NOTE: If you read the first part of this story in SEALs of Summer 3, this is the complete book.
Rating: 5 Stars (A)
“You aren’t a Navy SEAL,” she said, her heart thumping. “I don’t know who you are, but you aren’t that.”
“Actually, I am. But I work for an organization that, uh, knows things. If you’re involved with Conti, then you’re either with the FBI, DEA, or the CIA. Conti’s illegal activities fall under the areas of interest for any of the three.”
“So care to tell me which one it is?” he finished. “Might make this a bit easier for both of us.”
“You planning to give me back my ammunition if I do?”
“Depends,” he said.
Miranda sighed. Her default setting was not to trust anyone, but maybe she needed to start. Not that she’d tell him everything. Definitely not. But she could give him enough to relax his guard—and then she could give him the slip when she got the chance.
Or, hell, maybe he’d prove to be useful after all.
“CIA,” she said. “We’re interested in the arms dealing, of course. He’s been supplying guns to ISIS and the Freedom Force, among others, for quite some time. But he’s also putting assault weapons on the streets here, and that’s not a good thing. Of course, that’s the FBI’s territory, but we’re cooperating on this one.”
“So what’s your real name, Jane?”
“Actually, that is my real name—my middle name. My first name is Miranda.”
“Miranda,” he said softly, and a shiver ran down her spine. Liquid heat took up residence in her core, spilling out into her limbs. All because of the way he said her name. What the hell was that about?
“That’s right. Can I have my clip back now?”
“Not quite. Give me a last name.”
“Why do you need that?” It was against her religion to share her details. She’d had that drummed into her during the years of covert ops. Trust no one.
“Mine is McCormick. Cody McCormick, United States Navy. I work for an organization you’ve probably heard of, but I’m going to bet you thought it was a myth. Unless you’ve ever worked with us before, and then you know.”
HOT. He had to be talking about the Hostile Operations Team, but she wasn’t going to be the first to speak the name. Yeah, she knew about them. Mark had done ops with them before in the Middle East. She’d once spent a rough two days in the embassy in Baghdad with a group of HOT operators. They’d been there to extract a major who’d gotten nabbed in a market and taken prisoner. But then the embassy came under attack, and she’d thought for sure the major was dead.
He wasn’t though. HOT came through.
“And what phantom group is this?” she replied, because she wasn’t going to let on that she knew.
“We’re called HOT. We deal in pretty much all the shit nobody else wants to. We go where none dare.”
Where None Dare. Yes, she remembered that from the team she’d spent time with. They were proud of that.
For the first time, she felt a little bit of relief flowing through her. “My name is Miranda Lockwood. That’s not the name Conti was supposed to know—but he does. I don’t know how, but I’ve been compromised.”
Saying the words aloud was like releasing the pressure in a valve. She felt as if a weight was gone even though nothing had been resolved.
Wordlessly, Cody handed her the clip to her weapon. She took it and slid it home. Then she put the gun into her purse and draped the chain over her shoulder. The sense of relief washing through her was strong. She was used to staying on her guard, and she still would, of course, but his gesture meant something. He wasn’t out to kill her. At least not immediately.
“You’re welcome. Trust me now?”
She shrugged. “I don’t trust anyone. But I believe we’re on the same side. At least for now.”
“I’m going to help you, Miranda. We’re getting out of here. Promise.”
She’d love to believe him, but she’d learned never to count the chickens before the eggs hatched. That’s how you ended up dead in this business.
“I’m going to need a change of clothes and a burner,” she said, all businesslike.
“Can you manage that?”
He shot her that sexy grin again. It melted through her like a flame cutting through wax. “Sunshine, I can manage anything you need.”
Book 11: HOT Valor (Mendez) ~ Coming soon!