Betrayal by John T. Lescroart

By John T. Lescroart

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Find an empty spot and claim it. Showers are all yours. Dinner's at eighteen hundred hours, forty minutes from now. " Evan tamped down a smile. " Allstrong cocked his head. " * * * IT HAD COME TO DARKNESS outside through the windows, but even inside, the noise never seemed to end. Planes took off and landed at all times. Beyond that constant barrage of white noise, Evan was aware of the hum of generators and the barking of dogs. He'd gotten his men fed and settled and now he sat in a canvas-backed director's chair in the spacious double-wide room at the end of a trailer that served as one of Allstrong's personal offices.

He wasn't expecting us. " "Yeah, he called. " "We've got our own on board," Evan said. " Allstrong's face showed something like sympathy. " "Three days driving up from Kuwait with a Halliburton convoy, four days wandering around between here and Baghdad, watching out for looters and getting passed off around the brass. Now here we are. If you don't mind, sir, none of my men have seen a bed or a regular meal or a shower since we landed. " Allstrong squinted through the wind at Evan, then looked over to the small line of Humvees, with their M60 Vietnam-era machine guns mounted on their roofs, exhausted-looking and dirty men standing behind them.

From the crowd on the sidewalks, including women and children, no one would conclude that they were in a war zone, though. Merchants had lined up where most of the traffic into the Green Zone had to pass, and the street had the air of a bazaar—makeshift stands sold everything from clothing to batteries, toilet paper to money to candy. Nolan, taking it in, seemed to be enjoying it all. Finally, he caught Evan's eye and grinned over the hood of the car. "We can make it in half the time if we walk.

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