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The Last Protector (Clayton White) by Simon Gervais

The Last Protector (Clayton White) by Simon Gervais

Author:Simon Gervais [Gervais, Simon]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Published: 2021-11-01T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

San Francisco, California

White looked at his screen incredulously. Why had Veronica hung up on him? He had tried to call her back twice, but she hadn’t picked up. She’d been distraught by the fact that she couldn’t gain access to the SkyCU servers. And had she really suggested that her dad might have something to do with it?

Even though Veronica hadn’t asked him to go, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to stop by the SkyCU office in Palo Alto. It wasn’t like he was going to get any sleep anyway.

His phone rang. Veronica’s number didn’t appear on the screen. Disappointed, he pressed the green button to accept the call. “Who’s this?” he asked, his voice harsher than it should have been.

“Your future father-in-law, or so I just learned. And please, drop that acerbic tone, son. Won’t work with me.”

Stunned, White almost snapped to attention in his chair. “Mr. Vice President-Elect,” he said. “My apologies, sir.”

“Not feeling too sorry for yourself, are you?” Alexander Hammond asked.

“No, sir. Not for myself,” White said sincerely. “Only for the guys I lost today. And their families.”

“Yeah, of course,” Hammond said. “I knew them all. Not a lot, but enough to know they were good men.”

“They were,” White said. An image of his friend Marcus Thompson laughing out loud while holding his two kids in his massive arms popped into his mind. Then it was immediately followed by an image of Marcus with his brains blown out, his body in a heap on the floor of an elevator. The events of the last few hours had taxed the very depths of White’s soul. The situation seemed almost unreal. When he had left the air force, he never expected to have to shoot someone again.

“I’ll make you this promise, Clayton,” Hammond said, cutting through White’s thoughts. “I’ll make absolutely sure that the Secret Service will be there every step of the way to support the families of the fine men we lost today.”

If any other politician had spoken those words, White would have rolled his eyes, knowing they meant well but would never follow through. But since they came from Hammond, the man who had run JSOC for years, White knew he could take it to the bank.

“Thank you, sir.”

“We need to talk,” Hammond said.

White winced. He’d known this moment would come. Hammond was going to give him shit for proposing to his daughter without having the decency to ask him permission prior to doing it. And he’d probably threaten to kill him for the sheer audacity of proposing to Veronica while on duty, which could have cost his daughter her life.

“Agreed,” White replied. “Let me first—”

“In person, Clay. I want to speak to you face to face.”

“Veronica told me you were in Fort Worth, sir,” White replied, confused. “I’m still in San—”

“I know where you are,” Hammond interrupted. “I’m on my way to you. I’ll be in San Francisco in a few hours. In the meantime, I want you to listen to the CID warrant officers who are about to pay you a visit.



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