Since Paul wasn’t a big conversationalist—he was the anti-Mac, in other words and today had been the longest she’d ever heard him speak in consecutive sentences—Jena watched the scenery for a while. Then she decided to study the inside of Paul’s truck to see what she could learn about him.Technically, it was exactly like hers and Gentry’s. It had a black exterior with a blue light bar across the top and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division logo on the doors.It was tech heavy on the front dash, just like theirs, with LDWF, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police Troop C radios, a laptop, a GPS unit and a weather unit.In her truck and in Gentry’s, the cords and wires were a colorful tangle of plastic and metal, usually with extra plugs dangling around like vines. Paul’s cords were all black and he had them woven in pairs and tucked underneath the dash, where they neatly disappeared.She leaned over to see how he’d achieved such a thing and noticed identical zip ties holding them in place.Sinclair, I hate to ask, but what are you doing?He sounded more bemused than annoyed, so she said, I’m psychoanalyzing you based on the interior of your truck.He almost ran off the road. Why?Your scintillating conversation was putting me to sleep.His dark brows knit together but he seemed to have no answer to that.She turned around in her seat, as much as the seat belt allowed and continued her study. Paul had a 12-gauge shotgun and a .223 carbine mounted right behind the driver’s seat, same as in her own truck. The mounts had hidden release buttons so the agents could get the guns out one-handed and quickly.But where her truck had a catch-all supply of stuff, from paper towels to zip ties to evidence bags to fast-food wrappers thrown in the back, Paul’s backseat was empty but for a zippered storage container normal people used for shoes. Each space held different things, all neatly arranged. Jena spotted evidence bags in one. Zip ties in another. Notebooks. Citation books. Paperwork. A spare uniform hung over one window, with a dry-cleaner’s tag dangling from the shirt’s top button.Good Lord. She turned back around.What did you learn? Paul finally asked.You’re an obsessive-compulsive neat freak, she said. Accent on freak.
Susannah Sandlin