with a steely stare and said, “I imagine you’re curious as to why I’m here, so I’ll get to it. I’ve got a proposition for you.”