Font Size:  

Kennedy nodded. “And you didn’t bring your cell phone?”

“I had it with me.”

“But you turned it off and took out the battery.”

Rapp shrugged as if to say, what do you expect. “Call me paranoid.”

“No doubt . . . and if I need to get hold of you?” Kennedy asked.

“You’d leave me a message, and I’d call you back, or try Stan’s number next time.”

“He’s no better than you are. He never answers his phone. I’m not even sure he has a phone, now that I think of it.”

“I call him all the time.”

Kennedy eyed him. “I’m never going to get anywhere with you on this, am I?”

Rapp shook his head. “Listen, before we get too far off track, did you know that this meeting was going to be about a big PR offensive?”

“Of course not,” Kennedy answered. “I know better than to waste your time.”

“So, if he’s as smart a guy as you say he is, how could he possibly think I’d go along with something like this?”

Kennedy picked up a small tube of hand lotion. “I think he was a bit desperate.” She squirted a dollop the size of a quarter into her palm and began rubbing her hands together. “The president has good instincts. He can see where this is all headed. We haven’t even finished burying all the dead from last week and in certain circles he’s being labeled as weak on terror. You have to remember, he ran on a rule-oflaw platform, and now we’ve been hit.”

“And so the brave thing to do is launch a PR offensive.”

“Theirs is a different world, Mitch.” Kennedy shrugged. “The president told me himself that he is really frustrated with the FBI.”


“Because they have come up with nothing. They know very little about the men who carried out the attack. And the three men who are still at large. They’ve vanished.”

“Well, don’t get mad at the FBI. They’re operating within the very constraints the president campaigned on.”

“And that,” Kennedy said, “I suspect is why he wanted to sit down with you and Mike.”

“But Dickerson waved him off,” Rapp said.

“Correct, and to be honest, I’m not sure it wasn’t wise counsel.”

“God forbid the president get a little dose of reality. Maybe sign an executive order that allows us to really go after these guys.”

“Be careful what you wish for, Mitchell.”

“If I could wish for anything it would be some damn support from the White House and the Hill.”

“As foreign as it seems, that’s what Gabe was trying to offer you, but for reasons that I completely understand you would prefer to not have your image splashed across the world media outlets.” Kennedy hit the space bar on her computer to take it out of sleep mode. “The PR offensive isn’t a bad idea. You’re just the wrong guy for it. You know as well as anyone that it would be nice to get some of our esteemed senators and representatives to back us a bit more. It has been a long time since . . .”

Rapp stopped listening. His mind was wondering off down a path that involved a bird in his hand and two in the bush, or was it a stone and two birds? Whichever it was he saw an opportunity.

“Are you listening to a word I’m saying?” Kennedy asked.

Rapp shook the dazed look from his eyes and said, “Sorry, I was just thinking of something else.”

“Were you guys drinking last night?” Kennedy thought of Hurley and his colorful history and said, “That was a stupid question. You were at Stan Hurley’s lake house . . . of course you were drinking. Where is Mike, by the way?”

Rapp thought about his roadside confrontation with Nash and wondered how he would explain to his boss that one of her most valued operatives was experiencing a mental collapse.

Articles you may like