Blackwaters: A Kate Reid Novel (The Kate Reid Series Book 4)

Blackwaters: A Kate Reid Novel (The Kate Reid Series Book 4) by Robin Mahle Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Blackwaters: A Kate Reid Novel (The Kate Reid Series Book 4) by Robin Mahle Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robin Mahle
place to live on a server’s salary.
    “I’ll take the club and an iced tea,” Lasseter replied.
    Nick thought a great big juicy burger would help the hangover, but in the presence of the man who could make or break his career, he opted to be a sheep. “I’ll take the same, thank you.”
    “Right away.” The woman smiled.
    Nick could see her genuine and warm nature in that smile and suddenly felt guilty for passing some sort of socioeconomic judgment against her. What the hell did he know about her life? “So, you wanted to meet outside the office. Should I take that as a bad sign?”
    Lasseter folded his hands on top of the small table covered in white linen. “Nick, I’m here because the Incident Review Group finished evaluating the narrative.”
    Nick’s heart pumped a little faster as he waited for the results. After more than ten years as a federal agent, he feared his time was up.
    “They’re recommending a letter of censure be added to your file.”
    While Lasseter appeared grave in his delivery of this news, Nick felt a wave of relief. A letter of censure was scarcely more than a written reprimand. Okay, so it would be a part of his record, but it was the least severe punishment he could have hoped for. Well, that wasn’t entirely true; they could’ve dismissed it altogether, but this was his second-best scenario.
    “That means you’ll be able to come back to work, Nick.”
    “Thank you. You know, I still don’t believe I was in the wrong, sir.”
    “I know. Your exemplary record over these last several years carried a lot of weight. However, the group simply could not discount Agent Hughes’ testimony. I realize he was only witness to a portion of what happened that night, but frankly, it was enough to raise eyebrows.”
    “He was going to take me down, sir.” Nick was still pleading his innocence.
    “They’ve already written their recommendations, Nick. It’s over. I understand this is a black mark for you, but know that we are all very well aware of your dedication and high ethical standards. It might mean a slight delay in your rise in the ranks, but it is not the end of your career. I hope you understand that.”
    “I do. Thank you, sir.” He paused for a moment. “Can I ask why you wanted to meet me here and not give me the news at WFO?”
    “Because I was hungry.” Lasseter chuckled and sipped on his water.
    Somehow, Nick didn’t think that was the reason and suspected it had something to do with ASAC Campbell. Maybe he’d wanted to make himself look good in the process of trying to make Nick look bad. He knew the man was gunning for Executive Assistant Director and a show of disciplinary action might make him appear more as a leader. Nick also believed it had something to do with the fact that he’d gone around the ASAC to get Kate assigned to the WFO. In fact, Nick had gone straight to the Academy’s Assistant Director himself to make that happen.
     
     
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    The new home improvement store in Fayetteville was where Arlen Tucker worked as an associate in the lumber department. Hired on about six months ago when it opened, Arlen had been the poster-child for attendance and customer service. They loved him over there. He knew how to run the saws, knew his wood-varieties like the back of his hand, and his long and lean physique paired with his country-boy face scored well with the ladies looking to put up fences around their gardens. Arlen never had much trouble in that department. The girls always liked to look at him. He liked looking back too, but for very different reasons.
    Arlen knew how to fly under the radar too. He’d gotten himself a new identity after getting out of the System a few years ago. New name—he’d always liked the name Arlen—new social security number, and even his place of residence was a P.O. Box. But what he liked best about it here was how easily he could pick them off. Of course, he’d had time to master his technique since his

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