Authors: Rie Warren
BAD BOYS OF X-OPS I
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Rie Warren
Excerpt from Justice
© 2016 by Rie Warren
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations.
Walker / Rie Warren – 1
1.Contemporary Romance—Fiction. 2. Alpha Male—Fiction. 3. Black Ops—Fiction. 4. Erotica—Fiction. 5. Action—Fiction. 6. Thriller—Fiction. I. Title
By Judi Perkins of Concierge Literary Designs
By Gilly Wright
Table of Contents
And I’m back! A lot of folks asked for Walker’s book after reading the Bad Boys of Retribution MC series last summer—well, here he is. Of course, I couldn’t just write one book since he has a whole new X-Ops team.
This spring/summer you can look forward to the entire, four-book, hot-licious, action-packed
Bad Boys of X-Ops
series! And after that we’re headed back to the original series that got it all started,
Carolina Bad Boys
One note of consideration: I refer to many real locations in these novels, but they are ultimately works of fiction.
Welcome to the thrill ride of your life.
Somewhere over Lebanon, February 2015
JUST A LITTLE R&R, he said
I listened to Storm grumbling through the industrial-sized headgear affixed to my ears, the rotors of the HH-60 Pave Hawk
overhead and on the tail.
“Exotic location was the phrase I used.” I chuckled low in my chest. “Didn’t mention nothin’ about R&R.”
“Thought I’d at least be able to get my jock off without gettin’ my fucking head shot off.” Storm aimed me a look from the pilot’s seat, one sinister black eyebrow raised.
“I’ll get you a hooker in Dubai after we get out of this mess.” Unbuckling, I reached over and tapped him on the cheek, ignoring the growl that parted his lips.
In the cargo area of the Sikorsky helicopter, I checked my parachute, the altimeter, the straps of my harness, and my pack filled with all sorts of goodies. I was unofficially Storm’s copilot, but fuck it. The man didn’t need me. He could handle the chopper on his own without the usual five-man crew. He’d have to, because I was getting ready to jump ship in high-altitude, high-opening, full-on fuck-this-shit terror.
Storm snorted, and his deep voice rumbled over the ear-gear. “Unlike you, I don’t need to pay for my pussy.”
“Not after that time you caught syphilis, right, Kemosabe?” Ignoring the curses Storm slung my way, I started zipping into my fancy flight suit, checking and double-checking straps, buckles, my bailout O2 line.
Storm stepped into the back with a dip of his head. “Remember what Blaize said about covert mission?”
“The fuck. I’m always covert.” I wrapped my arms protectively around the night camo pack snuggled against my chest like it was a baby in a papoose, because I knew what was coming next.
“Hand over the flash bang, Walker.” He opened his palm.
“Goddammit. I feel naked without my C-4. You know that.”
“Gimme.” Storm advanced.
“Motherfucker.” I watched while he dexterously unzipped the side pocket of my pack, eagerly snatching the two M112 demolition blocks of putty-white plastic explosives wrapped in a Mylar bundle.
My eyes narrowed. “Blaize is a bitch.”
“Head bitch in charge.” He pleasantly agreed. “Blasting caps? Priming unit?”
I placed both in his hands, my own shaking like a meth head giving up the last of his stash.
Watching hungrily as Storm placed my precious bundles aside, I muttered, “Blaize is definitely a chick with a dick.” Tearing my gaze from my favorite weapons, I grinned. “Bitch chick with a dick you got the hots for.”
“I’d rather dip my dick into a vat of boiling oil.”
“So it can feel like when you got syphilis? That can be arranged.”
Storm cuffed me on the back of the head. He was just lucky I was trussed up like a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving . . .
Every Native American’s favorite holiday. Not.
Blaize Carmichael was our new hardnosed higher-up at Operation T-Zone. Op T-Z was an organization quite possibly unsanctioned by the PTB of the USA, because they didn’t need to know what we did behind enemy lines, in the line of duty.
We weren’t military.
We weren’t from the CIA Viper Pit.
We weren’t Black Ops.
We were darker than that.
who’d relayed years of orders over secure lines and in scrambled codes, Blaize had come on the scene, giving it the personal touch with an up-front team meet-and-greet.
, the woman’s touch in the form of intense head games more mind-fucking than any passive-aggressive wifey could come up with.
By the time she’d debriefed us with her high-heeled boot up our collective asses, read us the riot act, and nailed us to the wall over every single possible past mistake and mission mishap, I’d gone home and drunk a bottle of tequila.
Blaize did have nice legs though.
I rubbed my sleeve across the mask of my helmet then peered at Storm . . . then gawped at the cockpit.
The empty fucking cockpit.
“Wait. Who the fuck’s flying this thing?” I asked.
“Autopilot.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder.
“Jerry-rigged autopilot.” His smug smile did not put me at ease.
“I do not want to know.”
“Probably not, but it involves a selfie stick and duct tape and—”
La la la
. . . I can’t hear you.”
I was gonna die tonight. I just knew it.
“What can I say? I’m a modern day MacGyver.” Storm waltzed into the cockpit, checked the instrument panels, and sauntered back out.
Miraculously, we were still airborne.
Maybe I should get a different job.
“I was just fuckin’ wid ya about the selfie stick,
.” Storm’s guttural Cajunese came on like he’d flipped the switch from shadow operative to country
“Fully on automatic flight control. Wouldn’t want you to shit your pants before you take the big leap.”
“I hate you.”
“Good thing we’re in range,” Storm said.
Clapping my hands together, I put on my announcer’s voice. “Welcome to pitch-black Beirut! The terrorist hotbed of the Middle East and every operative’s favorite holiday destination for sleepless nights, unexpected espionage, and fun, fun fireworks in the form of mortar shells! It don’t get much better than this.” I fist-bumped Storm. “Eat your heart out, Disney World. Right?”
Storm’s boots rang across the metal grating of the floor before he slid open the door on the military black chopper. “Extraction in six hours. You have the coordinates.”
“Yeah. Yeah.” I saluted him with two fingers off my brow and a hand at my crotch.
“I swear to fuck, Walker, if you make me touch soil in this godforsaken hellhole I’ll shoot you myself.”
The wind screamed inside. I shouted over it. “Relax. Cakewalk.”
“That’s what you said in Afghanistan when we got stranded in the fucking mountains for two weeks straight and I almost froze my balls off.”
“I ever tell you I’m scared of heights?” I peeked outside, the rushing atmosphere almost dragging me through the gaping maw of the chopper.
The aircraft hovered at a mere 13,000 feet above ground.
“Not a fan of the Mile High Club?” Storm took my helmet when I handed it to him.
“Oh, I did that. Air Force One. Press Secretary. Took the edge off.”
“Well, I ain’t fucking you.”
I shuddered. “
“Three minutes before we’re over missile range. Get the fuck out already.”
“Hang on.” I tucked my braid into the back of my black suit.
“Don’t be such a fucking diva.” Storm buckled me into my helmet and attached the oxygen hose.
“Diva?” I mouthed at him. “Gonna tie your nutsack in a knot when I get back.”
He gave me a grin and two thumbs up before he booted me out of the helicopter.
The immediate rush—the immersion into absolute nothingness—engulfed me. Cut off from the world, free falling, I swooped through the night like my spirit animal, the Thunderbird.
Fifty seconds into the HAHO jump, I pulled the ripcord, the sudden jump and bodily slump tugging a grunt from my chest as the parachute took my nosedive into a slower pace. I had thirty miles to navigate, airborne and undetected into enemy lines, while Storm disappeared above and behind me.
That was the plan anyway.
Dropping down through the elements, the Thunderbird in me wanted to stream faster. The mythical bird wanted no constraints and no ties to this political world where lines were drawn in the sand—black, white, and every shade of gray in between.
It wanted to fly.
Being Lakota meant I listened to the voices of my ancestors.
Swooping into a slipstream air current, I remembered mine. The people and the place I’d told Hunter about, finally. Some still alive. Some buried. Memories and visions surrounded me, ghosts as close as the cloudburst I broke through. I’d hidden everything away for so goddamn long sometimes I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.
Hunter had thought I had no ties to this earthly life.
Truth was the bonds of this life tried to tether me to the land of my people.
I’d slipped free of the knot. I’d flown away. I’d left everything that mattered.
Adjusting my direction as the lights of Beirut swam below me, I checked my gages.
Fuck it. I have a new family now.
After last spring when Hunter and I had lost our entire team and then some to Victor Valderas and the Tampa Bay Outlaws, Hunter had gone off-rez. That was how I’d hooked up with this crew—The Three Stooges.
Storm: transport specialist and supply hoarder extraordinaire. He organized our shit, decided when we were running low, at which point he took over doling out water, weapons, ammo, MREs like we were broke bastards standing in the food line.
Bane: lead medic, which was laughable, because the dude literally had no bedside manner whatsoever and rarely strung more than three words together.
Justice assisted Bane with the stitches and—
—life-saving emergency measures when needed, because it was a well-known fact Storm couldn’t stand to be in the same room as Bane longer than necessary, and I was just an unsympathetic asshole.
In addition to being all Red Cross gung ho, Justice was tech guru, master hacker, and communications expert.
Aside from me, he was the most talkative of the bunch, and the youngest.
Me? I was the infiltrator, able to blend into any scenario. Oh, and of course, explosives were my thing. Except tonight I wouldn’t be the one packing the boom boom.
It was the perfect job for me. No attachments. I could remain inside my emotionless bubble, firing off whenever anyone got too close to me.
A new team made up of men I’d worked with in the past here and there, but due to the deep shadow nature of this particular op, I was pretty much a lone wolf. Justice and Bane had been dropped outside the hot zone—on-call in case I got caught in
Those two bastards were probably at a spa getting manscaped.
This mission was so far off the record it didn’t even exist. Not on paper, not in the headlines, and definitely not to-be-read in an unauthorized biography.
That was the nature of this beast I loved. What we did was underground and precise. Carefully planned and executed.
But I didn’t mind thinking outside the X-Ops box one little bit when things got hairy or the gunfire came on strong.
In this kill or be killed existence, I preferred to kill.
There was no incoming flak as I soared through the night. A good sign. I was superstitious like that. I noted landmarks, checked my compass, and, finally, ripped the oxygen hose free so I could gulp straight air down my windpipe. The elements buffeted my descent, cushioning me, carrying me to my final destination.
I rolled into the soft landing of my impact twenty-two klicks north of Beirut. Only a cliff face separated me from the famous Casino du Liban. Funny. The high-class gambling establishment had been a 007 feature. There was no one as suave as James Bond on any of my missions.
Bright pink beams of light speared out across the Mediterranean water from the polished structure above.
I huddled against the cliff side, silently disengaging my chute and swaddling it into a ball I sandwiched between two rocks. Peeling off my tough outer gear, I heaved a grunt of relief when I dragged away the polypropylene long johns underneath. That shit made my balls itch.
I stashed my gear beneath the waterproof parachute, tucked away my beloved pair of Smith & Wesson 686s, and pulled out a standard-issue handgun.
Luckily I could pass as Arabian with my black hair and dark eyes and darker skin tone. Dressing in the custom-made uniform of black cargos and lightweight Kevlar—getting ready to rock the rock climbing—I knew I could pull this shit off. Unlike pretty boy Justice and his GQ/GI Joe looks.
I timed my watch and started the ascent.
Per intel, the target would arrive with a full torso, ceramic bomb at eleven twenty-five.