Home > Tail Spin (FBI Thriller #12)(8)

Tail Spin (FBI Thriller #12)(8)
Catherine Coulter

Dr. Post said, “He’s got a concussion and he isn’t going to feel too happy about it for a while. We don’t have an MRI in town, but the CAT scan didn’t show any abnormalities.

“He had a nice gash on his leg, but he was lucky, didn’t hit anything major, just needed some of my pretty stitches. I’ve put him on antibiotics and some pain meds. I’d like to let him rest for a while, but he should be all right. I’d like to keep him overnight, to make sure nothing else develops.

“I’ve invested lots of time in him and I don’t want him to leave the clinic and collapse on his face, undo any of my excellent work.”

Dr. Post looked curiously at the two FBI agents, who looked so relieved they were ready to high-five him.

“I guess you guys work together? Maybe you’re here on a case?”

Savich said, “Yes.”

Dr. Post pointed at Rachael. “She told me she isn’t his wife.”

Sherlock said, “No, she isn’t, but he’s going to think I’m his mother when he wakes up, because I’m going to chew his butt for scaring us so badly.”

Dr. Post laughed. “Okay, are you going to tell me what’s happening? The reason I’m asking is right after these two staggered into my clinic, I heard an ambulance heading through town, sirens blasting. Is someone else hurt?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so. Thank you for taking care of him.”

“You’re welcome,” said Dr. Post.

Savich looked at Rachael. “So you’re Jack’s savior.”

Rachael still couldn’t believe it. FBI agents, all three of them. When she and Jack had stumbled up the steps to the clinic, Dr. Post was unlocking the front door, balancing a cup of coffee in his free hand. Jack had pulled out his ID and flashed it to the startled doctor.

And she thought again, why couldn’t Jack have been a nice rent-a-pilot? No, he was an FBI agent, a fed whose bosses could be all chummy with Quincy and Laurel, who might be bought or influenced, defer to them because of their power—no, she wasn’t going there. They believe I’m dead. They’ve got to keep believing that.

As long as these three federal agents didn’t find out her full name, she was safe, she’d be okay. She’d still be dead.

She knew every bureaucracy leaked like a sieve, the FBI included. No, she’d be very careful, she’d lie well, a novel experience for her. She smiled. “I’m Rachael.”

Savich said, “I understand you watched Agent Crowne’s plane come down and you helped both Jack and Dr. MacLean.” He stepped forward, stuck out his hand. “We’d like to thank you for seeing to them, Ms. . . .”

I’m the most fluent liar in the world, I’m the coolest, the smoothest—“Rachael Abercrombie.”

A lie, Savich thought, and wasn’t that strange? He said, smiling at her, “Yes, thank you, Ms. Abercrombie. The medevac took Dr. MacLean to Franklin County Hospital about twenty minutes ago. We don’t know his condition yet. I called your sheriff.”

“Oh no, he’s not my sheriff, Agent Savich. I’ve never been to Parlow before. I’m only passing through.”

Savich nodded, but his head cocked to the side, and he studied her face closely. Looking at that small clever braid, he decided Sherlock would look very sexy with one. “Well then, we’re all strangers here. Hopefully the sheriff will come soon.”

Dr. Post saw the big tough-looking man look down at—of all things—a Mickey Mouse watch, and frown.

“We owe you big-time, Ms. Abercrombie,” said Sherlock.

“Oh no, please,” said Rachael, “Jack saved both of them. He pulled Dr. MacLean out of the plane before it exploded. I didn’t do all that much—call me the mule.”

Dr. Post said, “Deliah—that’s Nurse Harmon—told me Dougie—that’s Sheriff Hollyfield—had a septic tank problem this morning and that’s why he’s running a bit late. But he’ll get here, he always does.” He looked at them all closely. “I’ve never met any FBI agents before.”

Sherlock said, “He eats Cheerios for breakfast with our son, Sean,” and smiled. “I eat a slice of wheat toast with crunchy peanut butter.”

Dr. Post laughed. “Just plain folk? Maybe, but not to me. The two of you, you’re both FBI agents and you’re married, and you work together?”

“That’s right,” Savich said.

Dr. Post picked up Jack’s gun, which was sitting on top of the counter, next to his dirty, ripped slacks. “My dad owned a Kimber Gold Match 11. It’s a fine gun.”

“Agent Crowne believes it’s efficient,” Savich said easily, and held out his hand. Dr. Post gave him the Kimber, butt first.

“A ten-round magazine?”

“Yes,” Sherlock said. “And one in the pipe for eleven rounds at your fingertips.”

Rachael tuned them out. She looked hungrily at the gun now in Agent Savich’s hand. She’d wanted to steal it the moment she’d seen Dr. Post unclip it from Jack’s belt, but now it was too late. She couldn’t figure out why she hadn’t noticed it earlier, felt it, for heaven’s sake, when she was walking beside him, supporting his weight. It had been a rather hectic morning. She didn’t need a gun. All she needed to do was to keep her head. These agents had no idea who she was, where she lived, what she was doing when she’d come across Jack, and she had no intention of telling them anything. She had to remain anonymous, she had to remain dead. At least the two agents were focused on Jack.

But she didn’t like the way Agent Savich had looked at her, like he knew she was lying but wasn’t going to call her on it, and why should he? She wasn’t his concern, not any of their concern. As soon as she got her fuel pump replaced, she’d be out of Parlow and hiding in Slipper Hollow, deep in the forests lacing the rolling Kentucky hills that stretched out like an accordion.

Time to take charge, time to get moving. She smiled at the two agents and said brightly, “Well, since you’re here, I’ll be off. I have to get my car fixed. Then I’ve got places to go, deadlines to meet. Like I said, I don’t live here—Parlow, is it?—my car had just broken down when I saw Jack land the plane in Cudlow Valley. It’s not been particularly fun, but at least it turned out okay.”

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