Home > Hidden Away (KGI #3)(11)

Hidden Away (KGI #3)(11)
Author: Maya Banks

He felt a little ridiculous in beach khaki shorts, muscle shirt and flip-flops, but with the hint of scruff on his jaw and the fact he hadn’t cut his hair on his usual schedule, he passed for a man only concerned with kicking back and relaxing.

The sun beat down on him and warmed his shoulders as he set off down the worn path toward Sarah’s cottage. He flexed his arm and was happy to note that his shoulder was limber and not stiff despite the long time he’d spent traveling and cooped up in a way-too-small seat. Puddle jumpers weren’t built for men his size, and they were damn claustrophobic to boot.

Sand got between his toes and between the bottoms of his feet and the flip-flops. Worthless shoes. He stopped periodically to shake the sand from them and then continued on down the beach.

He was careful not to show any undue curiosity as he neared Sarah’s cottage, though he memorized every detail of the place from his periphery. Like his accommodations, it had seen its better days, although hers had underwent fresh paint recently. Still, it would take nothing to get inside. A good kick to the door—or hell, even the walls—and it would probably knock right down.

He continued past, wondering if she was unconcerned as she appeared. Simply using a fake name to rent a beach house didn’t guarantee anonymity. Her trail was sloppy all the way from Boston. She’d done a better job of covering her tracks once she reached Miami, but it still wasn’t clean. Resnick had been able to find her. Garrett supposed he couldn’t fault her, though. It wasn’t like people got lessons in school on how to be a fugitive. Not that she was classified as a fugitive, but she may as well be. There were certainly enough people interested in her whereabouts.

The closer he got to town, the higher the dunes on his left stacked up. There were a few shoddily fashioned walkways up over the dune to turnouts on the road. Public access to the beach, but he hadn’t come across a single beachgoer on his walk into town.

The sand ran smack into a rock outcropping, and cut into the stones were steps leading up to a coffee shack. He climbed but circled around the front to cross the cobblestone street to where the market was located. Outside the front were stands of fresh fruits and vegetables. He bypassed those for now and went inside to find the essentials. Red meat.

He soon learned that to the locals, “meat” meant fish or other seafood. He grumbled through the selection of ground meat and winced at only finding two steaks. He bought up all the pork chops and put a healthy dent in the chicken br**sts. He wasn’t a fish person. Oh, he’d put a hook in one, but eating them didn’t appeal. Not enough substance.

Which reminded him, he really needed to check out the local bait shop, pick up a surf casting rod so he could spend some time fishing. It would give him a good excuse to be on the beach, where he could watch Sarah’s cottage and get an idea of her routine.

At least the locals appreciated beer. There was a ton of variety, and well, when it came to beer, he wasn’t picky. He picked up several six-packs, tossed them in the cart and headed down the aisles to see what else he needed to feed himself for the next while.

Eggs, stuff for his protein shakes. Then he frowned. What were the odds of his cottage having a blender? He was lucky to have a few pots and pans to cook in. Cheese, bread, mayo, mustard and ketchup. Definitely ketchup. What meal was complete without it?

He smiled at the memory of his mother grumbling about his need to pour ketchup on everything.

When he finally rolled the cart to the front of the store, he was treated to several curious stares. It was then he realized that most everyone else had a basket with maybe one day’s worth of food. It took a while to check out since there was only one clerk, and the line piled up behind him as everyone waited for all his groceries to be tallied.

A young guy who looked to be in his teens approached Garrett as he finished paying.

“You want I deliver the groceries to where you stay? I can get my friends to help. We work cheap.”

Garrett eyed the eager kid. “How cheap?”

“Twenty euros apiece.”

“I wasn’t born yesterday,” Garrett said dryly. “I’ll give you twenty American and you split it with your friends.”

The kid beamed at him. “Deal.”

Garrett pulled out his wallet. “I’m the last cottage down the beach from the coffee shack.”

“Yes, I know it. I’ll bring them down and leave them on your porch. Don’t be long. You wouldn’t want your meat to spoil.”

No, he didn’t want his food to spoil. Who knew how long it took the grocery to restock their non-fish meat items.

Since the kid was taking the groceries, Garrett ambled down to one of the shops that boasted fishing supplies. He walked in to see the shopkeeper sitting behind the register with his feet propped up on the counter. He had a floppy hat pulled low over his eyes, and it looked like he was taking a nap. Garrett was nearly by him when the guy tipped up the brim, gave him a cursory onceover and then nodded.

“Feel free to look around. If you need any help, just holler.”

Garrett was surprised to hear an American drawl. Not just American, but clearly southern. “Got a recommendation for something to do a little surf fishing with?”

The shop owner slid his feet off the counter and they landed with a clunk on the floor. He pushed back the hat and sized up Garrett more fully. Then he grunted. “Military, though probably not for a few years. Injury to your shoulder. Recent. Looking for some R and R and don’t much like other people. Am I right?”

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