Leigh didn’t want to examine exactly why he felt the need to make Mia his responsibility. Yeah, he couldn’t ignore how intelligent and daring—and if he were being completely honest—how goddamn sexy she was, but he’d never done anything in his life for any other reason than duty. And, he assured himself, that was what this also came down to—his obligations. She’d almost been killed under his watch. He had to find the traitor and protect his people, even if that meant going outside the regulations to achieve his ends.
“I’ve put a lot of thought into what you did,” he started, choosing his words carefully. “And the way I see it, you have nothing left to lose. So the classified information I’m about to tell you cannot be repeated; otherwise I will see you buried.”
Her eyes widened a touch, and his conscience kicked him with a vicious jolt of guilt at threatening and possibly scaring her. This could get them both killed or dishonorably discharged and dumped in prison.
“I’ve been given reason to believe there’s a mole in the fighter-pilot squadron.”
“So it’s true? I heard rumors, but I didn’t believe—”
“It’s true.” A small swell of dismay washed through him that apparently gossip about the moles had spread so far already. “There could be as many as a dozen on the ship.”
She crossed her arms, expression somber. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Instead of reporting what you did this morning, I want you to use your specializied skills to help me find the mole in my squad.”
She took a deep breath, seeming to process what was no doubt an unexpected request. “Accessing the systems one time for an hour was a risk. But this will require me to spend hours searching all kinds of data and accessing all kinds of stuff. It will increase the chance of getting caught by an infinite amount.”
“I know, which is why I want you to use my datapad. If someone does pick up the activity, it’ll come back to me.”
A cynical half smile tilted her lips up. “And will anyone believe that you had the necessary skills to do something like this?”
He shrugged. “I’m sure they won’t. But they won’t ask, and I won’t tell. There’s a chance I’d be able to use my years of service to get out of it lightly, whereas you would take the fall. But that’s only if we get caught.”
About the author:
Jess has been making up stories ever since she can remember. Though her messy handwriting made it hard for anyone else to read them, she wasn’t deterred and now she gets to make up stories for a living. She loves loud music, a good book on a rainy day, and probably spends too much time watching too many TV shows. Jess lives in regional Victoria, Australia, with her very supportive husband, three daughters, one ball-obsessed border collie, and one cat who thinks he’s one of the kids.