The Code Within: A Thriller (Trent Turner Series)

Free The Code Within: A Thriller (Trent Turner Series) by S. L. Jones

Book: The Code Within: A Thriller (Trent Turner Series) by S. L. Jones Read Free Book Online
Authors: S. L. Jones
out the layers I’m trying to peel back and then…” He shrugged his shoulders. “Trying to get in his head is like cutting into a goddamn onion. The first cut is easy enough, but if you want to slice it wide open, where you have a chance for some real insight, the stinging worsens with each cut. It makes you question the effort in the first place.”
    “At least he doesn’t make you cry, does he?” Simpson laughed, and was met with an angry glare.
    “Funny. Look, Trent is unique. The killing, it’s something he takes in stride. It doesn’t faze him, even when it’s up close and personal.”
    Simpson nodded.
    Both men had seen their share of soldiers come unraveled by the brutal reality of violence. If you dwell on what you’ve done or see too much death, the long-term effects can prove fatal. Reed’s work had taught him that people die hard, and it became increasingly personal and gruesome as the distance from which the deed was done decreased.
    “Look, Charles, it’s not an easy job. Everyone has their own way of switching off, detaching the emotion from what needs to be done. If an operative can’t do that, they don’t stand a chance in this business. That’s not news to you.”
    “I can understand that in the field, but—”
    “He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe that’s what makes the difference for him. Being able to shut it out completely.”
    “Sure, and a mechanism for doing so includes getting a rise out of his shrink? The guy who’s trying to help him? Smart move,” Reed said sarcastically.
    Turner’s rivalry with the doctor had been obvious from the start, but it wasn’t personal for Trent, and both men knew that.
    “Maybe he doesn’t need any help,” Simpson suggested, as if Reed was past the point of being able to be objective when it came to Turner. “It’s not like he has a tough time sleeping or he’s having flashbacks.”
    “Perhaps,” Reed said. His failure to make any significant progress in getting through Trent’s mental barriers after all of these years had become a bit of an obsession for the doctor. The circumstances behind the death of his twin brother had the potential to change all of that. Leaving at a time when there could be a breakthrough would be difficult, but he didn’t have a choice. “That could change after what’s happened. How are you going to get this under control? If he hasn’t already started hunting down his brother’s killer, he will soon.”
    Simpson started to say something and stopped himself before saying, “I’m heading to Virginia to meet with Jack.”
    Reed was taken aback. “Really?” He knew Jack Turner was head and shoulders above any operative Simpson had ever worked with during his time as a SEAL, and he was also Trent’s uncle.
    “He’s the best chance we have to turn this around.”
    Reed squinted in disbelief and said, “So you’re expecting a happy ending?”
    “Are you having doubts about your assessment?”
    “No,” Reed said. “He won’t fly off the handle, but he’s not someone you, his uncle, or anyone else for that matter can control.”
    Trent Turner’s move to Island Industries sealed the deal that finally brought his old friend and former commanding officer of the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training program over to his new team. The job and the California lifestyle had suited Jack Turner well, but family was family.
    “It’s never about control,” Simpson said evenly. “It’s about respect.”
    “Jack…” Reed shook his head and considered the number of times the man had refused to come to work for The Island.
    The doctor had always thought the fact that Simpson was the one who recommended taking him out of the field had something to do with his previous refusals. It was never easy for an operator of his caliber to accept defeat at the hands of injury. The tough old cuss would have rather been shot and killed on an operation than sent out to pasture.
    “He’ll do

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