Authors: Allie Adams
Tags: #romantic suspense, #suspense, #spies, #covert ops, #search and rescue, #romantic adventure, #exlovers, #military romance, #spies and espionage
A TREX ADVENTURE
Copyright © 2013 by Allie K. Adams
First E-book Publication: October 2013
Cover design by Laura Jochum
All art and logo copyright © 2013 by Allie K.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or
photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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of the author.
All characters and events in this book are
fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is
Allie K. Adams
Tactical Retrieval Experts (TREX) is a
privately funded agency independent of law enforcement, military,
or any governmental restrictions. Our focus is on tracking and
retrieving objects. Simply put: we find things. Employing
highly-trained agents with extensive experience in covert
operations and unlimited resources, we will find anything and with
guaranteed confidentiality. No matter the circumstances. No matter
the danger. Call on TREX—we find what's been lost.
TREX Special Agent Spencer Allen crouched low
enough behind the evergreen shrubs to stay hidden yet keep a
constant eye on the cabin as he approached it twenty-five yards to
the south. The still, moonless night, coupled with the night vision
device, gave him the advantage. While he stayed beneath the trees
and used the NVDs to see everything as plain as day, the fucknuts
that drew him here would never see him coming, even with the snow
blanketing the ground, illuminating the scene.
He settled where he could keep an eye on
their escape route. The dumb sons of bitches. Why choose a place in
the middle of the Black Hills of Washington State with only one way
in and out of the area as their center of operation? And in the
middle of winter? Every step of the way, the kidnappers TREX
tracked to this location screamed amateur.
Yet, as Spencer watched the cabin, something
. His nerves, already raw from the unease gnawing at
his gut, tightened to the breaking point. Tension pulsed in his
veins and made him hyper aware of everything. The distant hoot of
an owl. The bite of the frigid air in his lungs, mixing with the
overwhelming musty scent of the saturated forest. The dense, frozen
fog that had pooled in the valleys around them.
He didn't have to turn to see his five-man
team move up behind him. TREX Team Two had been together so long
they had the same blood type by now. Switching from night vision to
thermal imaging, he did another sweep, taking his time to pick up
on any heat sources.
What the fuck was that?
He narrowed his eyes as he studied the near
white blob inside the cabin blocking out everything else in his
thermal imaging device before pressing the mic resting on his neck
to switch it on. Maybe the TREX team on the north side of the cabin
had a better angle.
“Gessler, what are your TIDs showing you?”
Spencer didn't need anything louder than a whisper with the mission
mics. Or finds, as TREX preferred to call them, since everything
they did at the covert agency surrounded finding something.
“A whole lot of nothing.” Steve Gessler, the
team leader of TREX Team One, added a curse. “What are they burning
in there? Oxyacetylene? I know it's cold out here, but give me a
It was more than that. Spencer's unease edged
higher. They wouldn't burn something so unstable in a confined
space, especially with their meal ticket right there with them.
They may be amateurs but they weren't suicidal, not with the payoff
they were looking at.
Too bad they'd never get the chance to enjoy
any of the ransom.
TREX pulled out all the stops in tracking
these guys to this cabin and it thrilled the shit out of Spencer to
lead one of the two teams positioned to take them down. He kicked
his lips up into a slight grin. These poor bastards had no idea the
shit storm they brought down on themselves when they kidnapped the
grandson of Martin Miller. The powerful billionaire had friends in
very high places.
Like on the board at TREX. One call and
Miller had a team of tactical retrieval experts deployed, tracking
down his grandson and the dumbass kidnappers. From TREX's intel,
there were three. Two males and a female. The female, no doubt, to
give the six-year-old boy that maternal comfort. The males to do
the grunt work women didn't have the stomach for.
Spencer stilled as he listened. His ears rang
from the silence. A six-year-old kid being held against his will
was not going to be quiet. Something didn't feel right. The hairs
on the back of his neck stood on end as his instincts kicked in.
Three kidnappers. Why, then, couldn't they pick up any of them on
the thermal imaging devices? What the hell was that giant white
obstruction that blocked out anything else?
“Team Two in position,” Spencer said into the
“I've got a pretty good view from this side,”
Gessler pointed out. “We move on my count.”
“I don't think so.” Special Agent in Charge
Dan Weber's voice sounded over the airwaves, shocking the shit out
of Spencer. What the hell was their SAC doing there? “Team One
“Weber?” Gessler sounded as shocked as
Spencer felt. And then his voice grew hard. “What the hell are you
“Later. We've got a six-year-old to retrieve
and three kidnappers to neutralize. Report.”
“This is bullshit. You gave me the lead on
“And now I'm taking it.
One.” The SAC did not sound happy. Spencer knew Weber well enough
not to push his buttons. Gessler, on the other hand, pushed his
buttons on a regular basis just to rile Weber. Being the SAC's best
friend definitely had its perks.
“In fucking position.”
They didn't have time for a pissing match
between Weber and Gessler. A little boy's life was at stake.
Spencer tuned them out and switched back over to his NVDs. Whatever
they had burning inside that cabin masked any other heat
signatures, rendering his TIDs useless. The thick log walls made it
impossible to see details inside the cabin, no matter which device
“Move in and wait for my count,” Weber told
The instant Spencer stepped out from under
the canopy of trees, a chill ripped up his spine. The freezing
wind, keeping the temperature well below too fucking cold, bit into
him but he barely felt it. He'd been conditioned to ignore the
elements. They all had.
He tangled with all the sharp fucking
branching trying to gouge out his flesh as he moved his team down
the incline around to the back of the cabin while Gessler led his
to the front. And now they waited for the SAC's count.
“Okay, boys. It's a quick flash and
“I don't like this,” Spencer muttered.
“What was that, Allen?” Weber asked and
didn't sound happy about it.
Shit. His mic must have jumped to VOX so that
it picked up on any voice exchange. Goddamn this thick underbrush.
Spencer reached up and set it back to manual before purposely
clicking his mic on.
“Thermal imaging picked up an abnormally
large heat source that blocked out anything else. Night vision
can't see through the log walls. We don't know what we're about to
“Fuck the count. Get in there. Leave the
female alive. Kill the other two.”
Spencer nodded for lights on. The team all
clicked on the LED streams attached to their M16s. He kicked down
the back door and charged inside, his team pouring in behind him.
The crash of the front door meant Gessler did the same on the
opposite side of the cabin. After clearing the other rooms, Spencer
moved toward the main room where the kidnappers were supposed to
have the boy.
It had to be over a hundred degrees in the
room. Why in the hell would they need it this hot in here? Then he
saw it. There, in the middle of the room, sat a ridiculously large
propane heater. Below that, what the heater masked.
Gessler stood over the body and shook his
head. “Son of a bitch.” He pressed the mic on his neck as he knelt
down and rolled the body onto his back. “Shit. Weber, someone beat
us to the punch. We got a body.”
“Is it the kid?”
“No. It's a guy. Mid-thirties. Hasn't been
dead long. Maybe a couple hours. My guess is it's one of the
“But no kid?” Weber's tone sliced through the
Gessler lifted his attention to Spencer in
question. Spencer shook his head as the answer. No, the boy wasn't
in any of the rooms they'd cleared. “No kid.”
“Fuck! Where the hell is he? Intel tracked
these assholes to this cabin.”
David Snyder, a member of Spencer's team,
knelt down next to Gessler and studied the body. “Rigor hasn't set
in, yet. Our buddy here has been dead less than four hours. Based
on the precise direction of that hole in his head, he didn't put it
“Looks like one of the kidnappers got a
little greedy. Bet we can track him. Come on, Weber. Let us loose,
man.” Gessler twitched with excitement. The man loved field
“Sir?” Spencer prodded. They could still
salvage this if they got out there and found the kid before
morning. “We have a good six hours before sun up.”
“You have two.”
“And then,” Weber said in way too calm a
voice. Spencer immediately tensed. He knew better than to trust
that tone. “You call in search and rescue.”
Not just no, but
no. “We can find
the boy without any help. It's what we do.”
“Not in this terrain and not with a snow
storm closing in. I realize this is your backyard, but we've got a
little boy out there and right now his life takes precedence over
your pride. You have no idea the fuckton of shit that will rain
down on us if this goes south.”
“SAR asks too many questions,” Gessler
whined. “I'm with Allen on this. We don't need any agency outside
of TREX getting involved in our find.”
Spencer nodded, agreeing with Gessler. “The
last time we pulled in another agency, we ended up in front of the
“Not all of us,” Weber pointed out.
No, just me. Thank you for the fucking
“This isn't up for negotiation. Two hours,
Allen. Then you make that call.”
He didn't want to make the call. It had been
a year since he'd last seen her and even that wasn't nearly long
enough. Everything he faced, he approached with fierce conviction.
Strength. Deadly accuracy. He wasn't afraid of a goddamn
thing—except being anywhere near the only woman with the power to
bring him to his knees.
Kathryn Davis. The founder of K-SAR. The
woman of his dreams. The woman of his nightmares.
“Time to move,” Spencer barked, pushing the
thought of making that call way
into the back of his
head. They'd find the boy. That was the only option. “Team Two this
“Team One,” Gessler said. “Let's go. Five
Spencer nodded. A five mile perimeter sweep
would tell them if the kidnappers were up here with them, even if
they were no longer within range. They'd find traces of them. A
shoeprint in the snow. A snag of material on a branch. Something.
And that was exactly what Spencer planned to find.
“Snyder, you and McKoy take the left. Aims
and Cummings, you're on the right. Lyons, you and I have the
middle.” Spencer always took Lyons with him. Although he had eyes
like a predator, always watching, he moved a bit slower as the
years of being a TREX field agent started to catch up with him.
Spencer refused to let his mentor be the weak link on the team.
He'd cover for him each and every time. Lyons would retire when he
was good and ready. Until then, he stayed by Spencer's side.
“See ya on the other side.” Gessler led his
team out of the cabin the same way they came in. Spencer nodded for
his team to move. Gabriel Lyons kept his ever observant gaze
bouncing in every direction. Spencer did the same.
And then he saw it. If he hadn't been looking
for that exact thing, he would have missed it in the pitch black of
the frozen night. There, in between two trees no bigger than dog
hairs, a freshly snapped branch gave away the kidnapper's
direction. They'd escaped by running in between those trees.