He turned and walked back toward Pollard, his grin fading with each step. Callen stomped to his vehicle and got in. Sam carefully shut the door then he and Kensi both climbed in and drove out of the lot.
Jimmy slammed the door and sat there seething as Jessie started the vehicle and put it in gear.
“I’m sorry man,” Pollard said as he followed the Colonel. “Unfortunately, I’m used to the abuse from the Jaeger’s of this world. I wish I could’ve smarted off to my CO the way you just did.”
“Yeah, well I can’t say what I really want because I need this job. I’m up to my eyeballs in debt and I should probably keep my mouth shut until it’s over.”
Deeks stared straight ahead with a huge frown on his face. They sat in silence for a couple of miles then he added, “It’s no wonder this country is in the shape it’s in with men like Jaeger training people to be just like him. I overheard him barking at another officer about some sort of high-grade weapons arriving here in a couple of days and he was even condescending toward a fellow officer and his men. He told him that he wasn’t sure they could be trusted to handle it properly and that he’d be taking delivery of the shipment. He thinks he’s better than everyone else and I hate people like that! I really wish I could think of a way to get back at him when I’m finished with this job.”
Pollard was quiet for a moment then replied, “Maybe you can.” He continued to look forward as he kept up with the dust trail from the Colonel’s vehicle as it turned off on a dirt road.
“What do you mean?” Deeks asked as he turned toward Pollard.
He hesitated for a moment then said in a low voice, “I’ll tell you but you can never repeat any of what I’m about to say!”
“Scout’s honor,” Deeks replied as he held up two fingers.
Pollard paused as if he was weighing the pros and cons of telling Satterlee about his mission but soon he started to open up. “I’m a member of a group that is tired of the direction our country is headed. It’s a group of current and former military men who want to see changes made.”
Deeks just stared at him, his heart racing as he realized that this was about more than just stealing and selling weapons. “What kind of changes?” he prodded.
“Let’s just say, that you’ll hear all about it soon enough.”
“Is this one of those militia outfits I hear about all the time? I’ve always thought it would be really cool to be in one of those!”
“No, man. This is much more sophisticated than those hillbilly groups that hide out in the mountains. We have smart, intelligent men in this group that want to get the country back to where it should be.”
Deeks knew he was pushing it but he needed to get more information from him. “That’s really awesome! Can I go to one of your meetings?”
Pollard looked panicked and Deeks thought he may have gone too far.
“I don’t think the man in charge would be very happy with me if I brought in someone that hadn’t been checked out.”
Deeks looked disappointed and replied coolly, “I get it. But if you change your mind, I have no problems with them checking me out. I mean, if you’re just having meetings what’s the big deal? If you haven’t done anything wrong, I don’t see why…” He stopped suddenly and looked over at Pollard’s expression and decided Jimmy would keep pushing. “You guys have already done something illegal, haven’t you?” he said excitedly. “Come on man, you gotta tell me. I love the idea that people like Jaeger are getting what’s coming to them!”
Pollard sighed and said quietly, “Did you hear about those weapons that were stolen a couple of weeks ago?”
Deeks feigned surprise and whistled, “That was you guys?” He sat and pretended to think a minute then he blurted out, “What if I could get you the specifics about the high-grade weapons that Jaeger was talking about? You think your man in charge would be interested in that?”
Pollard looked at Jimmy and frowned. “How could you possibly find out anything? You’re not in the military and Jaeger obviously hates your guts!”
Deeks grinned widely and stated simply, “Kacey.”
He looked over at Jimmy with a skeptical frown. “What makes you think she will tell you anything?” Pollard asked warily.
“Trust me when I say I can get her to do anything for me,” he said with a smile as he inwardly cringed.
“Okay, spill it!” Pollard replied with a lecherous grin on his face. “And this had better be good!”
Deeks smiled and pushed Kensi from his mind then proceeded to make up stories about Kacey and Jimmy’s wild night. He concentrated on what his alias Jimmy would have done with some nameless girl he’d picked up and began his torrid tale.
It had been a really long day and Deeks was anxious to let the team know what he’d found out. He had hoped to talk to one of them during the day but he was always with Pollard and too far away to even give Kensi subtle eye signals. They were many miles into the desert and he’d been snapping pictures of everything from soldiers tramping through the rough terrain to an iguana sunning himself on a dusty rock. He hoped no one ever saw the finished product because he was pretty sure the pictures weren’t worth printing.
As they were about to get back into the vehicles Callen shouted to Deeks, “Satterlee, I expect you to be on time and sober at o-eight-hundred tomorrow.” When Deeks didn’t immediately reply, he added louder, “Did you hear what I said?”
Deeks slowly turned to Callen and did his best imitation of a crisp military salute then turned and jumped into the humvee with Pollard without saying a word.
Pollard snorted, but quickly tried to keep a serious face since Callen was glaring at them both. He backed the vehicle up and waited for the Colonel and his crew to go ahead of them.
“That was great!” Pollard said when they were back on the road. “You should have seen his face turn red after you turned your back to him.”
Deeks wasn’t smiling and didn’t reply.
Jessie noticed the frown on Jimmy’s face and said, “Cheer up man, he’s not worth it. And besides, after I talk to our group leader, I’m sure he’ll be interested in meeting with you. If he decides to swipe the weapons it’ll make Jaeger look bad.”
Deeks perked up and asked, “Are you sure he’ll want to meet with me?”
“I’ll make contact as soon as I get back, then call you when I know something for sure.”
Deeks smiled and replied, “I like the idea of getting back at Jaeger through those weapons. This could work out great!”
Pollard dropped him back off at his hotel and Deeks waited until he was gone to grab his cell phone to call Kensi.
She answered after the first ring and said, “Couldn’t wait to see me again Jimmy?”
Deeks laughed and answered, “No, I can’t wait, but we’re clear. Pollard’s gone.” He recapped the conversation he’d had with Pollard and asked what she thought their next step should be.
“Nell and Eric are checking out Colton but haven’t found anything suspicious yet. I think our best bet is to wait for Jessie to call. Then we can get you a GPS tracker and follow you to the meet if he’s able to get one lined up.”
“I agree. I don’t want to take an earwig with me. These guys are usually super paranoid and I don’t want to wind up as a buzzard snack somewhere in the middle of the desert.”
“That’s not funny Deeks,” she said quietly.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He quickly changed the subject. “You started to ask me a question last night at the beach when we were interrupted.”
“Yes I did.” She hesitated slightly and suddenly asked, “Why don’t I come over to your room so we can talk? I can bring some burgers and…”
Before she could finish, Deeks cut her off, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. We don’t know what’s gonna happen when Pollard talks to the man in charge and I may have to leave as soon as he calls.”
After his description of their imaginary night together, the last thing he wanted was for her to be around if Pollard or any of his buddies showed up.
“If you’re supposed to be sweet talking the weapons information from me, how’s that supposed to happen if we’re not together?”
He paused then sighed, “Kens, I’m just worried about these guys and I don’t want you anywhere near them.”
“I can take care of myself and I don’t appreciate the implication that I’m some sort of helpless female who faints at the first sign of trouble,” she said angrily.
“I never said you couldn’t take care of yourself!” he countered. “I just have a bad feeling about this and I can’t concentrate if I’m worried about what’s happening with you.”
She sighed loudly. “Deeks, you’re going to have to get used it if we’re to continue to work together. You can’t shut me out every time we have a case. It’s not an option.”
He sat silently as he thought about their complicated situation and if they would ever be able to find a reasonable solution. Unfortunately she took his silence to mean that he disagreed with her.
“I can see that this is going to be a problem,” she said testily. “Good night Deeks.”
He suddenly heard the beep informing him that the connection had been terminated and sighed in frustration. He needed time to think and thought it best to call her back after he’d had a shower and was in a better mood. She was right, though. He should have let her come over. It would be totally expected and they would have no problem selling it if Pollard showed up. He couldn’t keep trying to shield her from doing her job even though he wished he could. Having made the decision to call her back and ask her to come over when he was finished, he made his way to the shower.
As Deeks was drying off he heard knocking at the door. Thinking it was probably Kensi he wrapped the towel around his waist and went to the door. The peephole had been painted over so he took his chances and opened the door.
“Pollard, what are you doing here?” he asked, surprised to see him and Colton.
Pollard looked nervous as he pushed past him into his room with Colton close behind. “I talked to the group leader and he wants to see you… tonight.”
“Wow. That was quick. Just let me put on some clothes and I’ll be ready to go.”
Deeks went back to the bathroom to dress while trying to figure out what to do. He wrongly assumed Pollard would have called to let him know about the meeting, which would’ve given him time to come up with a plan but now he was scrambling. The group leader hadn’t taken time to check him out properly and that was a bad sign. He’d been certain he wouldn’t get an answer until later tonight or maybe even tomorrow.
Thankfully, there was a GPS chip in his cell phone so hopefully they could track him that way. He would have to find a way to send Kensi a signal before he left.
He towel dried his hair and quickly threw on clean clothes. As he came out of the bathroom he saw Colton trying to get into his phone. “Hey man, give me that,” he said irritated.
“Why do you have it password protected?” he asked suspiciously.
“Because, I keep my banking information on it and I don’t want some idiot to steal what little I have in my account,” he countered quickly as he held out his hand.
“Sorry Jimmy,” Jessie said apologetically. “The boss says to leave the phone here and to bring you to him right away.”
Deeks pushed down the panic and tried to play it off as no big deal. He shrugged, “As long as you know where you’re going, I’m good without my phone. Although, you did ruin my plans for another fantastic evening with Kacey.”
Pollard glanced toward the door and asked, “Is she coming here?”
Deeks quickly replied, “No, we’re going to meet later but haven’t made arrangements yet. Maybe we’ll make it back early enough so I won’t have to cancel.”
“I doubt it. We have a long way to go. Come on,” Jessie said as he hurried Deeks out the door.
They drove in relative silence for over an hour. Deeks sat alone in the backseat of an old pick-up truck and tried to engage them both in conversation but the responses were clipped and very short. He couldn’t help but feel that something was terribly wrong and made the decision to start asking questions.
“Ok, guys. You’re freaking me out here. What’s wrong? What’s going on that I don’t know about?”
Pollard glanced over at Colton then looked back at the road. “Everything’s fine. Just sit tight.”
He sat quietly for a few more minutes then said, “You know what? Never mind. I’ve decided I don’t want to meet your group leader. Just turn around and take me back to my room. I’d much rather spend the night with Kacey than with guys I can’t trust.”
Pollard slammed his hand on the steering wheel and yelled, “Jimmy, we can’t take you back. When I contacted the boss, he got really angry because I talked about this without his permission. He’s checking you out right now along with Kacey, and I’m sure everything will be fine but if we don’t show up with you in tow, all of us will be in serious trouble.”
Deeks sat back and closed his eyes. This could turn out really good or really, really bad. At least they didn’t have Kensi. He was sure their backstopping would hold up under more than just a cursory look and they must want more information about the weapons. However, his anxiety grew when Pollard pulled the truck onto the shoulder of the road.
“Why are we stopping?” he asked as he readied himself for a confrontation.
“Look, man,” Pollard said apologetically. “We’re about fifteen miles out but he told us to stop here and put this on you.” He held up a black cloth and handed it to Colton who got out of the car and opened Deeks door.
“No way!” Deeks shouted. “I’m done. I’m not doing this!” he argued loudly.
Pollard tried to calm him down. “Jimmy, it’s okay. We’re not going to hurt you. Just please put it on,” he pleaded. “If you don’t, we’re right back where we started and in a lot of trouble. Come on, just put it on. We won’t tie your hands until just before we get to the meeting place.”
“Tie my hands! Are you nuts?” he yelled.
“Please Jimmy,” Pollard said in a panic. “If we’re not there in exactly twenty two minutes, the deal is off and I don’t want to think about what will happen to all of us!”
Deeks looked at them both then sighed loudly. “Fine, but you owe me Pollard! I had no idea this was going to be such a big deal or I never would have mentioned it!”
Colton quickly pulled the hood over Deeks’ head then jumped back in the passenger seat. They drove the last few miles fairly quickly, stopping only once so they could zip tie Deeks hands in front of him.
As the truck rolled to a stop on a dirt road deep in the desert, Deeks could feel his heart racing. It was bad enough to be out here with no backup but without his hands and eyes, he was feeling extremely vulnerable. The last time he felt like this, it didn’t end well.
He heard the doors of the cab opening and felt the lift of the vehicle as Jessie and Colton got out of the truck. He heard loud voices but couldn’t make out what was being said then suddenly there was silence. He sat in the truck concentrating on every sound when suddenly the back door of the truck was opened and he was roughly yanked out of his seat.
No one spoke as he was half dragged across rocky ground. He tripped several times but managed to keep from falling. He guessed he had walked about 30 yards when suddenly he was yanked to a stop.
He kept his head down hoping they would leave the hood on so he couldn’t see their faces. That might mean everything would be okay. His hopes were dashed a moment later when the hood was pulled off his head.
Standing in front of him was a small group of four men wearing camo glaring back at him. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light from a lantern, he realized that Jessie and Colton were both lying face down on the ground just behind the men. He couldn’t tell if they were just unconscious or dead.
As he was about to ask who was in charge he was suddenly hit from behind. His knees buckled as he fell forward. His last thought before darkness descended was of Kensi and how much he regretted their last angry words to each other.
Karen S. is a contributor at wikiDeeks.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @KDHS01
You can find Kadiedid’s fanfics on: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3765732/Kadiedid