Hindsight (Kendra Michaels #7) - Iris Johansen



Bagram Airfield


I’m going to murder him!” Kendra Michaels jumped out of the open jeep and stalked across the tarmac toward Jessie Mercado, who was standing in front of the waiting C-130 transport plane. Her eyes were glittering with rage as she hissed through bared teeth: “You’re not going to talk me out of it, Jessie. I’m going to kill Adam Lynch.”

“I wouldn’t presume to interfere,” Jessie said soothingly. “I’m sure he deserves it. But might I point out that you’re the one under arrest and he seems to have all these military types at his beck and call? It might be a bit awkward.” She glanced at the name tag of the army private, who couldn’t have been more than twenty, scurrying desperately after Kendra. “Isn’t that right, Private Dalrymple? I’m sure your superior has told you that she’s not allowed to kill Adam Lynch.”

The soldier was having to catch his breath as he reached them. “I don’t know anything about Adam Lynch, ma’am. I take my orders from the general.” He gazed reproachfully at Kendra. “You shouldn’t have tried to run away from me, Dr. Michaels. No one is trying to hurt you.”

“Only trying to toss me out of this country,” Kendra said coldly. “And I didn’t try to run away, I succeeded.” She glared at Jessie. “If you’d had your motorcycle, I would have been able to get away from my jailer here and gotten back to those poppy fields where I might be able to do some good.”

“After you kill Lynch,” Jessie murmured. “Sorry, the MPs made me leave my Yamaha at the hangar.”

“I’m not your jailer, Dr. Michaels.” Private Dalrymple looked pained. “I’m your official escort. And I was ordered to show you every courtesy until I could turn you over to General Kotcheff here at the base.”

“So that he could ‘courteously’ kick me out of Afghanistan?” She was still steaming as her gaze shifted back to Jessie. “This kid showed up at my hotel room an hour ago to tell me that my visa had been revoked and that I was being put on the next transport back to the U.S. Can you believe that?” Her eyes suddenly narrowed on Jessie’s face. “Oh, yes, you can believe it. I don’t see any signs that you had your very own jailer toss all your belongings into a suitcase to put on this transport. That means they’re not kicking you out, even though we came here on the same mission. That’s why you’re here. I knew that Lynch was responsible. He was pissed off at me. And he was the only one who had the kind of influence and contacts to get this done. Lynch sent you, didn’t he?”

Jessie nodded. “He said that you were angry and you’d run out of his hotel room before he could look at that wound in your arm. He asked me to check it out.”

“He was the one who was angry. I was trying to reason with him. He was yelling at me.” But she hadn’t dreamed he’d been this pissed off. “And it’s only a flesh wound.”

“Then you won’t mind if I take a look?” Jessie was suddenly standing next to Kendra and pushing up the sleeve of her cotton shirt, carefully lifting the bandage to examine the small wound. “You’re right, this is practically a nonissue. He was worried for nothing.”

“That’s what I told him. It hardly bled at all. You can see that.” She threw out a hand to indicate Private Dalrymple. “That’s all, so will you tell this…this…escort to take me back to my hotel.”

“Not quite all. I’m afraid I can’t tell anyone to do anything.” Jessie made a face. “They wouldn’t even let me keep my motorcycle, remember? You’re stuck. You’re right, Lynch did do this, and I have no idea why. It probably had something to do with that wound. I’ll try to get it out of him later. I only came because you’re my friend and I didn’t want you to face this alone.” She added dryly, “Though Lynch also mentioned he needed someone to keep you from causing a major uproar that would draw more attention to you.”

“And he thought you’d do it?” she asked silkily. “He was right not to come himself, I’m feeling lethal. But I’m not pleased that you decided to let him get away with this.”

“‘Let him’?” she repeated ruefully. “You know better than that, Kendra. Adam Lynch is the black ops specialist everyone calls when they want to bring