I have to laugh every time I go back to this book, and its predecessor. I have tried more than a few times to create a soft gooey romance but every time I did someone died and there went the goo. The harder I tried to stop the sudden deaths of characters the tougher it became for me to write the stories. It wasn’t until I gave up trying to not kill someone off that the words started to flow. he Den of Thieves series was born out of that.
“Good Morning everyone!” Jake said walking into the room and passing out fresh coffees as he went.
Bo watched as everyone dutifully accepted their coffees. He noted that while Sebastian had not arrived as yet but everyone else was there.
“So you are looking mighty pleased with life this morning.” Rudy said sitting down at his bank of computer monitors in the back of the room and bending down to boot up the towers.
“As opposed to what?” Jake asked eyeing Rudy.
“Well we ll have noticed you’ve been under a lot of stress lately…” Rudy’s voice trailed off and Bo could tell by the look on his face that he wished he hadn’t spoken up at all.
“Really now?” Jake glanced around the room and the rest of the team either shrugged or turned away to avoid his eyes.
When he looked at Bo, Bo just shrugged his shoulders and said,
“Jake you have been a little on edge lately. Its not hard for us to see it.”
“Hmph” Jake said taking a swing of his coffee before continuing, “ Well if I have seemed a little on edge, as you put it, or if I have crossed any lines with any of you I am sincerely sorry..”
“Jake look we weren’t trying to–” Bo started again trying to smooth any ruffled feathers.
“No, no. Its fine really it is.” Jake held hi his hand to silence Bo, “I completely understand everyone’s concern. I have been a little off my game lately and for that I really am sorry and I do have a valid reason for being the way that I have been.”
He paused to take another gulp of coffee and everyone waited for him to continue.
“The reason I’ve been stressing out is that the coffers are not as full as they have been in recent months.: He shrugged, “We haven’t had a solid assignment that brings in real money in a long time.”
“We had that thing with that woman and her ancient artifact thing–” Cat piped up.
“That was over a month ago Cat.:
“Well the LCPD has been keeping us busy for the last few weeks.” Paul offered
“Yes, they have and thank God for that because otherwise none of us would have had a pay cheque at the end of the week.”
“Really, Gracie” Paul looked over at Gracie who was fidgeting with her papers at her desk, trying to stay out of the conversation.
“He is right. Were not broke. At least not yet. And really it is not hing to truly worry about right now but at the same time Jake is right, “ Gracie nodded as she spoke, her cats eye glasses sliding slowly down her nose as she continued. “The work we do for the LCPD while it pays the bills to a point it is not enough to sustain us completely. We are slowly dipping into our buffer money. It will eventually cause a huge problem if we done stop the slow bleed.”
“Thank you Gracie for explaining it.” Jake smiled at her before turning back to the rest of the group.
“Why didn’t you tell us this earlier?” Paul asked.
“Well to be honest while it bothered me to some degree I also know we would eventually pull out of it and get back on the right path again.” Jake shrugged, “And to be quite truthful I didn’t want anyone else to have to worry about it other than me. That is the job of the team leader to worry about these things.”
“Fair enough.” Bo nodded, “I am pretty sure that any one of us here would have shouldered that worry alone.”
Bo knew all too well what it meant to have to lead a team into situations unknown from his time in the military. Far too many times he would have give any thing to have been able to speak freely with one of those soldiers under him about he dangers they were headed into but he had not wanted to burned any of his men with that worry. Nor had he wanted that subconscious fear to erode their abilities or their confidence.
So he entirely understood why Jake had chosen not to inform the others.
“If that’s the case then the reason why you have been in a rather chipper mood today must mean that something has cropped up to improve our situation.” Rudy brightened.
“Indeed something has.” Jake grinned.
“Did we win the lotto last night?” Cat asked returning the grin.
“Not unless you were the one that bought the winning lotto ticket.” Jake cracked back.
Bo too a deep breath again and finally sat down on the edge of his desk. He could feel the tension that had been sitting in the air from a moment before lifting rapidly. They had all been friends for years and it always made him uncomfortable when they were at odds with each other. It didn’t happen often but when it did, it didn’t sit right with him.
Since he had left the army these people were the only family and friends he had really.
“Well I thought you being our fearless leader and all would be the one who procured the winning ticket” Cat shot back her eyes lit up at the playful banter “just goes to show you can’t trust a man to do such a simple task.”
Everyone burst out in laughter.
“Well I do apologize for any inconvenience that might not winning the lotto on behalf of got may have caused but I just don’t think it’s in the cards right now.”
“so do tell then Jake” Paul said sweeping his hand across the room “we are all waiting on our fearless leader to tell us the good news”
“ well you know we do a lot of work for the LCPD and they trust us to take care of our end of things in a polite and professional manner we have been asked to take care of a special project for them where they require the utmost delicacy and sensitivity on our part”
“I take it by your enthusiasm that this job also comes with a sizable paycheck along with the level of delicacy and sensitivity that you described Rudy’s eyes brow raised in curiosity
both couldn’t help but wonder if it could be that had gotten Jake so excited about a job with the LCPD after having just said that the money they for already making wasn’t quite enough to cover their expenses week over week.
“ yes it does that my geeky friend”
“so you’re going to tell us what that is that we are going to be doing are we just going to have to sit here and guess what it is that we are going to be doing” Cat said seriously, gone was the joking tone from moments before.
That was one thing about her he truly liked while she was one of the first to join in on some playful banter she was a big believer in the idea but there was a time for work and it’s time for play.
Play time was over for cat. Bo didn’t mind the shift he was curious to see what Jake had going and eager to get started
“Well you guys remember Stan Brookshire from the homicide department well he contacted me yesterday with an offer I couldn’t refuse” Jake looked at his watch, “Stan should be here in a few minutes so I’ll leave it for him to explain it to you.”
“alright you’ve heard the man guys get your paper and crayons and let’s get organized to make sure we do this right Paul head clapping his hands.
Bo continued to sit there staring at Paul. Paul was a good guy but he was a Fed through and through. They had a goofy almost cheerleader stout way of rallying the troops and it tended to get on his nerves sometimes. That and the fact the boat was never one to take notes for anything every inch of this time it was committed to memory as it was related to him.
Paul passed Bo on the way to his own desk.
“that’s right you don’t need to take notes” Paul smiled and patted him on the shoulder is he went by.
Bo continued to watch the others preparing themselves a quick glance at the clock show it was about 5 minutes to 8 he hope that Stan would not be late like he had been in the past or otherwise it was going to be a long day.
“wait has anyone seen Sebastian?” Jake is getting the room before his eyes landed on Sebastian’s empty desk.
“nope. I don’t think he isn’t as yet.” Rudy said without looking up from his computer screen.
Jake muttered something under his breath and returned to what he had been doing.
‘Sebastian is better hurry up or he had best better have a really good explanation if he gets any later’ Bo thought looking at the clock again.