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SEALs of Honor: Ryder: SEALs of Honor, #14

SEALs of Honor: Ryder: SEALs of Honor, #14

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SEALs of Honor: Ryder: SEALs of Honor, #14

4/5 (7 évaluations)
220 pages
3 heures
Nov 19, 2018


Having lost the one good thing in his life, Ryder wants only to forget, to help others and defend his country. After a mission goes south and his SEAL brother is hurt, Ryder checks on him in Medical and finds the one that got away working there. In no time at all, the same damn feelings he used to have for Caitlyn are back as if they'd never gone away. She's not his anymore, but maybe friendship is enough…

That's the last thing Caitlyn wants with Ryder. She isn't here by chance. Realizing she screwed up their relationship big-time, she'll do anything to get him back in her life, even if it means working overseas on the off-chance of seeing him sometimes.

When the outpost is attacked, medical supplies go missing and Caitlyn is grabbed, all bets for a fairy-tale ending are off. What's really important is all that matters now, and the two of them need to figure out what that is before they lose that very thing again–this time permanently.

Nov 19, 2018

À propos de l'auteur

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her on Twitter @DaleMayer or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author. If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/402384989872660/ Books by Dale Mayer Psychic Vision Series Tuesday's Child Hide'n Go Seek Maddy's Floor Garden of Sorrow Knock, Knock... Rare Find Eyes to the Soul - fall/winter 2014 By Death Series Touched by Death - Part 1 - Free Touched by Death - Part 2 Touched by Death - Full book Haunted by Death Chilled by Death - fall/winter 2014 Second Chances...at Love Series Second Chances - Part 1 Second Chances - Part 2 Second Chances - Full book Novellas It's a Dog's Life- romantic comedy Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy Broken Protocols #1 Broken Protocols #2 Broken Protocols #3 New adult/adult crossover books In Cassie's Corner Gem Stone (a Gemma Stone mystery) Design Series Dangerous Designs Deadly Designs Darkest Designs Family Blood Ties Series Vampire in Denial Vampire in Distress Vampire in Design Vampire in Deceit Vampire in Defiance Non-Fiction Books Career Essentials: The Resume Career Essentials: The Cover Letter Career Essentials: The Interview Career Essentials: 3 in 1

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SEALs of Honor - Dale Mayer


Back Cover

Ryder spent his career defending his nation and helping others… After he lost the one good thing in his life, he spent every waking hour trying to forget…

After a mission goes south and a friend is hurt, Ryder checks in at medical for an update on his condition only to find Caitlyn working there. It doesn’t take long for the same damn feelings to overwhelm him. She’s not his any longer, but maybe they can be friends…

Friendship is the last thing Caitlyn wants, but it’s a start. She screwed up – in a big way – and she’ll do anything to get her best friend back in her life. Even work overseas for a chance to see him. But when the outpost is attacked and medical supplies start to go missing they have something bigger to worry about.

When she’s kidnapped, all bets are off and both Ryder and Caitlyn have to find out what’s really important before they lose it all … and each other.

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Markus’s backyard barbecue was rocking, and the San Diego weather was perfect for outdoor entertaining. Markus was another SEAL and a member of Mason’s unit. He and his partner were celebrating with all their friends the end of some serious renovations on their house.

Ryder Lewis settled back in his folding chair, beer in hand, and watched as Summer, Easton’s ladylove—the newest to the group—completely won over the large gathering around her. Summer didn’t seem fazed at all by the crowd. That she was busy taking photographs of couples didn’t hurt.

The gathering’s laughter was contagious. Even Ryder was smiling. Normally he was not an upbeat personality, but lately …

Hey, you. Still nursing that same beer? Corey sprawled in the folding chair next to his buddy. Personally I might need something harder.

Ryder glanced at him. Why’s that?

A little too much lovey-dovey stuff here. I never expected to feel so lost by being alone.

You brought a girlfriend, Ryder pointed out. You aren’t alone.

A friend, yes. A girlfriend, no. Corey slid Ryder a sideways look. No way would I come alone. You’re braver than I am.

Damn, I didn’t think of that.

Corey chuckled. You need to plan ahead. If you had the sisters I do, you’d come up with that camouflage in an instant.

Ha, if I had that many sisters, I’d have left town. Ryder shook his head. I also don’t think I know a woman I could have called to step in and help me out in a situation like this.

Sure you do. What about Caitlyn?

Ryder’s heart hiccupped. Hell no.

And why is that?

Corey’s curious tone said he didn’t understand anything about Ryder’s more recent history with Caitlyn.

You took her to prom. You were there for her when she graduated from nursing school, gave her away at her wedding and got her drunk to celebrate her divorce. Dude, that’s a major friendship. She’d have been delighted to show up here today.

Ryder shook his head, but he didn’t say a word. He couldn’t.

Unless something’s changed? Corey asked, leaning forward. As in, you had a fight?

No fight, he said, keeping his voice neutral. Corey was no fool.

If no fight, then it’s the opposite.

Silence was Ryder’s only response.

Ah, hell.

More silence followed.

Corey took a deep breath. Don’t tell me. When the two of you got drunk, you slept with her.

Ryder lifted his beer and poured the cool liquid down his throat. Anything to shove the hot painful memories to the back. The hurt. The loss.

And it didn’t work out? Corey pushed cautiously.

"Work out? She got up Monday morning and walked away. I haven’t heard a word since, despite all my calls to her. It’s been two years. I’d say that fits the definition of it didn’t work out."

Corey reached into the cooler at his side and pulled out a couple more beers. He handed one to Ryder. Sorry, man. Here’s to staying single. Corey was quiet for a long moment, then added, Now I understand the change in your behavior. You went a little off for a time. I wasn’t sure what the deal was, but you seemed to pull out of it so I put it aside.

The two men clinked cans, and a commotion at the corner of the house caught their attention. Another arrival. The party had already swelled to close to sixty people. What were a few more?

Isn’t that Mac and Quinn?

Looks like it. Ryder settled at the sight of more men he knew. A break in the crowd showed they’d arrived with dates. Figures. I think I’m the only one who came alone.

And you might want to prepare yourself. I could be wrong, but I think that’s Caitlyn on Mac’s arm.

Ryder’s heart froze, then shattered. He shoved his beer can into Corey’s hand. Here. I’m done. He got up and walked down the opposite side of the house. He could handle a lot of things in life. But seeing the only woman he’d ever loved with another man—again—was not one of them.

Chapter 1

The silence was deafening.

Ryder shifted his gaze across the deserted buildings on his left. The intel was good. That just made this Iraq mission all the worse. This bomb maker had gone to ground now, pinned inside the dilapidated structure in front of Ryder. He wanted to make sure the bomb maker didn’t set booby traps to allow him to escape. The US military wanted him for questioning regarding the two bombs that blew up a stadium in Baghdad. Twenty-two people had died with another seventy-plus severely injured.

Devlin and Easton were on the far side of the building, tracking enemy movement. Corey watched Ryder’s back. Another four-man team checked out other buildings. Ryder’s headset crackled. Beta team moving in.

Ryder swept forward, silent and deadly. Nothing in front or to the side. He dropped low and did a fast sweep inside from the doorway. No trip wires. Good.

In sync, Ryder and Corey went through all the ground-level rooms while Easton and Devlin maintained surveillance of the perimeter. Ryder and his partner found … nothing. Ever aware, Ryder kept moving. This was not the time to drop his guard. Too much at stake.

Gunfire sounded in the distance. The other SEAL team. Devlin’s voice crackled in Ryder’s headset. Watch your back. Bullies coming up on the outside.

Instantly Ryder and Corey faded into the shadows. If somebody was coming, Ryder wanted to see them first. Anybody who knew the bomb maker was of interest to them. More wild gunfire sounded. Ryder exchanged a look with Corey. Ryder knew exactly what that meant. The other SEAL team taking more fire. But they couldn’t help. Not just yet. He and Corey had done a full sweep of the downstairs, but they had the rest of the building to check.

Sweep completed, Easton whispered in Ryder’s headpiece. I’m on the other side of the front entrance. We have company.

Silently Ryder signaled to Corey before slipping around the outside of the building, following the wall toward the front. He peered around the corner. One man stood guard, his back to the entryway. A second man crouched against the front door and placed something on the step. A bomb.

Ryder warned the others with the appropriate clicks of his comm.

Of course it would be a bomb. As a weapon they were so damn unforgiving. Ryder had no way to calculate the devastation this one could bring, and he had no plans to find out. At the single tap on his comm, he lifted his semiautomatic rifle and waited.

From the far side he heard, Step back away from the bomb. Hands in the air.

The crouched man spun, lifting a rifle.

A single shot clipped the air. Ryder sprang from his hiding spot, his weapon on the man still standing. The other man had collapsed on top of whatever he’d placed on the front step. From his position, Ryder could see the wires connecting to the doorknob. It was crude but effective. The questions of the moment were, did the bomber die with the trigger in his hand and was the bomb ready to go off?

Ryder returned his gaze to the other man. The guard inched backward as he stared at his fallen comrade.

Everyone take cover, Ryder yelled into his comm before diving to the ground. Seconds later the bomb exploded, sending clay and body parts flying. Ryder rose immediately, his weapon once again on his prisoner who’d been thrown down by the blast.

With Ryder’s alpha team now at the designated rendezvous spot, but earlier than expected, Devlin and Easton pushed forward to the far side of the town where the earlier gunfire came from. The beta unit hadn’t checked in on the comm. Ryder had to assume they were in trouble, and he wasn’t taking any chances. Shoving his weapon into his prisoner’s neck while backing him against a wall, Ryder asked, Where’s the bomb maker?

Black eyes flashed his way as the man stayed silent.

Ryder shrugged. We’ll get the answers one way or another.

He didn’t for a moment believe the man who had died in the doorway was the bomb maker. Men like him had a dozen faithful helpers who’d die to protect him. So many young men had died for nothing.

Devlin reported in for him and his partner, Easton. Alpha team still in search of beta team.

Ryder wanted to leave too but with another mission in mind. He studied the prisoner, wishing for an easy way to get him to talk. But men like this would take a bullet rather that give away their secrets.

Ryder glanced at Corey and said, Keep him here. I’ll be back in five.

Corey protested. But Ryder wanted to check the bomb maker’s house. Now that they’d left the bomb maker’s building, Ryder wanted to know who had showed up. The bomb blast would have alerted the rebels. Ryder raced back to where the remains of the dead man lay. Ryder kicked open the door, sending a hail of gunfire inside. Cries ripped through the house. He didn’t go inside but slipped around to the back and sent a message to Easton and Devlin.

Gunfire shot out from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The men were disorganized. As far as Ryder could tell, only two gunmen were inside. Ryder took a quick look through a broken window, popped off a shot, and one gunman dropped. Now that was more like it. The second gunman stood in front of an older man who cowered behind him. This then was the bomb maker. As soon as Ryder had a shot, he took out the final gunman and stepped through the window, holding his weapon on the bomb maker. Ahmed Amin?

The man glared at him, hate in his gaze.

Ryder nodded. I’ll take that as a yes. He motioned the man to move toward the front door. The bomb maker shook his head and dropped to his knees.

This wasn’t a kill mission as the bomb maker was wanted back at headquarters. Ryder quickly tied Ahmed’s hands, stripped him of his weapons and forced him outside. Within minutes he had him in the rendezvous enclosure beside Corey and the other prisoner.

With both prisoners now secure, Ryder gave Corey a hard grin. Time to go to the extraction point.

As they pulled back, Ryder’s comm crackled, and Easton said, One man down. Mac’s been hit.

Ryder’s heart sank. Copy that.

Following directions, they picked their way to where the beta team was pinned in a corner. With Corey holding the bound and gagged prisoners to the ground, Ryder slipped forward. He took out two insurgents and managed to get into the beta team’s hideout. Macklin was out, his left shoulder and chest bloody. How bad?

He’s unconscious, but I’m sure he can walk when he’s awake again, said Keenan, one of Mac’s unit.

Ryder slid a hand down and checked Mac’s pulse, his heartbeat strong and steady. A lot of blood stained his chest, and … air bubbles surfaced. Shit. Definitely a compromised lung. Time for a field dressing of the roughest sort. They had to get everybody to fall back so they could arrange for an emergency medical evac.

Mac needed care. Now. Ryder slapped a piece of thin plastic over the hole in Mac’s upper chest. The bubbles stopped, and Mac breathed easier. From his view of the position of the injury, Ryder figured the bullet just caught the tip of a lung. That was bad enough. Breathing would become damn near impossible soon. The blood-clotting field dressing was temporary at best.

With Mac’s wound bandaged, the men lay out a quick plan of cover fire and an even faster retreat. They had two vehicles available. They’d need both to get back behind enemy lines. Mac was big; then again so was Ryder. And time was running out for his friend.

One of Mac’s team said, You okay to do this?

Ryder shot him a frown and nodded. Why the question? Did everybody know Mac was with his best friend, Caitlyn? Or should Ryder say his ex-best friend? It didn’t matter. They were still a team. They’d never let women come between them before. He wouldn’t let one now. Although he had avoided Mac as much as possible and apparently that had been noticed. Some things hurt even after two years’ time.

Carrying Mac, Ryder retraced his steps with the other men covering his retreat.

With Easton and Devlin pulling up the rear, they returned to the vehicles. There, Ryder lay Mac on the back seat. They were at least an hour outside the next town and, if driving, another several hours from a medical center. All they could do was make Mac as comfortable as possible and try to keep him alive while arranging for a helo. Ryder did not know if the enemy had given up or been taken out. They saw no one as they drove to town. That, in itself, was suspicious as hell. No way to hide the direction they traveled or where they’d come from with the sand and dust they stirred up. They could only hope the cloud of dust at least hid them as targets until they could get clear.

This place was so damn riddled with land mines that they’d be lucky to get out in one piece as it was. Still, mission accomplished thus far, but, until Mac was safe and the prisoners were handed over, Ryder wouldn’t consider it a success.

Watching for enemy traffic coming in behind them, they raced toward the helicopter as arranged. Mac’s breathing was labored; his color was gray, and the blood, although sluggish, still pumped slowly from the wound by the time they reached the bird.

Go. Go.

Ryder picked Mac up and raced him to the helicopter. They strapped him down on a stretcher and watched as the chopper took off, heading in the opposite direction where the fighting had been.

Ryder, let’s go.

He raced back to the truck, and they continued on to the camp. There, the prisoners were transferred from their care to be transported to one of the main bases. This was just a temporary headquarters.

Four hours later Ryder stood in front of his commander with the others of his alpha team.

What happened to Macklin? the commander asked in a hard voice.

Ryder gave a brief account

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