could ensure her safety, even if it was distracting as hell. He’d given her his cell phone to use as a Wi-Fi hotspot during the nab and grab, so she could keep them posted on the latest surveillance feeds and hopefully give them an advantage over Becks and his team who were surely poised to take them down.
Through his binoculars, Scotty watched Natalie enter their section of the park then glance around as if looking for trouble. She looked thinner than the last time he’d seen her, paler, more fragile. Of course, faking your own death after losing your husband would do that to a gal, he supposed.
She stuffed what looked to be her admission ticket into the small purse slung across her body then walked briskly toward toward the back of the historic row houses along the Potomac river. A small bridge crossed the water and would provide an opportune spot to snatch the widow, at least that’s the plan they’d come up with anyway.
“I’m going in,” Gage said. “See you on the other side.”
“How well did you know Natalie?” Hayley asked. “Before she married Nick, I mean.”
Scotty shrugged, his attention focused on keeping his team safe. “About as well as anybody, I guess. Why?”
“Just wondered.” She continued tapping keys on her keyboard, her gaze narrowed on her screen. "So you knew she had a criminal record then?”
“Yes.” No. He hadn’t known that, actually. Then again, it wasn’t really his business. She was his buddy’s wife and that counted for a lot in his world. If Nick loved and trusted her, then she had to be okay. He adjusted his binoculars and followed Gage’s progress toward the bridge. “I’m a little busy right now, Red. Can we talk about this later?”
“I just think it’s weird, that’s all,” Hayley continued, as if he hadn’t spoken. “From the data I’ve found, she basically fell off the grid at around age fourteen, then reappeared at age twenty-two, working as a waitress at a bar in Georgetown. There’s no record of high school graduation, no college, no nothing.”
Okay, yeah. That was kind of strange. He squinted as Gage made his way down the opposite side of the canal from the widow, scanning the nearby rooftops and windows periodically for any sign of the enemy. So far, nothing. The riskiest part of the venture, however, was yet to come. A strange niggle of unease took root in his gut. Sure, Natalie had always seemed a bit closed off and distant. Scotty had taken it for shyness. Then again, he’d seen her handle herself quite adeptly with drunken pub patrons who tried to cop a feel or expected more from her than just their next drink order. Skills like hers didn’t come from local self-defense classes. Some of those moves were straight out of military boot camp. She come into her relationship with Nick knowing those things, meaning her husband hadn’t taught her, so who then?
“I think she’s had a tough life,” Hayley said, frowning. “I kind of feel sorry for her.”
Scotty grunted and kept his gaze trained on their target. Natalie wore jeans and a navy blue hoodie. The wind was fairly fierce today, sending her dark hair flying out of behind her. She gathered it in one hand and jammed it all under her hood then trudged ahead toward the bridge. It had rained the night before and the ground was still somewhat soggy, making the riverbanks a bit muddy. The place wasn’t as crowded as usual either, which both helped and hindered their mission. Having a lot of people around provided cover, but it also provided a lot more witnesses.
Legs going numb from squatting so long, Scotty adjusted his position. They’d make do with what they had. They were SEALs. They were trained for exactly this kind of shit. He spoke to Hayley over his shoulder. “Do me a favor, Red. Feel sorry for Natalie later. For now, just keep her on the security footage, okay?”
“Will do.” Hayley grinned and clicked a few more keys.
Scotty scanned the area with his binoculars