Warning: The next several chapters are pretty intense in many ways. Some strong language and some pretty major emotional, action-packed and suspenseful scenes.

Full Circle, Chapter Thirty Six

Her heart ached. Nothing remained but a deep emptiness.

By the time she had walked back to town and was heading down the street toward the plant, Heather had calmed down considerably, not that it helped how she felt. The reality remained: Jake had shut her out again. She had run full out until she was out of sight of the barn, tears almost blinding her that she had nearly tripped over a old log across the deer trail she had been following. She just had to get away from Jake, away from the pain, away from her confusion over what to do. She hadn't slowed until the stitch in her side reminded her that she was not a good runner. The weight of her backpack was almost as heavy as her heart.

At least taking the long way through offroad trails avoiding the roadblock had given her time to think. She regretted being so argumentative with Jake, but the pain in her heart was real and had only been growing in recent weeks as she felt the distance between the two of them growing. He was secretive about many things and most of them concerned the government and Emily. She had hoped that as they got to know each other better that he would let her in more. Jake had with some things, telling her stories from his five years away, stories from his childhood that no one else knew, the mistakes he had made, things he had seen and even sharing some of his frustrations and concerns about the current government with her. She often gave him advice as he did her on things as they talked about their own challenges, hers with dealing with the plant and workshops and his dealing with the residents of Jericho, Ravenwood, City Hall and the military. They had become a couple, a relationship like she had only dreamed about, or so she thought. But whatever Jake was up to during these periodic trips out of town was off limits. Jake clammed up and got angry when she pushed. She often saw the worry on his face and heard the concern in his voice and knew he was afraid at times, especially where their country was heading and what it meant for Jericho, but very little of it he seemed willing to share with her. Their times together in recent weeks were enjoyable, but seemed shadowed by the distance that had been growing between them, silence more times than not that made Heather worry about her worst fears... that Jake had been growing tired of her. And that he hadn't been willing to stand up against Ravenwood until the last minute bothered her too, making her take matters into her own hands. A guy was supposed to stand up for their girl's honor, right? Then again, maybe Heather was still a hopeless romantic with unrealistic beliefs of what a relationship should be like.

Doing what she had against the Ravenwood men had taken a lot out of her, more willpower and flair than she thought she had within her. But they had made her mad, not just at them, but also at Jake for letting them get away with the way they behaved. Jake had seemed reluctant to do much against them. The Jake she thought she knew stood up for what was right, even if he had to use his fists to do so, much to her chagrin but she had come to accept that part of him. But in recent weeks, even he had stopped complaining about Ravenwood, despite all the complaints they had received at City Hall and the stories they heard. Jake seemed to have been ignoring it. But why?

Perhaps to avoid attention to whatever he was up to with Emily and Hawkins, the little voice in her head told her. Sometimes she hated being so analytical. She knew that she overthought things too much. She had been trying to ignore this issue, hoping it was just her imagination and was nothing important. Jake asked her to trust him, but how far should that trust go? Especially when her heart was telling her to be careful. Jake had gotten into trouble in the past. She thought he was passed that, but was he really?

What if Jake was involved in something bad again, something he didn't want Ravenwood to know or ask about? Something so horrible that he couldn't even share it with her? He had said it was dangerous and she had seen the look of fear in his eyes on more than one occasion when she pressed him about it. She had learned from Gail that no one in their family had known that Jake had been involved with crime with Jonah until Chris Prowse had been killed. Heather didn't see this as a good sign, especially since it seemed as if Jake was following the same pattern as before... seeming like a good guy, but involved in questionable activities in secret.

After the conversation she had overheard with Lt. Williams and with what Emily had said, she had only worried more, knowing what Jake was doing was somehow related to Robert Hawkins. The former Jericho resident was still on the Cheyenne's Top Ten Wanted list. There were some rumors that he was an ex-cop and maybe even an ex-convict on the run from the government and that was why he had disappeared after the military had shown up, but none of it could be substantiated. The rumors had grown more wild lately as Ravenwood had been checking into the matter of Hawkins' disappearance again, doing searches and asking people the same questions that the military had once asked. She had overheard Jake and Lt. Williams mentioning that Hawkins may have murdered Sarah Mason and might be involved in terrorism, but she hadn't been able to get any more information about that, even though Mary had mentioned something about it in the reports she had been typing up for Eric. What if Jake was slipping back into his old ways of crime and misconduct and she was just too blind to see it? What if he and Emily were just using the government as a ticket out of boring Jericho together?

Heather was slowly starting to put two and two together. Jake was involved with Robert Hawkins and was going out to meet with him on these trips. But why did it involve Emily now and what were they really up to? She tried to not consider that he was really just going away with Emily to spend time with her. The whole story of taking Emily to visit her aunt hadn't rang true. She knew that Emily didn't get along well with her aunt. She hadn't even invited her to her wedding. But she knew Emily still had feelings for Jake and didn't like his relationship with Heather. She and Emily had barely spoken in the months since she and Jake had started getting serious. But how did Jake feel about Emily? That was one thing Heather wasn't sure about. During one of the recent workshops, Heather had overheard Angie telling Mary about the party at Emily's house and mentioning how sad it was that the two town sweethearts of Jake and Emily were still apart when they obviously still had feelings for one another. Mary had only glanced at Heather and said that there was more to Jake Green than most people knew.

Heather knew she shouldn't be jealous, but when it came to Emily, she just didn't know what to think anymore. Emily had told her that Jake always came back to her and if Jake couldn't trust her with what he was up to, maybe Emily was right. Maybe she was just too blind and naive to see that Emily and Jake were getting close again. She had never had a real relationship before and was struggling as her feelings for Jake had only deepened over the months they were spending together. When he had been shot last month, she had nearly lost her mind with worry. She was afraid that she was feeling too much and wasn't sure how much Jake shared the same feelings. They had yet to say the magic words of 'I love you', though she certainly knew that she was deeply in love with him and had nearly said the words herself, but their distance had reminded her to hold back, to try and protect her heart from what could be heartbreak if all her fears were true. But the look in his eyes, the way Jake talked to her and trusted her with most other things, and the way he treated her spoke volumes to her, or at least she thought they did. Maybe she was just reading too much into it. Maybe Jake was just acting around her like Emily was with Major Williams. Maybe Jake was just enjoying their time together for now. Maybe it was just as it looked, that Jake and Emily were planning to get back together and head to Cheyenne to work. Maybe they were meeting with Hawkins to eventually turn him in to the Cheyenne government. He was a terrorist and wanted criminal after all. Perhaps that was the danger Jake had been referring to. The rumors Ted heard from the Underground said that the Cheyenne government was hiring all kinds of people to work for them, regardless of their criminal past. With Jake's questionable background and Emily's link to Jonah Prowse, maybe they were just the type of people the government was looking for. Heather had just thought Jake had gotten over his past and had changed and was trying to be a better person. Maybe she was wrong and too infatuated to notice. All the movies, self-help books and magazines claimed that bad boys would always be bad boys, that they couldn't be changed. What if they were right? Maybe Jake really hadn't changed, at least not enough. Maybe she was just too blind to see it.

Too many maybe's, what if's and not enough enough answers. Her mind was racing and clouded by too many feelings.

As Heather walked down the driveway to the plant, her attention caught on the line of horse-drawn wagons heading into town. It was rations day. Every Tuesday, the area farmers brought food into town to be redistributed at the warehouse near City Hall. On their way back home, they often stopped by the plant to have equipment and other metal parts repaired and pick up spare parts for their farming equipment and purchase other materials from their small growing product line of metal parts, nails and staples which were traded at the unit rates according to the charter. They were still trying to make fencing wire yet. Their biggest problem was going to be making rust-proof metal, something they were still working on. But if the farmers were coming to the plant, at least it would give them something to do at the plant today. It was too hot to work inside without air conditioning and they were sending most of the plant workers home instead of working. There was more than enough work to do elsewhere on the farms that she knew the workers would be able to find work elsewhere if needed. The charter system was working well, allowing farmers to trade at the plant for supplies while her plant workers also received a share of rations and other credits that allowed them to purchase food, services from town and even lease land for farming. Most of the workers had farm jobs and their own plots of land for gardens or worked doing odd jobs around town. Or they would do what she and Jake had been planning, take the day off and go swimming, spending time with their loved ones and friends.


As she walked up to the plant, Heather resolved to dive into work and not think about Jake for a few hours. Her heart couldn't take any more, not right now. Wiping the last of her tears from her cheeks, she went inside.

The door to Emily's house opened after Jake's second pounding on the door. He had rang the doorbell and knocked on the door at the same time. No one had answered at first though Jake had heard the doorbell echoing inside the house when he rang it. Emily should still be home. Parked on the street outside the house was a military Humvee with two soldiers in it, the engine idling, waiting to take Emily and Angie to the outpost. Emily had never been a morning person either, though Jake was starting to become one thanks to Heather. By his best guess, it was after nine o'clock now.

Someone had to be home, damn it. Angie, Krissie and Tammy also stayed with Emily now; a regular girl's club. And Emily's house in the Pines had become a bit of a party spot according to the rumors he heard.

It had taken nearly an hour to catch two horses, put them in stalls in preparation for the trip tomorrow and check them out to make sure they were sound. The second horse he had caught had been favoring a foreleg a bit too much and he had had to trim his hooves, let him go and capture another horse instead. Now, Jake was sweaty and hot in addition to being angry. The long walk back to town taking the overland trails had done little to improve his mood. He had taken the time to double check on the Ravenwood roadblock to make sure Heather hadn't run into any trouble with the military contractors on the way back to town. Fortunately, the contractors were playing cards again and hadn't seen Jake as he walked around them.

The door to Emily's house slowly opened. Jake gritted his teeth and lifted his jaw, reminding himself not to yell and make a scene if it was Emily. Not with the military watching.

"Jake?" It was Emily who answered the door. She wore a cool summer dress and was made up, including lipstick and he thought he detected the scent of her usual perfume. He wondered if Major Williams was due for another visit. Emily usually didn't go all out typically. Was that a blast of cool air he felt coming from the house? Was Emily running her air conditioning against the edict? Her eyes glanced over his face and she must have guessed his mood. She tightened her lips together, her current distaste for him showing.

"We gotta go tomorrow. Same time." Jake told her quickly then turned to walk away. The last thing he wanted to do was to fight with Emily.

"Jake?" Emily called out. She took a quick step forward and grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks. Her fingers were cool against the hot skin of his arm. The front door closed behind her. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." He turned towards her to yank his arm away. He saw Emily raising her eyebrows questioningly. Then the dam began to burst, his anger breaking forth. Emily was probably to blame for some of this anyway. He jerked his arm out of her grasp. "All right, since you asked, what the hell did you say to Heather?"

"To Heather? About what?" Emily asked, looking confused.

"You told her something about what we're doing with Hawkins!" Jake yelled, trying to keep his voice down. The engine of the Humvee on the street was noisy. He hoped it would cover what they were saying.

"So, you two had a fight?" Emily cocked her head at him, her arms folding across her chest. Her expression looked curious with a touch of something more. Triumph? "I thought she already knew. She already knew some of it."

"I told you not to tell anyone!" Jake shouted at her, his voice louder than he meant. So Heather had figured out some of what was going on. Damn it. No doubt Emily had helped her along, unwittingly. Or not, he wondered. But how long had Heather known? He hadn't noticed any obvious signs, other than Heather withdrawing from him more lately. His attention caught on blinds being hastily closed from a window on the second floor of Emily's house. One of the other women that stayed with Emily must still be home, probably Angie.

"Not even Heather?" Emily looked like she was trying not to smile.

"Especially Heather!" Jake hissed, lowering his voice. He had warned Emily all along and even Hawkins had given her a lecture about the dangers they were facing and how serious it was. "I told you that people were being killed for what we know. You know how dangerous this is!"

"Jake, you can't keep secrets like this. She deserves to know what we're doing. You haven't even told me everything. If you really do care for her, you would tell her more." Emily chastised him. Jake wondered if Emily had talked to Eric or Stanley about this. Both of them had been on his case about keeping secrets, especially from Heather and his mother. But they had no idea about the kinds of secrets he was keeping. If they did, they wouldn't complain. "You never did used to tell me everything you were up to and you know what happened. And you wonder why I won't ever fully trust you again?"

"That happened long ago." The pain of Chris's death hit him again. Always, things seemed to come back to the same arguments between them. He had grown up since then, especially in the past year. He had good reasons to be keeping secrets now, right?

"You won't even tell me what it is that Hawkins has that's so important. The whole time I was with you two, you tiptoed around it using some code word calling it the package."

"I told you, it's proof that someone in Cheyenne was behind the bombs." Jake reminded her. He had told her this after Emily had hounded him on the entire trip home to tell her what they were really hiding.

"But what kind of proof? Documents? A witness? What?"

"I can't tell you."

"Then at least tell Heather, tell her what we're up to... if she is the one you think you're in love with." Emily spat at him, but Jake wasn't sure if it was a question, statement or accusation.

"I am in love with her!" Jake confessed and regretted the words immediately. He saw Emily's eyes widen with shock and hurt. She knew how hard it was for him to say those words. But the thought of Heather filled him with warmth and a rush of feelings, feelings he had slowly been getting used to over the past weeks... the knowledge of how much Heather meant to him. But the look of hurt on Heather's face flashed across his thoughts too. He might lose her after today. If only he could make her understand that he was just trying to keep her safe. Why couldn't Heather trust him?

"Then stop being an ass, Jake!" Emily retorted as she turned her back on him and began walking away.

He didn't want to hear condemnation, especially from Emily. She didn't understand. He had to protect Heather and all of them from what was going on. He didn't need Emily bringing their own relationship problems into it, least of all her jealousy. He needed to talk to Heather. Once he calmed down.

"Six a.m. tomorrow. And I don't wanna have to wait for you this time!" He shouted at her back before she disappeared back into the house. The last trip, Emily hadn't been ready, making him wait nearly an hour until they were able to walk out to the ranch to get the horses. He could have walked out to the ranch and gotten the horses in that time. Maybe this time he'd show up at her door with the horses. It was going to be a long ride out to Mingo where Emily's aunt lived, then up to the cabin where they would meet with Hawkins. With the current heat wave, it would be easier on them and the horses if they did most of the traveling during the cooler hours of the day.

Emily slammed her front door shut.

"Do you think you can close that without banging it every time?" Jake yelled across the room at Bill, who had been busy filing for the past half hour and had the annoying habit of slamming shut the drawers of the old file cabinet every time he did so.

There were a few nervous coughs then silence. Jake didn't even look up. The only sound was the quiet hum of the fan in the corner that was barely stirring up the air and not coming close to actually cooling anything. Periodically, it would stop whenever another brownout hit, shutting off the power and the few lights they had on with it. No one paid much notice to the power outages. They were all used to them now. But at least occasional power was better than none at all.

The simmering heat of the day made even City Hall unbearably hot. It was barely cooler inside than out. Jake sat in the open area of the sheriff's office going over charter ledgers and reports as others worked on police business at the nearby desks. Piles of paper covered the desk in front of him. Despite the windows all being open in City Hall, he didn't worry that a gust of wind would come along and scatter his papers. There had been little to no wind all day so far, which meant that power was going to be a problem again tonight when people got home for dinner. Brownouts were commonplace and they were starting to have hours without power now, especially in the late afternoon and evenings.

Jake's head was pounding and not just from the heat. He rubbed his forehead and felt the dampness of sweat. Numbers swam in front of his eyes. He refocused on the ledger in front of him, regretting that he had skipped most math classes in high school and had only barely passed the necessary mathematics classes at Embry thanks to a tutor. The ledger had included numbers such as trends and other statistics. It might as well have been gibberish, even though he had a legend and summary report that spelled out what the numbers meant. One of their accountants had been big on statistics but had promised to fix the numbers so that they looked credible and didn't show the true success the charter had been thus far. Productivity had improved in Jericho since the charter had been put in place but they didn't want the government to necessarily know that. But it was still too early to tell how well the charter was working. There had been some complaints and issues with it so far and some abuses as well as a few kinks to work out. It wasn't a perfect system and there were times when Jake wondered if it was even worth it. They could just go back to waiting for the government to fix everything.

Footsteps approached him.

"Jake, will you go out to the Grendeski's and complete this complaint form with them?" Jimmy asked him, breaking his concentration. The new acting sheriff of Jericho hovered over Jake holding a piece of paper. Like the rest of the deputies, Jimmy had been dressing down and wore shorts and a short sleeve Jericho police uniform shirt. Jake vaguely recognized it as an older uniform from back in the Eighties. He wondered where Jimmy had found it. "Her nephew came by the rations center this morning and said that Ravenwood had been snooping around their yard the other day."

Tempers were also running high as were the number of complaints. Jake's temper especially. He didn't have time for this.

"Why don't they come in and file the complaint?" Jake grumbled, glancing at Jimmy then looking back down at the ledger in front of him. It was standard procedure for people to come into the sheriff's office to file a complaint and get interviewed in case there were any other facts that needed to go into the report. They would follow up complaints with an investigation if required to see if any criminal activity had taken place. If Ravenwood was involved, they would add to the growing list of issues Gray and Eric reviewed each week with Lt. Brady and Goetz.

"She's in a wheelchair?" Jimmy reminded Jake as he inched the paper closer to Jake. Jake eyed the report form and saw some hastily notes made on the form where someone had begun to fill it out already.

"Then ask Eric to do it." He belatedly remembered Mrs. Grendeski and her young nephew who was taking care of her. Mrs. Grendeski had been paralyzed in a car accident back when Jake had been in high school. Her house was next to the old Thompon house, the one that Robert Hawkins had purchased and lived in... and where he had hid the package for several months. Why would Ravenwood be checking out nearby properties? Looking for conspiracies most likely, knowing Goetz.

"He's still not back from the military outpost." Since he had been running late, Jake had missed the bi-weekly morning meeting with Lt. Brady, Larry Stevens, Jimmy, Eric and Goetz. Eric was acting mayor while Gray was in Cheyenne. Thus, Lt. Brady had asked Eric to come down to the outpost to meet with a government accountant and go over their charter report numbers. "And he's busy with mayor stuff."

"Send Tyler to do it." Jake threw back, glancing at the young deputy who eyed him cautiously from behind the typewriter as he typed up last week's incident report. The tapping of the typewriter had been driving Jake nuts all morning, the noise adding to his headache.

"I want you to do it." Jimmy looked uncomfortable but his voice was strong as he met Jake's eyes. This was an order. Jake had been the one who had told Jimmy that he needed to stand up and be in charge.

Jake glanced around the sheriff's office and saw eyes look away before they met his. Bill, Tyler Stevens, and the new deputy-in-training Ricky Smith were working in the office that day. They had been avoiding him like the plague, probably since he had been angry all day. For lunch, he had munched on one of the egg sandwiches Margaret Taylor had made for the group of them and continued pouring over the charter reports and ledgers that still covered the desk in front of him, making sure that the numbers looked fudged enough that the government wouldn't get too suspicious if they came looking for more detailed data. They had been adjusting the numbers to make it look like they weren't as prosperous as they really were, in hopes that the Cheyenne government wouldn't ask for much more supplies and trade goods from Jericho. But still, Jake worried about what was happening down at the military outpost with Eric's meeting. Would the government ask more of them? Would Eric have the guts to mention the problems they had been having with Ravenwood with Lt. Brady or anyone else there?

Ravenwood. Heather. The barn, the tears in Heather's eyes. Heather running away.

His thoughts kept running in circles, making it hard for him to concentrate. He had been argumentative all morning. The deputies, including the new sheriff Jimmy, had been giving him a wide berth all day so far. His eyes came to rest on the piece of paper Jimmy was holding out to him. Jimmy probably wanted him out from underfoot.

"All right. But tell Eric I need to talk to him about Ravenwood when he gets back." Jake snapped the complaint form out of Jimmy's hand, much like Ravenwood had yanked his id paper from him that morning He cringed to himself and strode out of the sheriff's office and out of City Hall. He could have sworn he heard sighs of relief as he left.

The temperature on the thermometer just outside City Hall read 98 degrees and it was in the shade..

The sun was still shining bright high in the sky. As he walked down the street, Jake could feel the afternoon heat roiling up from the concrete sidewalks. It had been cooler inside City Hall, but not by much. The heat was doing little to calm his temper. The air was still and muggy and the lone wind turbine near City Hall was barely turning, thus why they were having brownouts. Main Street was mostly empty and he could see and feel why. It was the peak of the afternoon and it was blazing hot. Most people were likely working indoors or had gone swimming or on one of the field trips to the mines or area caves. He should have been working at the rations center this afternoon like he had intended, but he couldn't stomach the thought of having to be nice and courteous with the workers they had there, mostly teenagers and older residents of Jericho who supervised them. That and the news that government was looking at their charter reports had sent him into a panic, worried that they might find something wrong. He had also intended to spend the afternoon swimming with Heather, but that red handkerchief on the barn door had changed that too. To say that his day was not going as planned was an understatement.


She would be down at the plant working and probably doing too much as usual. He could see her working alongside Ted and the other plant workers. Most of the workers were men, some of them single and a few responsible ones who had come in as refugees and were just biding their times until things returned to normal and they could get back to their careers and lives elsewhere. He had seen the way some of them watched and looked at Heather. Maybe Heather would be better off with one of them or even Ted; men who didn't have questionable pasts like he did, or who were involved in plots hiding nuclear bombs and trying to bring down the new federal government with a man who was number one on their Top Ten Wanted list.

Heather had found out about Hawkins...

He didn't want to think about the implications of that. He would have to come up with a better story to explain it away. Or just ask Heather to trust him again. Heather might not have been so upset if they hadn't had trouble with Ravenwood.


In his mind, he kept going over what had happened that morning with Ravenwood and Heather; the rude things the Ravenwood men had said, pride in the way Heather had dealt with the men.

He had thought that the encounter with Ravenwood had been bad enough but then everything had all gone downhill from there as soon as he had seen the handkerchief tied to the barn door... the look of hurt and anger on Heather's face, Heather not trusting him and not understanding what was really going on and his strong belief that he couldn't tell her either. Why couldn't Heather understand and believe in him? He wasn't sure what hurt more, the look of hurt on Heather's face or her lack of trust. Or maybe it was just all mixed up with the frustration and anguish that was churning inside him now... the feeling that things were unsettled and not right.

Maybe it was a sign that once again, he wasn't meant to have a real relationship. Emily had taught him that. Maybe it would be better if he and Heather were not involved, though his heart pounded at the thought. Heather was the best thing that had happened to him in a long time, if in his entire life when he thought about it. He didn't want to lose her or lose the happiness they shared at being together. But was he making too much of their relationship? Did Heather still believe in him, especially after his sordid past? Would she still believe in him if he told her the truth or what it be too much for her to believe as well? Could she put up with his living on the edge of danger, his questioning of authority, his tendency to get into trouble? What would happen to them if things returned to normal once they had a working economy and government and normal relationships with the rest of the state and country again? What would Jake do?

He couldn't take that risk, not of losing Heather, not of losing the faith of the one person that did seem to believe in him. He would just have to make her understand and trust him still. He needed that from her.

On his way out of town, Jake passed the new military recruitment office right next door to the offices they had turned over to Ravenwood. The offices had the only vehicles parked on the street nowadays, with military Humvees and several of the Ravenwood black Hummers taking up the parking spots which used to be hard to find before the bombs went off. It was rare to see any vehicles parked on Main Street unless it was the military or a few of the vehicles that had been converted to run on ethanol. Now, it was common to see horses and wagons parked and moving up and down the streets of Jericho.

The two offices looked nearly identical. The New America flag hung in the windows from both offices along with the Ravenwood logo in the window of the Ravenwood office. Gray had turned over two of the row offices on Main Street that had belonged to a boutique and an antique shop over to the two, not that Jake or Eric had been happy about either. Both offices were crammed with desks, computers, with all sorts of posters and other propaganda on the walls. The recruiting office even had a working television and DVD player they used to show recruitment videos. Goetz had an office in the back of the Ravenwood office and even had living quarters upstairs for himself and some of his contractors. Currently, the doors to both places were wide open and both looked mostly empty of people but Jake saw Goetz talking to one of his Ravenwood men inside their office. He was tempted to go and yell at Goetz for what had happened that morning at the roadblock, but he wasn't sure he could do that without punching the man. Not in his current frame of mind. There was typically a number of Ravenwood men coming and going at all hours, so it was odd to see the office so deserted. Perhaps with the heat of the day, Goetz had sent them out on patrol or back to the camp they had set up near the military outpost. Goetz had also requested accomodations in town for the rest of his men, such as at the community center or high school, but Eric had convinced Gray Anderson to postpone making that decision until he was back from Cheyenne.

Goetz saw Jake passing by and gave him a mock salute. He and Jake had exchanged barbs off and on in the recent weeks. Jake wasn't sure what the score was anymore, but felt like he was still on the losing end since he couldn't say much more about Ravenwood without looking like he was against the military and government. And Goetz was still busy trying to tie Jake to Robert Hawkins. If only Goetz knew...

Maybe Jake could get back at Goetz with Heather's tape. He could talk to Colonel Hoffman about it once he had the tape. Then again, maybe he should let Eric handle it. Colonel Hoffman might see it as Jake being not supportive of the government and their descisions. Cursing under his breath, Jake kept walking.

It had been a long day already. He had been trying to keep himself busy and distracted all day so far and was failing miserably. All he could think about was the look on Heather's face when he had to tell her yet again that he couldn't tell her the truth about what was going on and the way she had run off crying and confused. He was miserable and frustrated. And Emily calling him an ass only made him more angry. He would have hoped Emily would have understood, knowing the dangerous things they were up to, but no, Emily seemed to be taking Heather's side on this. Couldn't he trust anyone anymore? Hawkins had said this was going to be difficult. Jake was learning that he was right.

Jake kept walking.

(To be continued...)