My #TuesdayTeaser is from Gone Away, book 4 in my Circles series but can be read as a standalone. Gone Away is in Kindle Unlimited.
Mason nodded politely. “Thanks.” As he turned away, out of habit he gave the kid another visual once-over, noticing the handgun on his hip. Considering how he was dressed, that didn’t surprise Mason in the least.
“I have a carry permit,” the kid blurted out.
The woman shoved the basket closer to Jim, sounding agitated. “Can I pay for this stuff?”
Mason stood to his full height and held out one hand, wiggling his fingers. “Well, since you’re so darn proud of it, let’s have a look at it.”
Jim smiled and focused on the basket, pulling items out and ringing them up. The kid fumbled through the go pack he wore before finally pulling a wallet from his back pocket and producing the document. Mason glanced it over and handed it back without comment.
“Go wait out in the Jeep,” the woman snapped at the kid.
He looked from her to Mason and back again, then grumbled, “Damn Tonto thinks he can push us around.”
Mason saw Riece look up and went completely still. As the kid tried to step by him, Mason put one hand on the counter and sidestepped to block the kid’s exit. He used his other hand to flick at his badge. “That’s Special Agent Tonto to you.” He pulled his hand away and turned toward Riece. “C’mon, Riece. Time to get moving if we want to get very far today.”
Riece gave the woman and kid a wide berth as he walked to the door. Ignoring the pair inside the store, Mason put one hand on Riece’s shoulder to move him along faster. Mason took a path to his Jeep that circled behind the other one so he could get a look at the license plate. When Riece’s steps faltered, Mason took his arm for a few seconds and guided him to the far side of the vehicle.
“What’s going on?” Riece asked.
Mason shook his head. “No idea. Keep walking. Go to my Jeep.”
Riece walked ahead, and as soon as he was next to Mason’s Jeep, he stopped. Mason walked more slowly. The minute he was out of sight of the store and the other vehicle, he pulled his radio from his belt. “Dispatch, this is Special Agent Mason Arquette, park service. I’m at Big Horn General Store. Check with the ATF and DEA; see if they have anything going on out here.”
Riece’s eyebrows shot up and he sucked in a breath. Mason put one finger to his lips, then said in a low voice, “Keep an eye out for that moron kid and the woman. Let me know if they come this way.”
Riece stood at the rear of Mason’s Jeep and pulled his camera out. He aimed it at the woods to the side of the store. Mason could see Riece would have a good view of the whole area without obviously being focused on the store’s front.
A minute later Mason heard back from his dispatcher. No suspected illegal activity in the area. “Thanks.” He relayed the license plate number. “I’m not convinced they’re only here hunting, but I don’t have reason to search their vehicle.” He ended the call and stepped closer to Riece.
“They have all those gun lockers in the back,” Riece said. “And that guy was obnoxious. Even I could tell he was nervous about something.”
Mason nodded. “Hunters have guns, and the permit for his sidearm was legit. They haven’t done anything illegal.” He snorted and opened the back of his Jeep. “Hell, if being obnoxious and abrasive was against the law, I’d have been locked up for good years ago.”
Riece shrugged and made a face. “True.”
Read more teasers at LR Cafe Facebook group!
Welcome to My World