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Sign, SEAL and Deliver: Silver SEALs, #8

Sign, SEAL and Deliver: Silver SEALs, #8

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Sign, SEAL and Deliver: Silver SEALs, #8

évaluations:
4.5/5 (2 évaluations)
Longueur:
180 pages
3 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Jun 25, 2019
ISBN:
9781386135005
Format:
Livre

Description

Rye Ellison, former elite Navy SEAL Commander, retired from the teams the same way he lived, in a blaze of glory. After nearly thirty years of stellar service, he almost crashes and burns, but his hard-earned reputation saves him from a court martial. Now all he wants is to kick back in Margaritaville, but the Department of Homeland Security has other ideas.

The DHS Special Group Leader offers him a contract he couldn't refuse, they need him to put his famed skills back in the game and help recover vital information stolen from a CIA asset overseas. When Rye learns the CIA pain-in-the-asset involved is none other than Harper Chandler, a woman he never wants to see again, much less work with, taking the mission becomes a no-go, even with the money.

Then he learns the missing dossier could clear him of crimes he's been accused of that led to his court martial, Rye signs on without a second thought. The opportunity to clear his name is too important to be brushed aside. Especially by the woman directly responsible of killing his men, and almost his career.

He'll pay the price of working with the beautiful, cocky, know-it-all if that's what it takes. But he refuses to allow her to get him killed or give her another shot at his heart.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Jun 25, 2019
ISBN:
9781386135005
Format:
Livre

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Sign, SEAL and Deliver - Geri Foster

Madden

Chapter One

Retired Commander Rye Ellison, lowered his eyelids as he listened to the soft waves gently caressing the Florida coastline like a lover’s touch. The blue canvas beach chair sunk low enough into the sand for him to stretch out his long legs and cross his ankles. While the warm sun toasted his body to a golden bronze, he slipped his sunglasses back on.

As he’d done four times earlier, Rye reached into the cooler beside him, pulled out an opened Corona and tipped it to his mouth, draining the last few drops. Then he relaxed back thinking how wonderful it felt to be surrounded by quiet, peaceful nothingness. Even the friendly seagulls were quieter than usual this time of day.

By all statistics he shouldn’t be here in this haven, but the Navy SEAL Gods had smiled down upon him. He’d made it to retirement and loved it. No tangos, no funerals, no adrenaline rushes, and no fucking bureaucracy.

Life looked perfect through his eyes and felt even better in his soul.

He’d been a SEAL for most of his twenty-five years in the Navy and it hadn’t been a damn picnic. Thanks to back to back missions, it now took him ten minutes every morning to roll out of the sack. Afterwards he still limped around for another half an hour before all the kinks went away.

He’d managed to stay in fairly good shape for a forty-two-year-old man who loved hard, lived harder and carried around all the scars to prove it. Body and soul.

They could have all the hooray shit they wanted. He was finally free to live a normal life.

He’d given the Navy his all. Now with the job complete, he was finished. He wanted to lay back and enjoy the waves washing up on the sandy shore in such perfect rhythm, it sounded musical.

The sun had slowly set by the time he stood, folded his chair and picked up his cooler to head home. A small cabin near Fort Pierce had been ideal for his frame of mind. He lived there alone and wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. He didn’t want to be accountable for his actions, or his time. He’d learned life tended to be better this way.

The place he called home was a far cry from the house he once owned near Virginia Beach. No fancy swimming pool here and no spare room. Just a kitchen, a living area, and bedroom and bath. None of it fancy by any stretch of the imagination.

As he approached the cabin, he noticed a shiny black SUV with tinted glass parked behind his dusty jeep on the circular drive. The vehicle screamed Government issued like a blaring siren.

A tall man dressed in a black suit, black tie, white shirt and buffed loafers lounged against the side, his ankles crossed casually, arms lackadaisically folded. He wore sunglasses although they were no longer needed. Rye knew this particular man had come to see him. He drew closer, his eyes taking in the three other men identically dressed, armed to the teeth and watching their six like his little piece of paradise had turned into a warzone.

As he walked up even closer, he recognized him.

Crash. Shit! Lieutenant Commander Silas Branson.

Rye’s eagle eye let him down for the first time ever. Usually he could’ve spotted the Commander from a mile away as memories of their missions together flashed through his mind. Crash carried the handle of being one of the best Navy SEALs out there.

Rye called out, I thought you’d skip right over me.

Crash tilted his head, and removed the glasses, his brown eyes curious and wide. You think you know why I’m here?

Hell, yeah I do. Rye challenged, being careful where he placed his feet. SEALs talk. I got word you’re working for DHS now.

Crash shoved off the car and stepped closer, his lips pursed. You going to invite me in, or do we stand out here where there’s a strong possibility we might be overheard?

All business...as usual.

Rye stepped on his porch and propped the canvas chair against the frame of the house then slid open the door. Carrying the cooler into the kitchen, he placed it on the counter to be refilled for tomorrow.

He braced his hands behind him on the kitchen bar and faced the man he’d admired for years. Tall, muscular, dark headed and damn good at what he did, Crash wore his reputation proudly. I hear you been offering retired Navy SEALs special assignments. That true?

Crash’s mouth twitched, a good sign he wasn’t happy Rye knew so much without him saying a word. His brows lowered. That’s supposed to be top-secret.

Rye chuckled and reached in the fridge for another beer, offering Silas one. The Commander shook his head. Rye unscrewed the cap and took a long drink, before saying, Hell, you know the SEAL community. Word gets around.

So you know I work for Homeland Security? I might as well spill it. He sat in a wicker chair across from Rye. I’ve created a new division called Bone Frog Command. If you know that much, you know why I’m here.

Rye flopped down in his comfortable chair and propped his sandy, bare feet on the coffee table.

His house was a mixture of old furniture he’d picked up at yard sales, consignment shops, even a few things, like the table, were sitting on the curb with the trash. He didn’t need much. He didn’t want anything he would grow attached to. He had done that once and it nearly cost him his life.

I didn’t know the handle of the Department at Homeland, but I respect Bone Frog just like the Trident. But, I’m telling you right off the bat, I’m not interested. Rye said, eyes flashing. I’m flattered you’d come to someone as washed up as I am, but after what I’ve been through… He shook his head and lowered his gaze and began peeling the label off the bottle. I’m afraid I don’t have anything left to offer you.

Crash’s somber demeanor plummeted, his eyes brimming with sympathy. Rye, you were cleared of all those charges. It didn’t even go to trial.

That doesn’t negate the fact that the United States Navy accused me of killing an innocent civilian, raping his wife, and suffocating his young son. No longer able to control his anger, Rye jumped to his feet. They threatened to take away every fucking thing I had. They wanted to lock me up and throw away the fucking key. The madder he became, the more distant his long day of tranquil thoughts became.

Crash leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. I went to Afghanistan and proved you’d done the right thing. We learned Ishah Hussein raped his wife and killed his son. It wasn’t you. We cleared that up, or have you forgotten that part? Crash straightened and raked stiff fingers through his hair, his face flushed. I went over there and investigated the entire situation until I cleared your name. You killed the number two man of Afghanistan’s renegade branch of the Taliban. You had every right to take that shot.

Yeah, but the Navy accused me of going on a hunting expedition. Claimed I went there to intentionally kill Hussein. He shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant as he took another drink. Which is exactly what I did. I recognized Hussein as one of the men who’d been instrumental in taking out my entire Team, and I wanted pay back. I didn’t care about my career. My men deserved justice and I saw to it. Everything the Navy put me through was worth it since it was that branch of the Taliban who ambushed my men.

Crash let out a tight breath to loosen his tense body as his patience grew thin. With all due respect, they dropped all charges, Rye.

Fuck that. He nervously paced the floor. They tried to screw me every way they could. They train you to be a warrior and then they want you to be a goddamn Boy Scout. That doesn’t work for me. You kill my men, I’m going to hunt you down and kill you.

Crash lifted his chin, his eyes squinted. I know you’re bitter.

Rye laughed as he turned back to face Crash. If bitter only came close to how I feel, I’d think twice about everything. But it doesn’t. After twenty years of one mission on top of another, and God only knows how many medals or how many promotions, they didn’t hesitate to put the screws to me when they got a chance.

I got your ass out of there, all charges dropped, and you were reinstated. Crash’s voice rose. After a brief pause, he scrubbed his hands over his face and let out a deep breath. Once again in control, he continued in a lower tone. I kind of figure you owe me. Crash’s eyes flickered with indignation and conviction.

Funny, I don’t see it that way, Rye commented. "What you did was right a wrong and that was your job. I didn’t do anything any other Lieutenant Commander in the SEALs wouldn’t have done in the exact same situation. They had no right to charge me with anything.

I went before those asshole admirals who’d never even seen a day of action in their entire careers. Fucking pencil pushers and future politicians. And they were anxious, eager even, to take my career and toss it in the trash.

But you got back in the game.

What I got was a new Team I worked with for five years. Just long enough to retire. I barely knew them. You know how the SEAL brotherhood works. It’s all about trust. After my men were murdered, I found relying on someone else a hard commodity to come by.

It’s no secret someone set your team up. We knew there was a leak somewhere. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find out who it was. His eyes bored into Rye’s with an unspoken dare. But you have the opportunity to end the whole damn thing.

That caught Rye’s interest and he stared Crash straight in the eyes. He’d love to put the rest of the bastards who’d ordered the kill on his Team six feet under. Damn, dare he imagine getting more vengeance? It hadn’t gone so well the last time he sought that route. Meaning?

Khalil Qamar and CIA Asset Harper Woods. Crash stepped closer. That make your heart beat a little faster?

Qamar has been eluding everything and everyone for years. What makes you think you can get him?

I’m not going to get him. You are, with the aid of Woods.

Rye tightened his jaws. You trust Woods? I don’t. I can’t swear she’s not the leak. She damn sure didn’t have anything good to say about me at the hearing. In her own words, I was impulsive, aggressive, and didn’t like to follow orders. Not much of a character witness, huh?

But her last statement was the one that mattered. The one where she said you were the best Navy SEAL she’d ever worked with.

As a CIA Asset, I still find it hard to believe she wasn’t in on the setup. Not sure she didn’t take part in the whole thing.

Then why is she still there? Crash asked. And the drug money is still there as a lure to Qamar.

Rye sure the hell hadn’t expected those words to come out of Crash’s mouth. Woods still in Afghanistan? She had plenty of opportunities to get out, and she probably should’ve taken one of them. I find it hard to believe she stayed all this time. She been hunting down Khalil Qamar?

She’s never stopped. While you took out the number two guy, she wants Qamar. His reign of terror continues all over the world, and she wants it stopped.

The big question for me is who turned on my Team, then? In my opinion she was the most likely person.

What did she have to gain by doing that? If she had turned on your Team and then retired with a bag full of money, maybe. Crash gave his head a sideway nod. But why would she stay there and continue to work her resources if she had gotten your Team slaughtered? He held out his hands. Don’t you see?

He didn’t have the answer. Rye had assumed when she came stateside for his hearing, she’d stay in the US. He fought every urge in his body to keep from hunting her down. To confront her. To tell her to go straight to hell. But he didn’t. Three weeks later, he left for Cherry Creek, Virginia, assigned as the Team Commander to another SEAL team. Two days later they had a mission. Somehow Woods got pushed to the back of his mind, and that’s where he’d kept her.

So, what’s your offer, Crash? You know I’m not the man I was ten years ago. And after the ambush—— He shook his head and stared at the wooden slats on his floor. I may have been the lone survivor, but they still pumped a lot of lead into me before help arrived.

"I know there was a time we didn’t think you’d make it. But you stayed and fought for your men. It says a lot about a leader when he’s the last one to go down.

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