“That makes Roland expendable, doesn’t it?”
“If Jackson was the intended target, Roland’s presence might have caught them off guard. Maybe they didn’t know how to handle the situation and took him along too, or maybe they needed him.”
“To ensure Jackson’s cooperation for one, or perhaps Jackson is injured and Roland has placed himself in the thick to protect him.”
June sighed. So many questions without answers. All of Nigel’s suggested held merit and were equally plausible.
Though the conditions weren’t ideal, June was enjoying getting to know Nigel and he seemed to value her opinions and thoughts and it felt good. She hated it when men pretended her opinion mattered but when the shit hit the fan, backed away, her self-confidence too threatening.
As they trudged onward through a heavy bog, he waited until she was on secure footing before carrying on always mindful of her progress. He seemed to sense when she was too tired to continue and thoughtfully offered a helping hand or suggested they take a break.
“Can you tell me more about Jackson?”
“Interests, hobbies, likes ‘n dislikes, associates, was he a party animal or into drugs or alcohol?
“I see where you’re going with this. You’re wondering if his actions or lifestyle resulted in something nefarious.” She paused a moment before continuing, “Jackson is Jackson. I haven’t spent a great deal of time one on one, just hanging with Roland and Jackson on occasion. He isn’t into drugs, he considered his body a temple and he doesn’t overdo alcohol either. He drinks occasionally, on special occasions, Christmas, New Year, sometimes for a special birthday party, a milestone for someone, but never more than a glass or two at most. His time was spent between cavorting around with Roland whenever they had a confirmed destination, or he worked. Jackson was determined to forward his father’s legacy.”
“Several months back, we were all together at my parent’s place. Roland came home angrier than I’d ever seen him. Getting information out of him was like pulling teeth but he did say Jackson was in a battle with a couple of board members that weren’t in agreement with the direction he was going to take the company and they were hotly contesting it.”
“Any idea who it was?”
“Roland didn’t say, but he was royally pissed off. He’d been doing some of the legwork and said he agreed with Jackson’s assessment, said it was a brilliant strategy that would put Jackson’s company in the technological forefront for generations.”
“Any idea what that meant?”
She shook her head, “No, he didn’t elaborate, just went for a run and he hadn’t returned by the time I left. I meant to ask him whether the situation had been resolved, and I never gave it another thought until now, why, do you think there could be a connection?”
“It’s highly possible. There are skeletons somewhere, and Jackson seems the most obvious. You suggested Jackson’s a straight shooter and if he went up against a couple of board members, they might have decided to take it one step further.” He paused thoughtfully then asked, “Any idea who would stand to gain if Jackson disappeared?”
Turning to look Nigel in the face, June said, “There aren’t any family members left except Jackson. I have no idea what would become of the company or who would run it or whether it would be dissolved. He could have a will, but if he does, I wouldn’t have any idea who would inherit.”