Bite the Bullet (Delta 6 Blackout Book 1)
Rhonda Lee Carver
He kidnapped her to catch a killer. Now he's the only one who can save her...
Delta 6 is an elite team comprised of retired SEALs, the best-of-the-best, who have faced incredible conflicts and missions. Their motto is “Get in and get out, using all necessary force, and leave no man behind.” Working with Homeland Security, their team is the one called upon to do the impossible reconnaissance missions—and now they’re facing six big ones. Assigned to catch the six most wanted terrorists on friendly soil, each tough soldier will face brutal circumstances to bring the enemy to justice. And they’re willing to pay any price… Enemies don’t always wear black and carry guns. Sometimes they’re beautiful doctors with raven hair and engaging blue eyes. Cason Driggs has been investigating elusive terrorist, Ghost, for six months and the first real clue he finds is a partial print that belongs to Dr. Yara Yates, an epidemiologist who is skilled in monitoring infectious diseases and bioterrorism threats. Cason decides the best way to draw a terrorist out of his hole is to dangle a juicy carrot underneath his nose. Kidnapping the lovely doctor, he plans to use her as bait, but something changes that Cason isn’t prepared for. Yara believes the man who kidnapped her must be one of Ghost’s thugs who plans to kill her after she sent an unexpected clue to authorities. More than fearing for her own life, she must protect her family. And her heart. A hunting cabin. A stray dog. A snake. And a bullet all lead up to a wild goose chase. Cason is an alpha and Yara is a focused scientist. They couldn't be more different. How will the two work together to bring down a terrorist? How will they deny, or tame, the fire that is threatening to consume them?
Cason took in her delicate, smooth skin and how wisps of her hair curled around her cheeks. Although she looked young, she had the eyes of a woman who’d matured far faster than most women her age. As if she had a gaze magnet hooked to her body, he couldn’t control his eyes as they dipped lower, moving along the slender column of her neck, and the gentle lift of her chest under the thin shirt. The rising and falling quickened and he wondered if he was the cause of her heavy breathing? He ached to touch her, remembering how soft her skin was and how good she smelled. How responsive she would be to his affection. He breathed in deep, taking in her scent, wanting it to warm him while he made his solitary trek down the mountain. If only he could hold her, absorb her warmth all the way into his bones.
Things were moving too fast, like a broken dam. He needed to stop the path that’d lead to nowhere. They were from different worlds. A lion and a deer. A weed and a flower. A beauty and a beast.
How could he even have a thread of hope that she’d like someone like him? A hardened, rough around the edges man who’d never had a relationship that lasted longer than a couple of years, and that was with his childhood girlfriend, Hannah.
Damn, he was a sad, sad story.
“Look, don’t worry. I’ll be back before you know it.” He wanted to settle her nerves.
Yara’s irises dilated.
Did the change come from inside? Maybe from a fast-beating heart or a tingling in her limbs? He concentrated on his own breaths. In and out, in and out. His skin became sensitive and his heart pounded. A telltale flush crawled from her cheeks, down into her neck and disappeared under the neckline of her shirt. Did she sense his wild thoughts? Wishes?
His thoughts were almost pushed to the edge, but he didn’t know the true battle within him until her gaze drifted to his mouth and her eyes begged for…what? His kiss? His touch? More? He shifted in his boots, easing some of the tension behind his zipper, but his desire was growing by the second. Becoming harder to deny.
The tip of her tongue flicked out to moisten her lips and he felt the chains snap.
What could it hurt if he sampled her sweet lips?
Just one kiss. He wouldn’t be too greedy. Wouldn’t expect too much.
It’s a bad idea! Things could get messy. His focus needed to be locked on Ghost.
Logic kicked in as painful as a punch to the gut by an elephant and he decided he couldn’t do this…
He pulled open the door and a blast of cold air whipped around his ears. He dragged the hat lower. “By the way, there’s enough cut wood out by the shed to last a week.”
Worry returned, flashing something vulnerable in her eyes. “So, then there is a possibility you won’t come back.”
“I’m just one who needs to be prepared. I’m starting to think you really don’t want me to go,” he said with a chuckle.
“How long do you think it’ll take you? A guesstimate. That way I won’t be pacing a hole in the floor.”
“Three hours, taking into consideration the rocky terrain. You’ll see. That’s not long at all.”
She didn’t look relieved and his plans became even more unreachable. Her jerky nod told him she was trying to understand.
If she was as confused on the inside as much as he was, then there was a ton of tangled desires between the two of them.
As far as Cason was concerned, he didn’t have a choice but to make it back to the cabin. He’d made a promise to her. A man was only as good as his actions.
Stepping into the cold, he immediately regretted the fact that he’d made that promise. It was bitterly cold outside, but at least the storm hadn’t made it on the mountain yet. Cason understood that a change of weather could happen within seconds.
Although he needed to get her medicine, he also needed to at least try and find his phone. There probably wasn’t enough rice in the world to dry the device up.
Looking back at the cabin, the dim lights lit the window. She wasn’t watching.
Shifting his path, he headed for the shed and feathered his light around the dirt ground. Grabbing the shovel he’d propped against the wall, he dug up the loose dirt until he hit metal. Dropping to one knee, he pulled the locked box from the hole and tapped in a code on the pad. Inside he took out his extra Glock and stuck it in his waist band. Unsheathing the knife, he placed it in his sock and made sure it was secure. A man could never be too careful. Unfortunately, he didn’t think to have a burner phone. He’d feel a lot more in control with a way to reach his team if needed.
Closing up the box, reburying it, he left the shed and made his way toward the gravel road. He couldn’t deny himself one last look back at the lit window, feeling a shitload of guilt. Had he made the wrong decision not to make this trip together? He could move a lot faster alone. The hike on this landscape would be hard enough for him. If she passed out from low blood pressure, he’d be responsible to carry her. She was much safer in the cabin behind locked doors.
Cason reminded himself that there was no room for failure. This was his job. His mission. Finding and stopping Ghost was important to many people. Even as he turned and headed for the pine trees, he was plagued with frustration. Life was much easier when he only had himself to worry about.
He wasn’t an investigator or a crime solver. His job wasn’t to solve the mystery of a domestic terrorist. By the time a case made it in the laps of Delta 6 things had become dire. His mission was to find Ghost using whatever resources necessary. Then Cason would turn the bastard over for debriefing. There were legal procedures that had to be followed in order to satisfy the government, but if in the end the only way to end Ghost was to put a bullet between his eyes then Cason wouldn’t hesitate.
His boots sunk in the mud making his steps more difficult. Although the Jeep was only five miles away, it could easily be the other side of the state because without an ATV, he was a slave to Mother Nature’s mercurial moods.
The cold, damp air had instantly penetrated his jacket and his shoulders were a little stiff. He reached up high toward the sky, stretching his rotator cuffs, and then took off at a slow jog. Making sure he kept his breathing even and gentle, he stayed focused on the path ahead. Nice and easy.
Once he reached the edge of the first road, his adrenaline had kicked in and he was warmed up. In fact, his knee, and shoulders, no longer ached.
There was something calming about the peace and quiet one got in nature. Even when everything was crumbling around him.
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Rhonda Lee Carver is a bestselling author of contemporary western and romantic suspense, but she loves to write other genres too. She's known for writing stories that keep readers laughing, crying, gripping the edge of their seats, and screaming all in one book...like riding a virtual roller coaster. Whether she's creating sexy cowboys or tough guys, or sassy, independent heroines, readers are sure to find strong, powerful, memorable characters that are relatable.
By day, she taps into her creative, fictional world but at some point she transitions back into reality where she's a volleyball-stands cheerleader, homework virtuoso (at least she thinks so), amateur nurse to skinned knees, mediocre chef with some awesome microwave skills, pet-guru (all the strays show up at her house), and a Jackie of all trades for her kids who are the loves of her life. Yoga and chocolate keep her sane. Hallmark movies require cuddling up with tissues because she can be emotional. She adds a sprinkle of her own real-life adventures in each story she spins because a little truth never hurt anyone. She wouldn't give up one thing in her crazy, chaotic, ever-amusing life, except, she might do magic tricks for the bungalow on the beach she's had her eye on (GOALS).
Writing for Rhonda is like falling in love and finding a new best friend over and over again. Her characters will find a place inside your heart too.
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