Authors: Capri Montgomery
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On Thin Ice is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, event or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Thank you, Barb, for catching the mistakes I missed. Your assist with editing has been wonderful.
A special thanks to Nancy, Maurice, Pam, and Curly for helping spread the news about my books.
Sworn to Secrecy
Explosive: Deadly Connections
Shadow Hills (January – June series)
Betrayal of the Dove
Love’s Last Hope
Secrets and Lies
Saints and Sinners
The McGregor Affair
The Geneva Project
The Admiral’s Daughter
Watch Over Me
Maid for Hire & Educating Australia
And Many Others…
Coming in December ~
from the Men of Action Series.
ethro Jackson slid along the muddy trench. When he took on this mission he had no idea he was going to end up crawling through mud. He figured it was a good thing he wasn’t afraid of getting a little dirty. He looked down at his arms and chest. “A lot dirty,” he mumbled to himself. This was the only way in without being detected. If he planned to get the package out alive, and himself for that matter, he needed to stay covert for as long as he could.
When they got the call Preston hadn’t been thrilled in the least. It was another government contract. He laughed at that time because Preston seemed to hate taking those, but on the rare occasions that he did take one it was always highly important and always for somebody they all respected and probably owed a favor in one fashion or another. This time was no different. They were acting on a friend’s request.
Their package was Nathan Hollows, a government nuclear physicist who had gotten himself in a “pickle,” as Edward Salsbury had said. Edward was Preston’s former team member. They had gone through boot camp together, served together up until Preston took on special operations missions and moved his way up the ranks rapidly while Edward put in his papers and went back to the civilian life with his wife and kids. He worked for the federal government, but he was long out of the military and he seemed perfectly happy about that. Preston had said Edward was his friend and he would always be his friend. That meant if he needed his help he would always have it, no matter the risk.
Jet had drawn this mission because his skills fit the best for the rescue. They needed somebody who could get in and get out without notice and he was the best at that; they all knew that. It wasn’t that the other guys had a habit of getting caught it was just that Jet had a way of getting into extremely difficult places when nobody else thought it was possible.
He didn’t mind drawing this mission. He loved his job, and the more missions he took the more skilled he would remain. Too long of a break in between made him risk becoming too comfortable with not putting his neck on the line to save somebody else. He loved his job, but he didn’t love the fact that he had just crawled through some horse manure. It was unavoidable because the trench seemed to have a small pile of it mixed in with the mud. He would guess all the rain had made the tiny mudslide that covered the horse manure on the top, but not enough to lessen the stench. They were going to smell him coming from a mile away. He frowned at the smell he now wore as it infiltrated his nostrils.
Fifty more yards, that’s all he had to spend on his belly before he reached the entry point. He had a plan on how he was going to get in, and he had a plan for getting out with the package, but that was before he smelled like a truck of raw fertilizer. Maybe he would get lucky and they wouldn’t notice the stench. Yeah, right; just like they wouldn’t notice a heard of buffalo in their dining room, he thought.
He made it the remaining fifty yards, surveyed his position to get a better look at his options, making sure the opportunity was still available for what he had planned. Deciding that it was, he quietly and covertly entered the facility. The room he needed was at the far corner of the hall. Of course it was. It would have been too easy if he didn’t have to try to make his way past the hostiles having their lunch in the room to his right, or the ones having a meeting in the room to his left. He didn’t have time to stick around for whatever it was they were discussing, although he would have loved to hear what they had planned. He was there for a reason and that reason was not unmasking a potential deadly plot. He had to get the package, get him out of there, and get them both back to the States alive and in one piece—with no holes in them other than the ones God had put in them.
He navigated his way down the darkened slender corridor until he reached the room he needed access to. He didn’t have much time and he still needed to get the door unlocked. Watching his six and picking a lock wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, but he managed it swiftly and entered the room just the same.
“What’s that smell?” Nathan turned around. “Who are you?”
“The guy who’s here to save you,” he nearly snapped.
“Why do you smell like that?”
“Because I just crawled through horse manure to get in here to get your sorry—”
Nathan held up his hand. “I got it,” he uttered the words calmly. “They’ve been rather good to me actually.”
“Would you like to stay? I can arrange that you know.”
“No. I’m ready to go,” he picked up his suit jacket and put it on as if he were just going for a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon. Nobody told Jet he was going to be rescuing a high maintenance idiot.
“Am I going to get dirty?” Nathan brushed imaginary lint off his jacket.
Jet growled low. “Yes,” he snapped. “And you’re probably going to have to crawl through horse sh—”
“You don’t have to be so rude,” he straightened his tie. Was this guy serious? Did he really think they were just going to be able to walk out of there?
“Stay behind me and don’t do anything stupid.” Jet checked to make sure the path was clear before exiting the room. He motioned for Nathan to come with him. They weren’t even four feet out the door when it all hit the fan.
“Oh, I forgot my lab coat,” Nathan said rather loudly and that alerted the not so friendly hostage takers to their position. Well wasn’t that just dandy? Jet didn’t have time to think about how stupid this guy was.
Jet uttered several expletives and took several shots while telling Nathan to leave the lab coat and move before he ended up dead. The mission wasn’t going according to plan, not that such a thing hadn’t happened to him before. He had taken on missions where he had to improvise, but not because of something like this. The package had never so blatantly alerted their captors to their escape. He wasn’t happy that this package had done just that. He had planned to be out of the hot zone before they realized their scientist was gone. He had planned to be two klicks away from the plane that was going to take them back to the States; maybe closer if he could have managed it. Now, instead of relatively smooth sailing he was covered in horse crap, dragging along the equivalent of dead weight and being excessively shot at by not one, not two, not even three, but twelve bad guys with really big guns.
“Oh hell,” he mumbled as he took several more shots and found his alternate route out the building. He had it mapped out. Thanks to Natalia he had all the information he needed so he knew exactly where the exits were and what was guarding those exits. She had really come through on this one. Her own sources had been the reason she was able to get the inside layout of the old music hall turned terrorist hold up. This should have gone so much smoother, but it hadn’t.
“Keep moving!” If he had to tell the guy to keep moving again he was going to leave him behind. No, maybe he couldn’t do that. He always, always, returned with the package. He wouldn’t let this be the first time he didn’t. No matter how rough the waters became, or how hot the zone was, he would carry out his mission and right now his mission was to take this sniveling wimp home.