I met Dan’s eyes.
He was struggling with the right thing to do.
“Dan, she’s alone, wandering around in the cold,” I insisted. “We need to do something!”
Our gazes locked and I silently willed him to give the order. It would have to be an all or nothing approach.
“You know what you have to do,” I told him coldly and he nodded.
“Yes,” he sighed. “Let’s put it to a vote.”
In some ways, it was colder in Scotland in November than Iceland but I don’t know how that could be true when Hof was so much further north.
Maybe it just felt colder since we’d lost Sasha.
We’d been tracking Sasha for a week now. Well, we’d been trying to track Sasha for a week. She’d managed to disappear off the radar completely, not that I was surprised. The woman was intelligent, beautiful and smart. If anyone could figure out how to get away, it was her but at the same time, I thought about her laying in the snow, bleeding from the gunshot wound.
The others were growing disheartened and restless. We knew we were chasing a ghost. There was no way of knowing what direction she’d gone and we were arguing constantly about what way to search.
So far, we’d tried every tactic known to man to find her. We’d split up, pretended to be cops, driven down every road we could find leading away from the Kingsmill and stopped in every shop.
But no one had seen her.
Or if they had, they weren’t saying anything to us, an unlikely group of American men searching for a lone woman.
Nothing the least bit suspicious about that.
We knew she didn’t have her purse or any ID on her and we tried to think of where she might have gone to get some money.
“We can’t stay here forever,” Seth told me on the seventh day and I knew he was right but I also knew that pulling Graham off the search was going to lead to problems.
“Let’s head north for once,” I said, knowing it was futile. Even if she had gone further up into the Highlands, she had a week’s head start on us.
“We don’t even have a decent picture of her,” Graham grumbled as we piled into the van I’d rented and I stifled a sigh. He was right, after all. The only one we had was the one we’d printed from the Mirror, Mirror website and it wasn’t the most flattering one I’d ever seen. You needed to squint to see the blue of her eyes.
“Graham,” I told him as Bash took the wheel. “We’re going to have to call this off soon if we don’t find her.”
He scoffed at me.
“You’ve just been biding your time to say that, haven’t you?”
“Actually,” I snapped back. “I’ve been indulging you for days longer than we should. This may come as a shock to you but we have a life, a business to get back to.”
“Do we?” Harry asked and I whipped my head toward him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that Mirror, Mirror is not going to be happy when they figure out we helped Sasha escape.”
I eyed him warily.
“So we lost the Mirror, Mirror contract, Harry, big deal. We never even wanted it in the first place, remember? We’re drillers, not babysitters.”
And it was true. We’d only taken on the job with Mirror, Mirror because I’d insisted. My concern about money had always overridden my common sense and this instance was no different.
When we’d been approached, we’d been on contract in Switzerland and the poised, elegant woman from Mirror, Mirror Inc. had offered us an opportunity that sounded too good to be true.
And you know what they say about something that sounds too good to be true, don’t you?
“All you need to do,” she explained. “Is keep an eye on some of my client’s land while we engage in some testing.”
My eyes had narrowed immediately.
“Is this illegal? A grow-op or something?”
Her laughter had filled our ears.
“I assure you, Mr. Appleton, Mirror, Mirror Incorporated is a reputable, public and listed company on the DOW. We don’t engage in illegal activities.”
Still, there had been something that didn’t ring true about the entire thing.
“Why don’t you hire a security team for that?” I’d wanted to know and she’d laughed.
“Because you already have a job out in Hof lined up, don’t you? Ice drilling?”
I recalled how her knowledge about our comings and goings had unnerved me but I’d dismissed it.
“You keep an eye on our properties and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.”
“What is it you’re worried about, exactly?”
“Polar bears?” Jim asked and I’d resisted the urge to smack the back of his head.
“Reporters, mainly,” the woman said. “We’re working with some highly classified materials and it’s always bound to cause some controversy.”
“What’s the catch?” I wanted to know.
“Aside from four hours of daylight in the winter?” she chuckled and I gave her a deadpan stare. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but this cash flow would help us with a lot of things.