Time frame: the month leading up to his appearance in Paradise Point.
“What the shit, Lennox?” Adam stood in the doorway to the conference room at WIG headquarters in San Diego.
They’d returned home late last night. Commander Leon Wingfield had called an early briefing and they’d all headed home for as much shut eye as they could.
Adam steadied his eyes on the only man in the room.
“Excuse me?” Lennox swiveled in his chair.
“Don’t ever give a hostage a gun. That’s survival 101.”
“It was Stephens.” Lennox shrugged. “We go way back. I didn’t give the other guy one.”
“I don’t give a shit if the person we just rescued is your mother. You don’t know what happened while they were captured. He could’ve killed all of us.”
“It’s not like that.”
“Yeah? Have you seen his psych eval?”
“Then you don’t know. I will not have you putting the team in danger. Pull that shit again and you’re dismissed.”
Adam’s last word fell on the heels of the Commander and the other four team members entering the room. All in their own conversation, no one seemed to care about Adam and Lennox.
The Commander started in about their next assignment, but Adam couldn’t focus. He needed a vacation.
“A DEA sting?” Darby sat up in the conference chair.
“Correct.” Commander Wingfield nodded, his hard expression, salt and pepper crew cut and tanned skin didn’t move. “This is Special Agent Rodriguez.”
Special Agent Rodriguez stood and exchanged places with the Commander. “In recent months the drug cartels have been reaching out to military personnel. They have been trying, and succeeding, at hiring our men as hit men. We’ve given them the skills necessary, they often need work if they’ve just gotten out of the service, and can travel between the US and Mexico easily.”
“Any particular branch?” Sword asked.
Adam knew Sword had worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency prior to joining WIG. Sword had vast knowledge on drug pipelines and knew the distribution habits which tremendously helped the team during missions. Sword always said drugs and their pushers were universal.
“No, their recruitment has been general and wide spread across the US,” Rodriguez said.
“Their?” Adam spoke for the first time since his team had been assembled for a new assignment.
“A few drug cartels are using this fairly new method to carry out their dirty work, but right now we’re focusing on the Haros cartel.”
“Ah, shit.” Sword shook his head and Adam watched as the fun loving team member sombered.
Adam trusted his teammates’ instincts and took the warning in Sword’s eyes that this had the makings of a dangerous mission. Not that any of their missions weren’t…sometimes the danger was in the moment and sometimes it began right here in the conference room.
Rodriguez continued. “The Haros drug cartel is second to none in organization. They are based in Mexico and have a secret pipeline to bring drugs into the US. They were the first to employ this method. They take their business seriously and because of their hierarchy this has been done as efficiently as everything else they do. So, as you might imagine, the Haros cartel has the wherewithal, knowledge and money…not to mention the organization to succeed in recruiting our men and adding another layer of violence to their already rich cache of criminal resources.”
Sword turned to the others in the room. Willamina, Tambo, Darby, and Lennox all sat at the big conference table and turned their attention to Sword.
“These are some seriously fucked up guys and they don’t wait for confirmation on a suspicion. I’ve seen their decision process first hand and it isn’t pretty,” Sword said.
“Which is one of the reasons we asked WIG to help us out with this undercover operation,” Rodriguez continued. “Sword has an alias with Haros that hasn’t been compromised. We’ve set up a handful of ops so far on our own, but have yet to get past the middle man. And one lasted for a year. This is a tight group.” Rodriguez paused and glanced at the floor. “We lost a good agent fighting this cartel.” He raised his head back to the group, his eyes settling on Adam. “We need this win.”
Yes, sir. Adam nodded. He lived for the pressure and didn’t fail. If a cartel that hires military people as assassins is what they wanted, then that was what they were going to get.
* * *
Adam clicked in his 9mm ten-round magazine and raised his Sigg 226 Combat handgun. He flicked his stare to Sword and watched him slightly nod. They fired at the same time, picking off each target methodically. Right in the kill zone.
“Nice,” Adam said.
“Not too shabby yourself, man.”
“Whoa, buddy.” Manny’s balled sideways fist tapped his smile. “That’s some shooting.”
Manny, Sword’s contact in the Haros drug cartel, had called the duo to the warehouse district to show off their marksmanship. The mission was moving too slow for Adam’s taste. Hopefully today’s target practice would get them higher up the food chain.
“I’m a trained solider and Mac’s a natural. What’d you expect?” Adam ejected his magazine and loaded another, keeping himself armed.
“This one’s a good teacher.” Sword patted Adam on the back.
Adam picked up what Sword’s tap on his back alluded to—another person had joined them, but hadn’t been introduced yet.
“I’ve never seen this boy shoot. Damn man. You two are lethal.” Manny turned his attention to his phone. “Looks like you two just made the short list.”
Manny walked to the black truck in the abandoned alley. The driver’s side window slid down and Adam watched Manny and the fifty-something Latino man. They were talking quietly and Adam couldn’t make out anything. He knew Darby was close and Willamina’s surveillance would catch what he and Sword couldn’t. Lennox was set to tail Manny, but would now switch to the mystery man.
Manny pointed to Adam and motioned for him to join the conversation.
As Adam approached the man spoke, “Manny tells me you’re effective. And, I see quite a good shot.”
“Adam this is Victor. Victor, Adam.” Manny introduced.
“I might have work for you.” Victor set his dark eyes on Adam.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
**To find out what happens next, be sure to check out Paradise Point, out now from Crimson Romance!**