Загрузка...

 A SEAL Wolf Christmas

Heart of the Wolf - 12

by

Terry Spear

To Donna Fournier who, for years, has sent me inspiration to write about wolves. She lives near the International Wolf Center and has been sending me articles about the wolves in her neck of the woods in Minnesota, along with wolf CDs so that I can tell which of my sexy wolves is making a call of the wild, as well as hunks she’s sure are some of my wolves—pictures of hunks, that is. And now she’s even getting into the jaguars! Thanks, Donna, for sending me so much inspiration!

Chapter 1

Amazon Jungle, Colombia

Despite being deep in the jungle on a life-or-death mission, Bjornolf Jorgenson couldn’t rid himself of the refrain of “Jingle Bells” playing over and over again in his head. He’d just come from an assignment in snowed-in Minnesota where he’d heard the song. For now, he was shadowing his favorite retired SEAL-wolf team and one female operative in action, and Christmas should have been the furthest thing from his mind.

Their mission: rescue a kidnapped family. His mission: watch the team’s back.

They were getting paid as private contractors. He was doing it as a favor to Meara. Neither her brother, leading the operation, nor her mate, serving as one of the team members, would appreciate that she’d asked Bjornolf to watch over them.

So he was serving in a covert way, which he preferred over any other.

Bjornolf was also doing this for Anna Johnson, who had intrigued him during their last hot encounter. Straight ahead of him, she was keeping low as she made her way through the jungle with the rest of the team.

It was dusk, and high above them in the canopy, the cacophonous cries of black howler monkeys sent a jarring noise through the trees, warning other monkeys that this was their territory. The air was heavy with moisture and the scent of fragrant orchids as moths fluttered around them.

Bjornolf crept close to the ground. He trailed the team unseen, blending in with the feathery ferns, hibiscus, mimosa, and bromeliads, one kind sporting sweet pineapples that he’d had a bite of earlier in the day. Massive spaghetti-like creepers of lianas crisscrossed the jungle floor underneath his boots where insects and lizards moved about.

Up ahead, Hunter Greymere led the group. A highly decorated SEAL team leader, he was also the alpha pack leader of the Oregon-coast gray wolves.

Finn Emerson, Hunter’s brother-in-law, and Paul Cunningham were to Anna’s left, and Allan Rappaport, now hidden from view, was somewhere off to her right. While all wolves, none of them were members of Hunter’s pack.

Bjornolf shifted his attention from the team to the jungle and, hearing no human sounds, he focused on Anna. Because of his enhanced wolf sight, he saw her in the twilight as clearly as if it were daylight. She was svelte and sexy, even when covered from head to toe in camo gear. She was all curves and hotness, her face painted in a pattern of greens, browns, grays, and blacks to hide her in the foliage. Anna had silky auburn hair tucked under a jungle hat, though straggles of it curled about her shoulders.

He admired her stealth, courage under fire, and resolve. He had to admit he liked watching her a lot better than the men. No matter how dangerous she looked, bristling with weapons, some hidden, she was still all woman. And one who could fight.

He listened again to the noises all around him, attempting to hear even a hint of human voices. Colorful yellow-crowned parrots and red and green macaws made their noisy cawing and chattering, frogs croaked as in a mating call, rather than higher pitched in distress, and insects rustled everywhere.

Then two men began speaking in the distance—complacent, unaware that highly skilled men and one woman were about to descend on them. The men spoke in Spanish, talking about the hostages, so Bjornolf knew the team was targeting the right people. The men appeared to be serving guard duty on the perimeter.

The odor of bitter smoke drifting to him told him the men were smoking.

Although Hunter’s team members were all in human form, they moved like a wolf pack, working together, moving slower now, more cautiously, determined to see the hostages freed without causing any casualties on their side.

A jaguar roaring in the jungle not too far away made the kidnappers’ chatter die instantly. The call of a second and then a third big cat’s roar rent the air.

Anna and the others paused mid-crawl… listening. They continued to stare straight in front of them—their focus on the mission. Allan moved up closer to Hunter and Finn.

Uniformly camouflaged like her, Bjornolf crept nearly parallel to Anna, far enough away in the jungle and slightly behind her so that he could keep an eye on her. He was effectively in her blind spot. He’d broken his cover the last time he’d been assisting the team, but he hadn’t needed to this time. Yet. He was half hoping he could get through the mission without revealing himself and half wishing he could let Anna know he had her back.

Like a wolf stalking its prey, Anna crept toward one of the two guards. To her left, Paul matched her careful pace. The last time Bjornolf had seen him, Paul wore a scruffy blond beard, but now he was clean shaven. Wiry and thinner than Bjornolf and Finn, Paul was quick in his movements, an economy of force to be reckoned with.

Bjornolf was torn between wishing he was in Anna’s place so she didn’t have to risk her neck taking down the guard, and wanting to replace Paul so he would be the one at her side. Him, a ghost. He was known throughout the SEAL community as a super-wily deep undercover operative who never revealed himself to anyone. For years, body counts would add up during a mission that no one else could account for, all attributed to him, whether he was in the vicinity or not.

So why was all of his damnable interest in the she-wolf’s welfare now potentially blowing the carefully concealed part of his business-as-usual attitude?

She was fully capable of handling herself just fine.

When she was close enough, she popped up from the jungle floor like a woodland sprite, framed by massive trees, twenty feet in diameter and reaching toward the heavens like skyscrapers. She whipped out a shuriken and threw it. The stainless-steel, five-pointed throwing star slid through her fingers, heading straight toward the guard’s forehead. Without making a squeak, he collapsed with a thump in a cluster of vines and ferns.

Before the other guard could react, Paul had him in a chokehold, jerked his head to the side, and snapped his neck, then dropped him where he stood.

Hunter and the others hit the camp just as two relief guards headed for Anna and Paul. Not normally impulsive, Bjornolf was having a devil of a time curbing the urge to intercept the man targeting Anna, but he knew to keep his attention focused everywhere else—anywhere that someone might be hiding with dark intent.

Anna moved forward in attack mode as gunshots rang out in the camp. A woman screamed and kids shrieked as Anna dropped the relief guard with a rapid barrage of bullets. Paul took down the other man with a burst of gunfire before the guy could retaliate.

Mission accomplished, Anna and Paul raced toward camp, running at a crouch.

Without warning, a man jumped out of the brush, his rifle raised to shoot Anna. Bjornolf leaped from where he’d been running and slammed into the man’s back, taking him to the ground. Startled by the surprise attack from behind, the man yelled out. Bjornolf slit his throat, then jumped to his feet. He looked up to see Anna watching his back, her gun ready, mouth pursed in annoyance.

“You could have let us know you’re with us,” she said, her voice hushed. Her green eyes narrowed as she

Вы читаете A SEAL Wolf Christmas
Добавить отзыв
ВСЕ ОТЗЫВЫ О КНИГЕ В ИЗБРАННОЕ

1

Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату