Justice Page 32

Jessie\s finger itched to flip him the bird but she forced a smile instead. ’’I\m great.

I\m ready to go home.’’ Her gaze met Tim\s, not a good sign that he grimly held her glare. It meant he was still mad at her for not following orders. ’’How is Beauty? I was told she wasn\ hurt. Did she make it where they wanted her sent all right?’’

Tim hesitated. ’’We had to tranquilize her, Jessie. She was hysterical after you were shot and couldn\ be calmed. We called the NSO right off the bat after you were taken care of. Shane stayed back with her since he said you\d want one of your team with her until she was dropped off. The NSO sent a helicopter to pick her up and he transported with her to Reservation personally but he\s on his way home now. They have her safe and she was sleeping like a baby last time he saw her.’’

Bob chuckled. ’’Shane filled out her paperwork and put Beauty for her name. We thought you\d be pissed if he wrote down Mud or Monkey.’’

The Senator gasped, shooting a glare at Bob. ’’You called her those names?’’

Bob\s smile died. ’’No. That\s what they called her. Jessie renamed her Beauty.’’

’’Oh.’’ The senator relaxed. ’’I thought I was going to have a nightmare on my hands. You never call them derogatory names. I\ll fire you if you ever do. You always treat them with respect, as though they are family.’’

Jessie smirked. ’’You mean like how I call Jake a butthead and ass breath? That\s what you call family. You might want to tell them to treat them like anyone but family.’’

The Senator grinned. ’’Your brother hates those names, Jess. If he were here instead of in Afghanistan, he\d tell you himself.’’

’’Jessie,’’ she corrected, smiling. ’’I\m glad you came, Dad. I\m ready to go home and get back to work.’’

Tim cleared his throat and jerked his thumb at the men. Jessie frowned as the team quickly walked away, leaving her with her father. He looked grim when she stared at him, confused.

’’About that.’’ His blue eyes narrowed. ’’You\ e fired.’’

’’What?’’ she yelled.

’’Quiet, Jessica Marlee Dupree,’’ he ordered in a stern voice. It was the same tone he\d used all her life when she was in deep shit. ’’You disobeyed orders last night and killed three men. You did the right thing, protected your fellow team members and I know that. But you killed three men.’’ His voice broke and tears flooded his eyes.

’’You\ e lucky to have your brains intact. Do you know how I felt when I got the call that you\d been shot?’’ He took a shaky breath. ’’You are fired. I love you but I can\ live with knowing I\m putting you in a position to have to kill more men or have them kill you. You have a new job so listen to me before you lose your temper.’’

Jessie was in shock. Her father was more upset than she could ever recall seeing him except once. He\d cried when her mother had died and had never fully recovered from the loss. She eased back into the wheelchair, her tense body relaxed and guilt ate at her as she stared at him. He\d gone through hell over her getting shot and she knew it. It hurt to lose her job but she loved her dad more.

’’What new job?’’

He hesitated. ’’No screaming and telling me I can\ fire you?’’

She shook her head. ’’You\ e crying. I\m sorry, Dad. You lost mom and she meant the world to you. You almost lost me and I get it. I hate it because I love this job and I love those guys on the task force but I do understand the hellish position you\ e in.

What\s the new job and forget about it if you tell me you\ e sticking me in an office.’’

He leaned down and grabbed Jessie hard, hugging her. She hugged him back and wished she could breathe. She wiggled in his arms and he finally let go. He straightened, wiping at tears. He smiled at her though and it made it all worth losing the job and almost turning blue from lack of oxygen.

’’I got you a job at the NSO Homeland, Jessie. How is that for a consolation prize for losing your job with the task force? You\ e going to be working directly with the New Species Organization still but at a safer location.’’ He grinned. ’’Justice North flew here to make sure you were fine and he offered the job himself!’’

Shock tore through Jessie. ’’Justice is here?’’ Her head turned, searching for him.

’’He received an emergency call regarding the woman you saved last night. He had to leave but he said you could start at any time you\ e ready. I knew you\d want to get right back to work.’’ He laughed. ’’I know my girl and you\d want the job so I hope you don\ mind but I sent someone to your apartment. It\s being packed up as we speak, just your belongings will be sent and all your furniture will be stored. The guys I ordered to pack your stuff are going to ship everything to you there. It might take a few days but it will come pretty fast.’’

’’Thanks. That was great thinking.’’ She forced a smile to hide her surprise at the drastic changes in her life. ’’You know I want that job.’’

Justice had come and gone but he hadn\ seen her. She masked her emotions from her father, afraid he\d be confused by the sadness that she felt knowing that Justice had come but he hadn\ stayed long enough to see her. She felt a little anger too but let it go.

He had flown all the way from California to come to the hospital. That has to mean something, right? He could have stayed and said hello. Maybe made sure I was fine . She sighed.


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