by Maryn Scott
When Dr. Patricia Reynolds is asked to participate in a business consortium, the last thing she expects is an invitation to be part of a new intelligence agency, LASA—The Latin American Security Agency. As Patricia finds her niche working money laundering cases, she also finds herself pulled ever closer to one of her colleagues.
Dr. Maeve Quinn shies away from relationships, always distrustful that women only want her for her wealth. But Maeve is finding it difficult to resist the allure of the enigmatic Dr. Patricia Reynolds.
Anna Flores has finished her undercover assignment and is living in Denver with her girlfriend, Peel Primm. After surviving their ordeal in Mexico, they’re just trying to live a normal life—until Anna is dragged into a LASA operation and “normal” is turned on its head.
As Patricia, Maeve, Anna and Peel are drawn into a dangerous web, they come face-to-face with everything they have to lose, and ultimately must decide what to let go and what—or who—they can’t bear to let slip through their fingers.
A follow-up to Talented Amateur.
|Publication Date||October 13, 2022|
|Cover Designer||Kayla Mancuso|
FROM THE AUTHOR
"Anna Flores was introduced in my first novel, Talented Amateur, and I really enjoyed creating her. She’s a big talker—kind of full of herself, but is easily put in her place by her girlfriend Peel Primm and their middle-aged friend Rosita.
I wanted to tell more of her story which caused me to create a different timeline for this novel. Going Under is part prequel and part sequel to Talented Amateur. It’s Anna’s story, but also Maeve’s and Patricia’s and Peel’s. I hope you enjoy it."
Ashlee G. - This was a great book that I'd highly recommend to anyone looking for a thriller with some romance on the side.
Betty H. - Going Under by Maryn Scott is an intriguing mystery and suspense novel with a good dose of angst-ridden romance mixed in.
Bonnie S. - Great read, great plot line, well thought out characters…. You will find it hard to put this book down. Wonderful, fun read.
Natalie T. - …I found this book completely engaging. I was hooked from the very beginning and loved every minute of this novel. There are three intersecting storylines, and each adds so much to the novel. Scott does an excellent job at interweaving them without it becoming confusing. …Highly recommend a read if you like a bit of crime, and I can't wait to read Maryn Scott's next novel.
“Dr. Reynolds,” the driver greeted her as he opened the rear door of the black SUV. “I’ve been asked to remind you to have your identification ready. You won’t be able to get through the secured area without it.”
Patricia smiled at him and patted her purse. “Got it. Thank you.” Then she eyed the tall vehicle and contemplated all the obstacles in the way of her making a graceful entry into the back seat. Patricia Reynolds was only five foot three, a challenge she compensated for by wearing three-inch heels. But now the heels and the tight cut of her skirt made scaling the SUV nearly impossible. She looked to her driver.
He pointed to the running board. “If you’ll just step here and use this handhold.” He leaned in and touched the top of the doorframe. “You’ll be able to get in easily.”
Patricia appreciated that his first offer wasn’t to hoist her up and in. He offered his hand as she stepped up onto the running board and made a quick grab for the bar. Fortunately, she caught it on the first try and maneuvered into the dark leather interior. Once she was situated, he shut her door and walked around the vehicle. “We should be there in about fifteen minutes,” he said once he was back in the vehicle.
She was about to ask for details, like where exactly they were heading, but before she could speak, he accelerated quickly into traffic. Patricia leaned back and took in the sights of Washington, DC.
It was midafternoon and most of the people on the sidewalks were strolling—tourists, definitely not commuters. The street they were on was bisected by a small park through which the strollers seemed to be moving faster. She leaned forward and recognized it from her last visit to DC as a gathering place for the homeless. Just past the park, the driver called back to her. “We’re almost here, Dr. Reynolds. Please have your identification ready.”
Patricia pulled her wallet out of her bag and wrestled with the clear plastic sleeve holding it in place. At last she was able to slide the card just enough to grasp an edge with her fingertips. “Do you need it?” She lifted her license in victory.
He met her eyes in the rearview mirror. “No. The guard will come to your window.” Because of the protracted struggle with her wallet, Patricia hadn’t noticed where they’d turned, but the drive was much shorter than she’d expected.
“Is this the Eisenhower?” she asked, referring to a federal office building.
He gave her a puzzled look. “Ma’am?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know where the Commerce Department is housed.” She looked out her window. “Do all of the federal buildings have this level of security?”
He chuckled. “No, ma’am, this is not the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.” As the car in front moved through the gate, he pulled up and nodded to the building that had just come into view. “Welcome to the White House.”
She bent her head so she could look out her window and up at the building. She’d heard him correctly. They were at the White House. A thousand thoughts whirled through her mind, but uppermost was What the fuck am I doing at the White House?
The driver spoke to someone outside the car. “Dr. Patricia Reynolds.”
Her window rolled down, and a uniformed officer requested her identification. She handed it over, a bit worried that he wouldn’t recognize her from the photo. It had been a good hair day and the DMV photographer had captured her best smile. But now she knew her mouth was still hanging open, and her eyes were bugged out in shock.
Apparently it was close enough, because her appointment was verified and identification scanned. The officer handed her a visitor’s badge and returned her ID. “Please wear this around your neck and keep it visible at all times.” She immediately did as he asked. When the window closed, she turned it around so she could read it. And read it again.
“I’m meeting with the director of national security?” Patricia’s voice came out at least an octave higher than normal.
“Yes, ma’am.” He pulled up to an entrance under a portico. Before he could say more, the rear passenger door opened and a face appeared in the opening.
“Dr. Reynolds?” At her nod, the woman said, “Please come with me.” Patricia was still holding the badge in her left hand and her ID in her right. She dropped her license into her purse and grabbed for her other bag. As gracefully as possible, she reversed her entry into the vehicle.
Once safely on the ground, she poked her head back in the door and caught the driver’s eye. “Thank you. This is quite the surprise party you’ve taken me to.”
“No problem, ma’am. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
The woman who stood in front of her was dressed in a charcoal suit and white shell. Around her neck was a lanyard which held a more official version of the identification Patricia was now wearing. “Did they tell you to make sure to keep that visible at all times?” She pointed at the badge.
“They did.” Patricia looked down to ensure her jacket wasn’t covering it.
“I’m one of Director Wilson’s assistants. He’s looking forward to meeting you. Follow me, please.” She led her through a secure door into a narrow corridor where two Secret Service agents stood next to a metal detector. She handed them her bags, walked through, then watched as they thoroughly examined every section and container in her bags. Even though she knew the two men must be used to it, she still cringed when they pulled out each tampon for inspection. Finally, they handed her bags back to her. “Welcome to the White House,” one of them said.
Patricia gave him a weak smile, then turned only to find her escort had already walked off. She hurried to keep up with the woman’s purposeful stride. As they moved through rooms and corridors, she tried to take in her surroundings but found she had to focus on the back of the young woman so as not to get lost.
They rushed through a series of doors and up two flights of stairs, neither speaking. At last, they stopped in front of a door with “Director of National Security” emblazoned on the bronze plaque next to it. Patricia opened her mouth to ask a question, but she couldn’t even think of one. “Why didn’t anyone tell me I was going to the White House?” seemed like a bad place to start.
They entered the office suite where one of three desks was occupied by an older woman with steel-gray hair. She, too, wore a suit, but with a high-necked blouse closed by an old-fashioned cameo. The word formidable popped into Patricia’s mind, but it disappeared when the woman smiled. It changed her whole demeanor from schoolmarm to favorite aunt in an instant. Patricia returned the warm smile.
“Dr. Reynolds,” she said. “I’m Norma.” The briefest of pause was followed by, “Welcome to the White House.” Did her eyes twinkle a little at that statement?
She knows she has me out of sorts, Patricia thought. “Thank you,” she said. “I didn’t expect to be here.”
Norma didn’t address the comment. “Can we get you something to drink? Coffee? Water?”
Patricia was, admittedly, a little winded. She wasn’t sure if it was from the brisk walk or her nerves. “I’d love a water,” she answered. “That was quite a trek.”
“It takes a while to get used to it,” Norma said. “Would you like ice?”
“No, just water. The ice will only get in the way.”
Norma chuckled. “I’ll get you two. Follow me.” She walked down a short hallway to a closed door. After a quick knock, she turned the handle and stepped inside, holding the door open. Patricia saw another woman seated at the large table within. “Dr. Reynolds, this is Dr. Quinn.”
The woman smiled, and Patricia was surprised by all she noticed in that moment. Tiny laugh lines creased the corners of her eyes. She smiles a lot, Patricia thought, and no wonder. Her smile was her best feature, and that was saying a lot. The woman had vibrant red hair reaching just past her shoulders, and light green eyes. “Maeve,” she said as she stood and extended a hand.
“I’ll be right back with your water,” Norma said before closing the door behind her.
“Are you here for the Latin American Business Consortium?” Patricia took the seat across the table from Maeve.
“Did you know we were meeting with the director of national security? At the White House?” Patricia looked around the room as she spoke.
Maeve shook her head. “No, I expected to be at the Hoover Building. That’s where the Commerce Department is housed.”
Patricia wanted to slap her forehead. “I never thought to look,” she admitted.
Maeve brushed her hair back with her left hand, and Patricia took the opportunity to check for rings. None. Interesting. Also, good.
“I looked for a ‘Norma’ but didn’t find anyone in the Commerce Department with that name. Now I know why.”
Patricia held her gaze. “Do you know what’s going on?”
Maeve seemed ready to say more, but the door opened and Norma wheeled a cart into the room. She poured two glasses of water and carried them to Patricia, who laughed. “You’re a godsend,” she told the woman. Looking to Maeve, she said, “I got a little thirsty on the walk up here. Also, I may be a little nervous.”
Maeve gave her that big smile. “I know what you mean. I felt like she walked me through every corner of the east wing.”
“And she’s quick,” Patricia added. “I’m glad I wore heels, so I could keep her in sight at all times. Once or twice I thought she was trying to lose me.”
Norma placed a cup and saucer in front of Maeve, then set a selection of teas next to her.
There was a knock, and the door opened again. The man who entered was dressed in a suit and tie, but neither the suit nor the shirt quite fit. It was a style Patricia didn’t often see worn by her colleagues in the business school, but one that wasn’t uncommon for professors in other fields. “I’d like a coffee, whole milk, two sugars,” he said to Norma.
“Of course, Dr. Matthews.”
“Dr. Aaron Matthews, Cambridge Institute of Technology,” he said in the general direction of Maeve and Patricia.
Oh God, thought Patricia. Not one of those. In her academic career she’d interacted with colleagues from numerous institutions across the country. In any group there were those she enjoyed getting to know, and those who were consumed with their own self-importance. Aaron Matthews was no doubt in the latter category. She stood and offered her hand. “Patricia Reynolds.”
Maeve looked at Patricia with a half-smile, then made eye contact with the man. She didn’t stand or make any move to shake his hand. “Maeve Quinn,” she said.
Matthews looked between them, disdain evident on his face. “I was under the impression there would be academics at this meeting.”
They were saved from answering by the appearance of two other men, one of whom Patricia recognized as David Wilson, the director of national security. She stood and smoothed her suit jacket and skirt, then caught herself. Don’t touch your hair or adjust your clothing. It demonstrates a lack of confidence. And you must always maintain the upper hand. It was one of many of her mother’s admonitions. She glanced at Maeve, who was also standing, fingers steepled on the table.
David Wilson smiled at the group. “Thank you for coming to Washington.” He took a bin from Norma. “Before we get started, I’d like to ask you to place your cell phones in here. Norma will keep them locked away for the duration of our meeting.” He passed it to the man who had entered the room with him and taken the chair next to Maeve. He, Maeve, and Patricia all placed their phones in the basket without comment. Matthews hesitated for a moment, grunted, then dropped his in with the others.
Norma handed Wilson a stack of file folders and left with the bin.
“I also have some papers for you to sign. This meeting is highly confidential. Your signature is your agreement not to share the contents of this and any future meetings we may have with anyone at any time.”
“A standard nondisclosure?” the man who walked in with Wilson asked.
Wilson smiled. “With a little more teeth. If you violate it, you’ll face federal espionage charges.” Patricia looked up from scanning the paper to see if he was joking. He was not. “If any of you are concerned, we can stop right now and I’ll thank you for your time.” He made eye contact with each person around the table.
“By signing, am I committing to anything?” Maeve asked.
“Good question. You are merely committing to keep the contents of our meetings confidential.” The room grew quiet as the four read through the two-page document. Although she took the time to read carefully, Patricia knew she would sign. Even if she hadn’t been directed by the president of her university to participate in this group, her curiosity was piqued. She and Maeve signed. The two men did the same. Norma reentered the room and collected the folders. When the door clicked shut behind her, they all looked to the director.
“Thank you for your trust,” he said. “Shall we start with introductions? I’m David Wilson, director of national security.” He paused slightly. “At least for now.” He glanced to his left. “Dr. Eubanks? Would you mind giving us your name and occupation?”
“I’m Johnathan Eubanks. I’m a psychiatrist currently assigned to the Department of Homeland Security.” He looked to Maeve, who was seated beside him.
“Maeve Quinn, I’m a biochemistry professor at Miami Institute of Chemical Sciences.”
Patricia could feel Matthews shifting in his seat next to her. “MICS?” He was silent for several seconds. “What did you say your name was?”
David Wilson answered for her. “Dr. Quinn is not only a professor, but she also sits on the board of her family’s company, Quinn Pharmaceutical.” He looked to Patricia and nodded for her to go next.
“Patricia Reynolds, Accounting, Chicago School of Business.”
“You work in the accounting office?” Matthews, again.
Patricia tilted her head as she tried to make sense of his question. “Accounting office?”
Again, it was Wilson who offered clarity. “Dr. Reynolds is an accounting professor at the Chicago School of Business. Her name may also be familiar as her family owns one of the Big Three accounting firms on the East Coast.”
“Associate professor,” she corrected.
“Pardon me?” Wilson asked.
“I’m not a full professor yet.”
Matthews didn’t bother to wait for Wilson’s attention to shift from Patricia. “Dr. Aaron Matthews, full professor,” he emphasized. “Computer Science at Cambridge Institute of Technology. No nepotism in my past.”
Wilson stared at the man, a frown creasing his forehead. The silence was getting uncomfortable when he finally said, “Okay, let’s take a short break. Dr. Matthews, could you follow me?”
* * *
Maeve excused herself and left the conference room. Norma was alternating between clicking her mouse and typing on the keyboard. At Maeve’s approach, she looked up, the professional smile firmly in place. “May I help you, Dr. Quinn?”
“Yes. Where is the restroom?”
“Of course. We have one in the office suite, but if you’re looking to stretch your legs, go out the main door and turn left. The restrooms are two-thirds of the way down the corridor on your right.”
“Thank you. And thank you for understanding,” she added. Norma gave her a quick smile and returned her attention to her screen.
Maeve took the opportunity to leave the suite. She didn’t need a bathroom, she needed time to process. When she’d been approached by the head of her department to join a “Latin America Business Coalition,” she’d been intrigued. His pitch was that the group was looking to grow business opportunities throughout Mexico and Central America with the aim of giving citizens of the regions opportunities other than the cartels for employment.
Now it was clear that wasn’t why she was here. When she realized her meeting was with the director of national security, her first thought was concern for Quinn Pharmaceutical and corporate espionage.
That scenario didn’t fit with the other three participants. A computer scientist, a psychologist, and an accountant. Of the four, two of them had ties to large companies. Maybe she was overthinking and this really was a business consortium. She’d been told the goal was to create partnerships between academia and industry. What better way than to find someone with ties to both?
Maeve found she’d reached the end of the hall and turned to walk back. She passed the door to the women’s restroom when it opened, and Patricia Reynolds stepped out. She greeted Maeve with a smile and lifted eyebrows.
“Do you think Dr. Matthews is leaving the building as we speak?”
Maeve started to walk but then stopped and looked down at the woman beside her. “Just like that? Do you really think they’d go to the trouble to fly him out here only to send him home for arrogance?”
“Lord, I hope so.”
Maeve would usually be more circumspect in a professional conversation with someone she’d just met, but there was something about Patricia Reynolds that made her want to let down her guard. “Me too. He was an ass.”
* * *
Ten minutes later, they reconvened in the conference room. The director’s frown was gone. So was Aaron Matthews. “Dr. Matthews will not be part of our team.”
They were all silent for a moment, then Eubanks broke the tension. “Can you imagine being an undergrad in his class?”
“Yes,” Maeve and Patricia answered simultaneously.
Patricia put her hand on her chest. “Intro to British Literature. You?”
Wilson waited for their laughter to subside, then cleared his throat. “As you may have guessed by now, you are not here for a business consortium. Although the Commerce Department will create a Latin American Business Consortium, and all of you will be listed as members, that is where your involvement in their work ends.
“At the end of the year, I’ll resign as national security director, ostensibly to spend more time with my family. In reality, I’ll be leaving to create a new intelligence service, the Latin American Security Agency—LASA.”
Patricia looked across the table. Jonathan Eubanks was leaning forward, his body language open. The information appeared to be new to him too.
“Prior to my more public positions with National Security, I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency in Latin America. During the time I was there, from the mideighties through 2001, we had a large presence in the region.” He looked at each of them. “That all changed on 9/11. As you know, the failures of that day led to a restructuring of our intelligence agencies and the creation of Homeland Security. Resources that were once assigned in Latin America were reallocated to fighting Islamic terrorism. I was one of those resources, as were a large contingent of undercover agents from the military, CIA, and DEA.”
Wilson was silent for a moment. He looked around the room but no one spoke. He continued, “Of course, a large-scale withdrawal like we saw in those months, even when it is covert operatives who are being pulled out, came with consequences. We had hoped the law enforcement agencies in the region would take over our operations, but if I’m to be honest, we really didn’t care. Everyone was hell-bent on getting their pound of flesh from the Middle East.”
He paused. “We didn’t realize how precarious the hold on law and order was in the region. Since our departure, every facet of Latin American society has been infiltrated by the cartels. What you read in the papers doesn’t scratch the surface.” He took a breath and looked at each of them in turn. “Because of our neglect, the United States has several large-scale criminal organizations sitting on our border with nothing in place to stop them.”
Up until now, he’d used his hands for emphasis, but now he clasped them in front of him. “Even knowing what we do now, I’m not sure we would have made different choices. The focus on the Middle East has prevented many, many attacks on the US and our allies. But we now recognize there are threats other than religious terrorism. Approximately fifteen thousand people die from heroin overdoses every year. That’s just heroin, and that’s just overdoses. Home invasions, convenience store robberies, gang violence—all traceable to the flow of drugs coming from Latin America.” Wilson’s voice lowered. “We fought two wars over the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It’s time to declare war in Latin America.”
Patricia knew her face betrayed how stunned she was by his words. She looked across the table and saw an equally shocked look on Maeve’s face.
“I know you’re skeptical,” Wilson said. “I’m not suggesting a traditional war like we saw in Afghanistan or Iraq. I’m talking about using the strength of the American government to help the Latin American people defeat the criminals who are destroying the fabric of their societies.”
“Why don’t you just work within the existing intelligence communities? Expand the CIA? Use military intelligence?” Eubanks asked. Patricia wondered if he was really suggesting that this work belonged with his agency, Homeland Security.
“As I said, LASA will function differently from any other governmental agency. Our current restrictions allow criminals to use borders to their advantage. LASA will have intelligence and law enforcement capabilities within the Latin American region and in the US.”
“You’ll be operating in the United States?” Patricia asked.
“Yes.” Wilson focused on her. “The borders aren’t stopping cartel activity, so we can’t allow them to limit our response to that activity.” He held her gaze, but she didn’t feel he was challenging her.
“One of the other changes will be in how we recruit some of our agents. The majority will still come from law enforcement, military, and other intelligence agencies. But we’ve become predictable, and the cartels identify and eliminate too many undercover operatives. LASA needs a new type of agent. One who can infiltrate the cartels in areas they would never suspect.” He looked at all of them in turn, stopping at Maeve. “Chemists, for example.”
She laughed. “You think this red-haired, green-eyed Irish girl can infiltrate a cartel?”
“Not a chance, but not because of your coloring. You’re too well-known. No, what I need is for Professor Maeve Quinn of the Miami Institute of Chemical Sciences, to find people who can infiltrate a cartel.”
Maeve stiffened. “You want me to recruit from Quinn Pharmaceutical.”
“No.” He paused, then looked up, thinking. “But I can see us placing a recruit at Quinn to gain experience and build a credible backstory. That would be helpful.”
She shook her head. “Absolutely not. Quinn has proprietary rights to some very valuable drugs. I won’t put the company in jeopardy.”
He held up a hand. “Of course, you’re right. Before this moment, I hadn’t considered using Quinn Pharmaceutical, and I won’t ask it of you.” In the same way he’d held Patricia’s gaze a moment before, he continued to look at Maeve. She slowly nodded.
He gave her a slight smile before turning his attention back to the others. “I’d like you to be part of a very small pilot. Each of you were chosen because you have a specific area of expertise that will help us infiltrate the cartels. We’re going to offer the cartels a resource. A chemist with a safer way to produce meth, an accountant with a unique plan to launder money, a tech expert who can hack into government agencies. You help us create a product, and find and train an expert. We’ll use that expert as bait for a cartel.”
Patricia let his words sink in. Money laundering. The director of national security wanted her to come up with a way to launder money. The suggestion should outrage her, but she felt a buzz of excitement.
“Once we put the agent in place, LASA will ensure the cartel sees a temporary increase in sales or production. Then…” He turned his palms up. “Everyone wants an expert.”
“We would be giving drug cartels a way to improve their product.” Maeve’s face was red, her expression intense. “I understand your larger vision, but there’s too much room for error.”
Wilson nodded. “And we’ve made errors in just such situations in the past.” He looked at them. “I’m sure you can guess what caused those errors.” When no one spoke, he continued, “The failures can all be traced to poor interagency planning and communication. It always comes back to the same problem. A problem we’ve solved by broadening the jurisdiction of LASA.
“Dr. Reynolds, I need a way to launder money. Not on this side of the border, but in Latin America. You know the banking systems and regulations. You can find the loopholes.” He never broke eye contact. “And, eventually, I want someone who can go undercover.”
Despite her initial thrill, Patricia had deep concerns. “You want me to create an illegal operation and then find an accounting major to go undercover in Latin America? Do know how difficult that will be?”
Wilson nodded. “I do.”
“My university will never allow it,” Patricia said. She had commitments—research, a teaching load. Her excitement faded.
“The universities are getting a substantial grant for your participation in the Latin American Business Consortium. Enough that it should release you from some of the other aspects of your work.” He paused. “And the nondisclosure ensures they will never know exactly what work you’ll be doing.”
That wasn’t her only concern. If she agreed, she wasn’t just committing herself. “Why recruit college students? Why not get people already in the field? There must be accountants and chemists who are out of work or…” Patricia paused, looking for the right word.
“Are like a Walter White? From Breaking Bad?” Wilson asked. His smile was knowing. “That’s what you’re all thinking, isn’t it?” Patricia looked at the other two, who were nodding.
“First, the FBI and CIA have always recruited from college campuses. It’s a logical place to find bright young people eager to change the world. Second, agents are an investment, Dr. Reynolds. Someone who has already failed in college or is unsuccessful in their career is a poor investment.”
Maeve frowned and tilted her head at him. “I’m sorry. This doesn’t feel right. We’re in the business of, not to sound trite, but of shaping young minds. You’re suggesting we offer those minds up to you for sacrifice.” Her eyes flashed. “Because that’s what it would be, Director.”
“Not if you and I do our jobs right. I’m not creating an infantry where one soldier’s life is meaningless. These are specialized agents each fighting their own war. If we lose an agent, we lose that war.” He met each of their eyes. “If I wanted an army of college students, there are easier ways to recruit. But that’s not all I want. I want the two of you.” He gestured between Patricia and Maeve. “I want your expertise, your intelligence, and your ability to change course, to see other possibilities. What you create will be the enticement. But the person who baits the trap has to come through your programs—recruited and trained by you.”
He looked to Eubanks. “Doctor, what are the primary motivators of a drug lord?”
Eubanks didn’t hesitate. “Power. Money.” He paused. “For some, a love of violence.”
“Dr. Eubanks is a leading expert on criminal profiling. His work is being used to train intelligence and law enforcement agencies.” Patricia was impressed. “Doctor, I’d like to use your expertise to study the cartels we want to target in order to determine the best stimulus.”
Eubanks nodded slowly. “It could work. These men, and a few women, are sociopaths, psychopaths. They are often very smart, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be manipulated. It would be an interesting challenge.” He looked at Maeve and Patricia. “It’s reverse profiling. You pick the crime and I’ll find the criminal most interested in committing it.”
“Right. Then, when one cartel is suddenly making more money, gaining more power, others will want to know why. And they’ll need to compete.” He lifted his hands, palms up. “We’ve just created a market for our undercover operatives.”
Patricia could see the merits of his idea. She could also see so very many flaws.
“Tomorrow, members of several intelligence agencies will give you a briefing on the region. I’ve also arranged for you to meet individually with law enforcement experts in your field. All I need from you today is a commitment to come back tomorrow.”
“I’m intrigued,” Eubanks said. “I’d like to hear more.”
“As would I,” Patricia said.
All eyes turned to Maeve, and Patricia held her breath. To her surprise, the answer came without hesitation.
“I’ll be here.”