The Trials of Loyalty

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Chapter 14

Amanda stayed true to her word because come lunchtime, Savannah found two new files that weren’t there before she left to go get lunch. She couldn’t stop herself from breaking out into a near sprint as she neared her desk. Sure, Amanda said she would get the information, but she didn’t think she’d actually get it for her, and with almost no questions about it!

Placing her lunch down on the desk, Savannah sat down as she picked up the first of the two files. The file itself was blank. The only writing on it came from a sticky note Amanda must have placed with the name ‘Johnathan Miller’ written on it. Though Savannah had mainly got this for Alexander’s sake, there was a part of her that wanted to know too.

Just from first glance, Johnathan Miller graduated from Texas A&M with high honors and a bachelor’s degree in History. He got married, had his first kid and joined the navy seals all within the span of two years. After that, there isn’t anything until the day he was killed. Even then, there weren’t many details on his death with Savannah thought it was strange. Here’s a seal that’s been commentated more than a few times and all they have is a small page of text regarding his death.

Scanning through the small page, Savannah did take notice that they suspected Alexander Jackson was directly involved with his death. The report briefly mentioned how they tried to interrogate him, but he was uncooperative and fled the country soon afterward. From how Alexander told her how the interrogation went, she wasn’t surprised that he fled at all. If the government she’d sworn to protect was trying to prosecute her she would leave too.

Regardless of the lack of information in the file, Savannah tossed it aside to later give to Alexander. The file for Viktor Ivanov had a lot more in it as she had to grab it with both hands to put it in front of her. Savannah sighed, knowing she had her work cut out for her.

Viktor Ivanov was a Russian enforcer with a rap sheet a mile long: Drugs and Weapon Trafficking, Witness Intimidation. The only thing that piqued Savannah’s interest was an incident in the middle east. He was charged with Affecting the conduct of the local government with destruction. The charges never stuck but since then, he had been connected with the Jundullah terrorist movement in the middle east.

Maybe this was the connection between Viktor Ivanov and Yousef Hakim. Viktor could have been the one who handed down the orders to him to have Johnathan killed. Savannah couldn’t be sure, but it was something that was worth looking into.

As she placed Viktor’s file on top of Johnathan’s, she could hear the sound of someone walking up behind her.

“What is it you’ve come to be an asshole about this time Daniel?” She called out, hoping the guess was correct. If not, things were going to get really awkward between her and whoever was actually standing behind her.

“You knew it was me, I feel honored.” Savannah didn’t have to know that he was now sporting his trademark smirk on his face as Daniel now reached the side of her desk. “I was coming to see if you’ve got anything on the names, he gave you. Are these their files?” Daniel reached across her desk and snatched the files up without waiting to hear Savannah’s response.

“Yes, those are it and would it kill you to have some manners for once?” Savannah spoke, crossing her arms over her chest. She’d hate to admit this, but Savannah knew Daniel always had a knack for ruffling her feathers. Sometimes she thought that he had actually enjoyed knowing the fact that he pissed her off to no end.

“He left a few hours ago, but I’ll get these files to him.” Daniel walked off, the files still in his hand

“Your welcome!” Savannah called, huffing out a breath when she didn’t hear a response. Knowing him, Daniel was going to take the correct for finding the information and making the connections she had made.

In the Middle East…

After taking countless measures to make sure he wasn’t being tracked, Alexander finally arrived back in Tel Aviv. He never thought that this place would grow on him but slowly it has. When you have nothing else, you’ll take anything you could get.

By the time he got back to the safehouse, the sun had long ago set with the moon taking its place. Alexander glanced up at the moon, stopping in the middle of the road. For the first time, in a long time, he allowed himself to admire the beauty that it held. It wasn’t until he had been on the run for a year that Alexander realized he took this for granted. He missed being able to just stare up at the night sky as his mind when blank. Now, it’s constantly going. It’s constantly pushing itself to think of his next move or covering his tracks, so the FBI didn’t find him.

Still standing in the middle of the roadway, Alexander thought back to when times were much simpler. He found himself going back to the last moment before everything had gone to shit.

Five Years Ago, …

Alexander was currently over at Johnathan’s quaint cottage, spending time with him and his family. It was the summer season and Johnathan suggested that they all have a cookout of sorts.

As Johnathan manned the grill and his wife Rose was inside getting everything else ready, Alexander was in the backyard with their son Jacob. The two of them were throwing a football back and forth. With Jacob starting to get into football and Alexander being a football player in high school, he offered to help the kid out. Without his own kids or nieces and nephews to care for, Alexander took up the role of uncle Alex for Jacob.

“Hey, Uncle Alex?” Jacob asked, his lisp kicking in as he tossed the ball back to him.

“What’s up bud?”

“You work next to my dad, right?” Rose and Johnathan only told Jacob that his dad was in the military. They didn’t get into the specifics of him being a navy seal. It was better for him they figured in case anything ever happened to Johnathan.

“You know I do Jacob.”

“Can you make sure that sure you always protect him?” Jacob, who was never the type of kid to get emotional, got teary-eyed as he caught the perfect spiral tossed at him.

“Of course.” For awhile Alexander stayed silent, unsure of what to say. There was something missing from their conversation, but he wasn’t sure.

“Did I ever tell you the story of when I met your father?” Jacob shook his head before lightly tossing the ball back to him. Once Alexander caught the ball, he held onto the ball as he looked up at him.

“He was finishing up boot camp as I was entering. When I first entered- I was scared. I had just left college and I was entering the military, which is a big thing to do at any age.”

“You were scared uncle Alex?” The amazement in the kid’s voice made Alexander chuckle.

“Of course, I was. But your father, seeing that helped me out. He saw that some of the more experienced people in boot camp were giving me a hard time and stuck up for me.” Alexander smiles fondly as his eyes drifted towards the ground as he recalled the memory. He left out the part of Johnathan hazing Alexander himself before accepting him under his wing. “You’re a good kid, just like your dad was Jacob. I just want to know that whatever happens, I’ll protect your father. And if he’s not here to protect you, I’ll be right there beside you.” Before Jacob could speak up, Rose called from the house.

“Come on boys, food is ready.” Alexander and Jacob looked at each other, smiles wide as they abandoned the football and darted towards the food.

After everyone finished eating, they all migrated to the living room. Rose was sitting curled up on the reclined, knitting a scarf while Alexander and Jacob were watching the Cowboys vs Giants football game. Shortly after the game had started, Johnathan’s phone rang, and he disappeared to a different part of the house. He was gone for 15 minutes before Alexander had started to get worried but did his best to hide it in front of Jacob. The last thing the boy needed was to know he was freaking out.

Just as Alexander seriously started to concerned, Johnathan appeared in the doorway of the living room. Their eyes met and Johnathan wordlessly beckoned Alexander over towards him. Careful not to alert Jacob, Alexander got up from his position on the couch and followed Johnathan to the other end of the house.

Johnathan only spoke up when the two of them were alone. “Just heard from the boss. They want us in as soon as possible.”

“What do you mean they want us in?” Alexander did his best to keep his voice low as he spoke.

“There’s apparently a situation in Iraq they want us to send us in on. Something about a terrorist compound or some shit. They want us in and ready to go in 24 hours ago.” Johnathan sighed, glancing off in the direction of his family. “I’ve got to tell my family. Get your stuff and wait outside, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” Johnathan nodded, walking back to the other part of the house

Alexander shook his head as he finally took his eyes away from the moon. This was the mission Johnathan was killed in. That was the last moment everything was normal. That was the last moment Rose and Jacob would get to see him alive. That was the last time they also got to see Alexander without a target on his back.

As he continued making his way back to his safehouse, he thinks back onto the promise he made Jacob. It breaks Alexander’s heart to know that he couldn’t keep that promise to Johnathan’s son and wife.

When Savannah and Daniel wondered why he would turn himself in, he almost gave them the real reason. He needed to do whatever that took to keep the promise he made to Jacob. If that meant putting himself behind bars so Jacob could go on living a normal life without having to worry about not only his dead father but his uncle on the run.

Everything would fix itself soon enough, all Alexander needed was a little more time. A little more time to make everything right for Jacob.

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