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The Huntress

By Greg McManus All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Thriller


The gate area of the airport was very busy when F.B.I. Special Agent Jesse Jaines arrived to meet her partner. He had left a mysterious message on her cell phone asking that she meet his plane this evening as his vacation trip to Colorado was ending. She watched out the window as the plane taxied toward the gate. She saw the scurry of the ground crew and thought of the case she and her partner had solved earlier that year.

The case involved a kidnapping by a pair of ground crew temporary workers and lead them clear across the country. Special Agent Paul Gassert, her partner, had spent his vacation skiing in the Colorado Mountains with his sister and nephew. She had spent her own vacation with her own sister and niece. However, she had spent her time in New York City where her sister had paid for tickets to a popular Broadway musical.

The doors opened and Jesse watched as people came off the plane and started towards the escalator towards the baggage claim where they would meet loved ones. She had had to use her badge to be able to meet Paul at the gate like this. She wondered where he was and why he had wanted her to meet his flight like this.

At last she saw a flight attendant pushing someone in a wheelchair. Paul must have been caught behind the wheelchair, probably waited to help the attendants to get the man into the chair. The man was wearing a big western hat and sunglasses. His leg was encased in the plaster of a cast up past his knee. He seemed to be looking right at her and laughing. Then she did a double take, the man in the chair was Paul.

“What happened to you?” Jesse asked as she walked over to him.

Paul laughed. “Well, it was like this. I was doing great cutting through the powder like a real pro. Then I didn’t see the tree stump just poking out above the snow. The next thing I know I am practically flying down the side of the mountain. I was doing fine rolling in the snow until my leg slammed into a tree. It’s lucky it was just twisted and I sprained my knee.”

Jesse shook her head and said sadly, “The poor tree broken in the snow.”

Paul laughed hard at that. “No, the tree is just fine. My leg is what was twisted.”

Jesse was going to respond when her phone rings. “Jaines,” she answers.

“McMichaels here. We have a new case for you. A kidnapping in Minnesota. Come to the office as soon as you can. I will call Gassert and get him in here as well,” came the reply.

“No need. I’m with Paul right now. I will update him and we’ll be in as soon as we can,” Jesse told her boss. She hung up and looked at Paul.

“Don’t tell me, we’ve got another case. Right?” Paul asked.

“Yes, now how are we going to get you to work a case in your current state?” Jesse asked as she started pushing the wheelchair towards the baggage claim. She was already trying to think ahead, her mind racing. “It’s a kidnapping in Minnesota,” she told him.

“I think maybe I should sit this one out for a couple of weeks. After all crutches don’t do well on ice,” Paul said laughing. “But of course I will be available for phone work and all that paperwork.” He made a face about that.

Jesse laughed, “But you do it all so well.”

An hour later they were sitting at the table in a conference room just down from McMichaels office. When he came in and saw Paul sitting there with his leg propped on a chair, he stood there open mouthed. Then he asked, “What happened?”

Paul told him about the skiing accident and how he had to have Jesse meet him out at the airport. He told him about the doctor gave him approval to do desk work and said in two weeks he would be able to do case work again. He looked thoughtful when Paul was explaining what he could do to help in the case. Jesse quickly made a suggestion of how they can work the case without using another team.

“What about young Rhonda? She should be able to do field work by now,” she pondered.

McMichaels asked, “Do you really think she would be able to work a case like this?”

“Of course,” Jesse and Paul replied together. “She may be a rookie but she knows the danger and she showed initiative and courage,” Jesse continued on her own.

“What about her shoulder?” McMichaels asked.

“It has been almost a year. I am sure it should be fine. In fact, I bet she will be jumping at the chance to get back in the game,” Jesse told him.

“Do you know how to get a hold of her? Last time I tried I was told the Seattle number did not exist,” he asked looking at both Jesse and Paul.

“No, I don’t suppose it would. We know where she lives, however, and since we are going to have to go there anyway we will stop by and pick her up,” Paul told him.

“We? We who? You are going to be grounded until that leg heals. Jesse here can do it,” McMichaels said while Paul made a face that showed he did not relish the idea of being desk bound.

Out in the hall after the meeting, Paul stopped Jesse and asked, “Are you sure you know where she is?”

“Of course,” Jesse smiled. “And I’m looking forward to seeing the twins again.” She laughed as understanding started to show upon Paul’s face.

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