“If you don’t want to keep them waiting, you need to be wheels up in fifty minutes.”
Rapp swore to himself. He always kept a go bag packed in his car, so that wasn’t a concern, but he needed to talk to Scott Coleman and get him to sweep Lewis’s office.
“Anything I can help with?” Kennedy offered.
Rapp almost laughed at the question but before he could reply there was a muted knock on the door and then it opened. Rapp looked over to see six-foot-three Chuck O’Brien enter the room. The ruddyfaced director of the National Clandestine Service had been with Langley for thirty-three years, and if Rapp was reading his clenched jaw and austere expression right, they were about to get some bad news.
“Sorry to intrude,” O’Brien covered the distance in a few long strides and pulled up next to Rapp, “but some info just got kicked up to me.”
“What’s that?” Kennedy asked.
“Apparently, Glen Adams decided to take a little unauthorized trip.”
“Huh?” Rapp asked, more than a little surprised that the alarm bells were already being sounded that the CIA’s inspector general had gone missing.
Kennedy asked, “Where to?”
“Venezuela,” O’Brien answered. “He landed in Caracas about an hour and a half ago. Left JFK late last night.”
“Caracas?” Kennedy asked with a puzzled look on her face. “Why Caracas? Does he have any relatives down there?”
“Not that I know of.”
Kennedy slowly turned her gaze to Rapp. “Any idea why Glen Adams would take an unannounced trip to Venezuela?”
Rapp unflinchingly returned his boss’s stare, shook his head twice, and said, “How the hell would I know? We’re not exactly drinking buddies.”
FORTUNATELY for Rapp, Scott Coleman wasn’t big on sleep. The retired Navy SEAL had returned home from the operation in New York at 4:00 A.M. and after three short hours of sack time he’d gotten up and started his day. By the time Rapp called, Coleman had already hit the gym and gotten in a five-mile run. Coleman confirmed that he could meet Rapp at one of their usual spots in twenty minutes. Rapp grabbed his go bag from the trunk of his sedan and took a quick shower in the men’s locker room of Langley’s fitness center. Ten minutes after leaving Kennedy’s office he was in his car and heading west.
Rapp exited the main gate, got onto Dolley Madison Boulevard, and grabbed his phone. After searching his address book he found the mobile number for Maggie Nash and punched the call button. Through his Bluetooth earpiece he listened to the line ring.
On the fifth chime a familiar upbeat voice answered, “Maggie Nash.”
“Hi, Maggie . . . it’s Mitch. How are you?”
“Fine,” she answered in a cautious voice.
Maggie was a great person and Rapp had always gotten along with her. He knew immediately by the uncertainty in her voice that she had talked with her husband. “You spoke with Mike?”
Rapp had to multitask. He had to get Maggie to see things from his perspective and he had to make sure he made it to his next meeting without the wrong person or group following him. Fortunately, he had grown up only a few miles from Langley and knew the winding residential streets as if he’d laid them out himself. It was the ideal terrain to detect surveillance. With all the parks and creeks there were a lot of dead-ends and if it turned out the FBI was following him he could always fall back on the fact that there were hundreds of foreign spies in Washington who would love to know what he was up to. Being security conscious, and aware of America’s enemies, was a big part of his job. That was both his reality and his cover, but the sad fact was that he was now more worried about his own government following him than the Chinese or the Russians.
“Did he tell you we had a little problem this morning?”
“Maggie, I don’t expect you to take any side other than your husband’s, but I’d like you to hear me out on a few things.”
“I care a great deal about you and the kids. I think of Mike as a brother. I’d risk my life to save him and he’d do the same for me.” Rapp cut down Vincent Place and turned onto Elm Street two short blocks later. The truth was he had already risked his life to save him and Maggie knew it. “I’m worried about him.”
Maggie sighed and emotion flooded her voice, “I don’t know what happened between you two this morning . . . he wouldn’t talk about it, but I do know he is extremely upset and because you guys live such a screwed-up life, and can’t talk about anything that you do, I don’t have the slightest idea how to help him.”
Rapp turned on to Chain Bridge Road, relieved that Nash had at least informed her that there was a problem. “Maggie, I need you to listen to me and I need you to understand that this comes from the heart. I’m damaged goods. I’m good at my job and that’s about it. I’ve given up on ever having a normal life. But—”