Enemy of Mine: A Pike Logan Thriller

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Authors: Brad Taylor
just seeing you. Let’s leave it at that.”
    “Wait. I’m telling you I have sources. Just like I used to have. Let me help.”
    I paused and looked at Jennifer; she shrugged, saying,
What’s the harm?
    “Okay. My government has heard about an assassination attempt here in Lebanon. The sticky point is that we can’t figure out the target. Some analysts say it’s Lebanese, and some say it’s American. With the new United States envoy to the Middle East doing his first tour, coupled with the peace process in Qatar, people are getting antsy. I just figured I’d see if you could help neck it down. See what you’ve heard.”
    Surprised by the question, he said nothing for a moment, sizing me up as if for the first time, seeing things that should remain in the shadows.
    “Because it would help in your archeological business?” he said. “Help you find sites? You and Jennifer?”
    I held his eye for a moment, then said, “Because I was asked to check while I was here. Nothing more. A favor for friends in the government. Can you get that to the fusion cell?”
    “No. My sources aren’t military ones.”
    “Druze?”
    He said nothing, simply looking at me, and it clicked. He’d gone completely over.
    “Tell me you’re not with Hezbollah. You can’t possibly be with those murdering thugs.”
    He grew indignant. “I am Druze, and will always be, but Hezbollah is a power. We have connected with them. They aren’t the murderers you say they are. They are the majority in our government now. I’m not with them, but I don’t fight them.”
    “How on earth can you—a Druze—say that? They want an Islamic state, for God’s sake. They started the damn 2006 war! They’ve got a fucking theme park celebrating the destruction of your country. And you blame Israel…”
    I stomped to the door, Jennifer right behind me. I opened it, turned around, and said, “They are your road to ruin, and you don’t even see it.”
    “Pike, wait. No matter what you think of them, they can help. After the Hariri assassination they’ve become very sensitive to killings in Lebanon. They get blamed for them all. If what you say is true, they’ll want to stop it just as much as you do. And me. They have connections like nobody else in this country. They’ll be able to find out if it’s true or not. I promise they won’t want an American getting killed here. They want to consolidate political power, and that would only hurt them.”
    “I can’t believe I just heard that come out of your mouth. They kill Hariri, the man putting your country back together, and now I should use their help because they got caught and don’t want to get blamed again. Do you hear yourself?”
    “They didn’t kill Hariri. You can believe that. No way. That’s just what the Zionists want the world to believe. Either way, you have the same interests here.”
    I didn’t like the stench of it, but he was right. Feed this to Hezbollah, and they’d get to the bottom of it. Unlike us, they’d just cut off some heads. The end-state was fine by me. The only question was whether they weren’t behind it in the first place. Odds were what he said was true. Hezbollah didn’t do a lot of kidnapping and killings of foreigners anymore, since they’d gotten hammered for the suspicions of killing Hariri—and since they’d assumed a majority in the government.
    I decided I was willing to risk it…with some caveats.
    “If you go to them, you’d better make damn sure you don’t mention me or Jennifer. Nothing about us, understand? You might trust those torturing Islamic fascists, but I sure as shit don’t.”
    I gave him our cell number and walked out to the car, Jennifer in tow. To my back, Samir said, “I’ll call tomorrow.”
    When I didn’t respond, he said, “Pike. I’m still Samir. I wouldn’t join a group of terrorists. Hezbollah doesn’t run around killing anymore. The civil war is long over. They don’t hire assassins.”

13
    I nfidel felt

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