Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

Dallas, TX, December 2010

Rosemary Brady always asked about Gray when Danny called. Every time, without fail, and after the first three times it even sounded somewhat natural.

It was easier than she would have expected, to start thinking of this young man she'd never met as her son's boyfriend. As somebody who might be around for a long time. It was harder not to ask, but what about grandbabies? She'd gotten that treatment from her own mother, before Danny was born. Maybe it was hereditary.


She Googled Grayson Putnam, and found out more about his family than she'd expected. His younger brother was a society scandal. His older sister was a philanthropist. Gray himself was as handsome as a Kennedy, and nobody seemed to think he'd ever killed anybody.

She cleared the browser cache when she was done.

It was harder to know what to say when she called him at work, on December 22nd, 2010. At work, because she didn't want to wait. How did you say to somebody, "I'm glad the thing that ruined your life is gone?"

Instead, being a mother, what she asked was, "Are you going to go back to the military now?"

"Mom," he said tiredly. "We don't even know yet if they're going to allow for re-enlistments. And I've been out a long time. And I'm nearly forty."

She sighed, aware that he wouldn't realize it was relief. "I'm glad you won't be going to the war."

He laughed. She wasn't sure why. But he said, "Mom, I love you," and something unwound inside her.

No matter what, he was still her strapping, towheaded, reckless little boy.

"I love you too, Danny." She said it with dignity, so he wouldn't hear the tears well up. She put the phone quietly back on the hook.

Danny's mother never asked him if he wanted to talk to his father, anymore.