No Greater Hell
Lost and Found, Inc. Book 4
His past is better left forgotten...
Former Army helicopter pilot Jake Donovan is lucky to be alive. At least that’s what his team of neurosurgeons said. But he knows differently. Jake’s crimes almost cost Holly Hoffman her life, and even though he can’t remember, the pain in her eyes is something he’ll never forget.
Holly’s done being a victim. As a trauma nurse her skills are needed by a humanitarian group providing medical aid after a killer storm ravages the Gulf Coast of Texas. Saving lives however, won’t be an option when a madman wants her dead.
Can Jake and Holly shed the weight of his dark past, or will their happily-ever-after have a fatal ending?
"You'll come back when we get the new compound open?" Kay asked. "It's going to be complete with offices for everybody, a training gym for employees, and a bunkhouse for when our agents need a place to crash.” She shot a look at Nate. “I’m hoping to get my PI license.”
It’s about time you got into the field." Jake knew how badly she wanted to become a field agent. She’d been training hard.
"So you’ll come back for the big day?"
"I don't know." Not wanting to lie to her, Jake met her gaze with his. “No.”
She opened her mouth as if to argue. Nate cut her off by asking her to pass the coleslaw.
Jake shoved a forkful of beans into his mouth and said nothing else.
The group ate in an uncomfortable silence, thankfully broken when Diablo dropped a big paw on Jake's leg to beg for food. He jumped, giving everyone a laugh.
"Hang on," he said to the dog. As he pulled off a chunk of chopped beef to share, the talk switched to Diablo, who Marcus had smuggled into Texas from Colombia. Raised by the notorious drug lord, Manuel Ortega, the dog had been trained to kill on command, and was considered unredeemable by everybody except Marcus. But Diablo had proved them wrong by accepting new training, and he’d grown to worship Marcus. Man and dog had adjusted to each other beautifully.
Jake hoped his own transition to a new life would be as easy.
Just getting through today was trying as hell. The group of people surrounding him ranked up there with the best, a team that worked well as a unit, helping people when all other resources had failed.
Reluctantly, he stood and started his good-byes. He tried to make it quick, giving a friendly hug to Nate and Marcus. Dalton reached out his hand, and Jake accepted it as an honest gesture.
He and Dalton had gotten off to a rough start. Understandable, since Jake had been living as Johnny Darling for a human trafficking ring at the time. FBI agent Dalton Murphy had worked the case, ultimately arresting Jake for kidnapping Holly. That arrest led to the removal of a brain tumor that had saved his life and restored the part of his memory that was Jake Donovan.
Kay held Jake tightly for a few minutes, then she whispered, “Take care of yourself.”
She turned and buried her face in her husband's chest. Jake kissed the back of her head and then walked out the door.
These people had saved his life. They’d taken care of him even though he didn’t deserve the sweat off their brow. Nothing would ever lessen his gratitude. He committed everything they'd done for him to memory.
He didn't remember the monster he'd once been, but they did.
With each step, his breathing grew labored, as an imagined metal strap tightened around his chest. With each step away from the comfort and protection of his friends, the band tightened. And with each step, he opened the door to his new future.
A big hand landed on his shoulder. "We all have our private hell. I hope you find the way back from yours. Take care, my friend."
Jake turned around to face Nate. "You too."
"You won't find redemption by living in isolation. You'll find it here." Nate tapped a finger on Jake's temple.
Jake shook his head. "I'm not looking for redemption. I'm just hoping for a little peace of mind."
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