I know that lots of you are excited to find out how Aeron is doing in Full Circle and I get lots of queries into when book seven of the series will be published but Frei has told me that we’re not at liberty to say right now… so I decided to give you something extra, a little bit sneaky, and with copious amounts of hair gel, whiskey and stormy grays.
As Renee and Frei are currently trying to locate Aeron, it seems only fair that they keep us updated on their search, right? Even if that means they need to take a bit of a detour because you know what Aeron always says about detours…
I hope you enjoy and I’ll do my best to keep these a weekly fix for all Aeron-addicts to calm those withdrawal symptoms until Aeron’s all spruced up and ready to dazzle you Lorelei-style.
As always, please forgive any typos or any bloopers on my attempted reading. Sight is not a strength of mine at the moment and I did try not to giggle when I said ‘Caucasian trousers…’
It wasn’t helpful when the woman you loved, had fought for, bled with, cried with, and laughed with planted a kiss on your lips, told you she loved you, then threw you in a river.
Renee wasn’t impressed.
“Renee, I get that you’re mad but could you concentrate?” Frei asked as they drove toward her place not far out of Baltimore. “I’ve contacted Fleming twice and she said Aeron had touched down in St. Louis.”
“That was days ago, Urs,” Renee said tucking her blonde hair behind her ears. “There’s been no other updates, not one.”
“I know.” Frei slid down her aviators as they reached the tall, electric gates.
“Abby is always punctual with updates.” Renee folded her arms and thunked her head to the plush leather seat.
“I know.” Frei pulled them up to the garage and got out.
Renee glared at her striding off into the house. ‘Well, I’m glad that conversation was as good for you.’ She sighed and undid her seatbelt. She wasn’t sure how Theo or Susan coped with being in love with Frei. It was bad enough loving her right through to her hair gel but, if she knew Aeron was infuriating, Renee could only imagine trying to get an “I love you” out of Frei.
“I’ll get the luggage then,” she fired at the closed door and popped the trunk. It felt weird travelling anywhere without Aeron. It felt weird not hearing her snore Lorelei-style in the backseat or wonder when they were having food. Renee stroked her hand over her case. It felt weird not having to fight Aeron to haul in heavy luggage.
“Why are you fondling a suitcase?” Frei asked in her usual non-committal tone. You’d never think that they’d travelled all the way from Colorado. Not even her jeans were creased.
“Because I tend to love people who express their feelings as much as this handle so maybe it might give me some affection if I try.” Renee held her gaze with her best moody look but Frei’s face was as impassive as always. “What?”
“You need whiskey, Black,” Frei said, took the cases and strode into the house.
“Aeron doesn’t like it when I drink,” Renee muttered back then hugged herself then fought the urge to shoot something then stomped inside the plush converted outbuilding.
“She doesn’t like it when I drink either,” Frei said then handed her a glass. “But we don’t like it when she throws herself into rivers and gets caught.”
Renee downed the drink. “Why did she throw me in the river, Urs?” She stared at the glass. “I mean, I had a gun, I can shoot. Why step in front of me when I can shoot?”
“Because you heckle.” Frei downed her own glass but she had a twinkle in her icy blues.
“I’m supposed to heckle, I’m her commanding officer.” Renee put her hands on her hips.
“Yes, and I’m your superior and you are unprofessional for kissing your captain.” Frei filled up their glasses. “Consider this a disciplinary.”
Renee downed her glass. “Getting me drunk?”
“More so the hangover but I need a drink and you will take my cellphone off me and stop me calling Susan or Theo.” Frei shrugged then downed her glass and refilled both. “Fleming hasn’t called because they lost Aeron.”
Renee’s gut lurched. “Lost?”
“Physically… She touched down in St. Louis and was handed to marshals.” Frei downed her glass and waved the bottle at Renee. “Fleming was told the marshals looked authentic, they checked out, and there’s been no reports of incidents.”
“So then where is she?” Renee downed her glass and wobbled but she wasn’t sure if it was the whiskey or Frei’s update.
“Fleming thinks that Hewitt has concealed the location. She can’t exactly challenge him.” Frei filled both glasses. “She’s working on it but he is the deputy director.”
“Point me at him and I’ll…” She sighed. What would she do other than threaten to shoot him, which she wouldn’t, because Aeron didn’t like bullets. She could threaten to dart him but then he’d be out cold and that wouldn’t get her the location either. She could use vials but then Aeron might dart her just for thinking it.
“Good, the whiskey is kicking in.” Frei downed hers then put the glass to her head. “She was conscious and muttering about bugs being for short folks when they landed. That much, Fleming was able to get off the marshals from Colorado.”
Renee let out a wheezy breath. “I don’t know if that helps… I think it helps…” She thunked her head to Frei’s shoulder. “My head hurts.”
“That’s because my shoulder is not a pillow.” Frei led her over to the large sofa that Aeron had once cwtched them both on. “Fleming has a task or two for us while she tries to get information on Aeron’s location.”
Renee scowled and she could almost hear Aeron muttering about her stormy grays. “I don’t work for Abby.”
“No, but she needs us to get one of Hewitt’s favorites to talk. His name is Derek Lavelle. He heads an FBI task force,” Frei said then perched on her usual seat as if on parade. “He’s one of Jäger’s associates. I recognized his face. If we give her some leverage, it could help when we find Aeron.”
Renee slumped onto the sofa. “You know I’m in if it helps Aeron. What’s the assignment?”
“We need to catch him buying and selling slaves and we need to build a good enough case that Fleming can go in and get him talking.” Frei pulled out her laptop. “Jessie has located some of his associates and my mom has provided us with some ex-slaves.”
“So, your mom is helping out?” Renee asked, relieved to have Stosur as backup. The slavery network gave her the ‘Eebies as Aeron would say.
“Yes, and Huber.” Frei turned the laptop around and showed her a picture of Derek Lavelle. Mid-Fifties, Caucasian, trousers too tight and shirt bulging over his stomach… and yes, he even had a nice big cigar in his mouth.
“Please say I don’t need vials,” Renee slurred then rubbed at her woozy head. “Aeron will shoot me if she thinks I’ve gone near that guy.”
Frei managed a tight smile. “No, Black, this is a Worthington and Locks assignment. Your cover is that you’re there with me.”
Renee rolled her eyes. “I’m not sure Aeron would like that either.”
“Well, when you’ve shot her for kissing you and falling in love with you, you can let her shoot you back.” Frei refilled her own glass, threw ice in it and studied her screen.
“Nope,” Renee said, closing her eyes. “I’ll just let her steal your hair gel.”
Frei grunted and Renee chuckled to herself. Aeron always reminded her that sometimes a detour was actually a shortcut… guess Roberta “snooty” Worthington was getting another outing then.