Read Lock and Load (SEAL EXtreme Team) Online
Authors: Kimberley Troutte
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SEAL EXtreme Team – Book 2
Lock and Load
© 2014 by Kimberley Troutte
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning to a computer disk without prior written permission by the copyright owner of this book.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious with the exception of the brief mention of historical figures woven into the story fictitiously. Any resemblance to persons, whether living or dead, is strictly coincidental and not intended by the author. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission.
Cover by The Killion Group
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Dedicated to the men and women who courageously serve and protect the United States of America. You and your families are in my prayers. Bless you and stay safe.
Table of Contents
Other titles by Kimberley Troutte
ommunications Expert Charlie Handly checked for messages on his cellular watch. Still no orders. When would his Commanding Officer stop shooting fire out his ass and let them get back to work? It was a lousy thing to bench the whole team for the night Charlie and his brother, Willy, partied with the man’s daughter. Together. In the C.O.’s bed. He grimaced. It was a mistake, but to be fair, why would they ask a sexy lady at a bar who her father was?
He couldn’t live like this. Sure, he was in Oahu, surfing whenever he felt like it, sleeping in a soft bed instead of some dirty overlook, and eating real food instead of crappy MREs, but it wasn’t living. He wasn’t calling in the rain, studying satellites, or fighting with his brother. He was just…relaxing. Extended leave was a pain in the ass.
He gripped the bar he’d installed across his balcony, hammered out forty pull-ups, and dropped to the soft sand to pound out a fast set of push-ups. He had to keep in shape mentally and physically. He wiped his hands on his shorts and let the sun dry the sweat on his bare chest. Warm sea breezes drifted across the island like a woman’s fingers playing with his long blond hair. Cutting his hair was the only thing he wasn’t excited about, but he’d gladly shave his entire body if the C.O. ordered him to.
Checking his messages again, he slammed his palm on the wood post.
He sat at the wicker table on his balcony and opened his laptop. Any wars start up overnight? Insurgents who needed taken out? He checked his top secret satellite scans. Nothing new. Damn.
Technically, he did have an on-the-side job for a computer gaming company that filled some of his downtime and kept him from going stark raving crazy. He’d consulted on a project that created the world’s first guided long-range integrated firearm system to be used with an iPad. The system was selling well in targeted markets and he’d had plenty of money to purchase the beach house in Hawaii. These days, he tested war games for the company. His expertise helped create realistic settings so gamers could believe they were defending themselves in war-torn Bagdad, or the Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
Shit, they had no idea. Games were nothing like the real thing. Even if he worked his ass off to make the situation seem real, something was always missing—the gagging smell of blood, skin burning off your body, smoke searing your eyes, bombs and gunfire exploding all around you, and your buddy’s screams ripping through your ears. Nothing compared to the real thing.
Only one person beat him at his own games and she did it with brutal ease. Every frickin' time. He smiled at the thought. Hot Girl. He had no idea who she was, but he’d developed a crush on his online nemesis. He’d been playing with her for about a year now. Today would be no different. Scanning the games, he looked for her smokin’ hot avatar, which was a cross between Jessica Rabbit and Lara Croft. The single good thing about being benched for the last two months was he had more time to play with Hot Girl. She was a hardcore competitor and loved a challenge as much as he did.
He grinned. “I see you, sweetheart.”
Her avatar was sauntering into the
Battle in Bagdad
. Good game, he’d worked on this one. With any luck, he could beat her this time. He rubbed his hands together and began.
Charlie, or rather his animated avatar, was the only guy in the field who didn’t look like he belonged there. Not wanting to advertise that he was a real Navy SEAL, he’d taken on the persona of the Black Pirate—a secret code name for the SEAL Team Six communication experts—and created an avatar that was a pirate/ninja.
The Black Pirate flattened himself on his belly behind a low cement wall and propped his weapon into a crack for stability and a clear shot. He waited. Most players didn’t understand how to be patient. Many hours in real battle were spent creating a concealed overwatch to study the enemy, the deadly surroundings, and to calculate the risks. Looking through his scope, he focused on a store window. Hostiles would be inside, hunching down, waiting for the right time to rise up and take their shots.
Most of the newbie gamers surrounded the building, hiding behind trashcans and other useless shit that couldn’t protect a fly, and would rush in too soon. The Black Pirate was still. Watching. Waiting. Silent.
Enter an idiot. Completely decked out in hundreds of pounds of military garb, the newbie let out a banshee yell, stood up and raced toward the door. He was gunned down before the yell stopped ringing in Charlie’s ears.
“Game over,” Charlie mumbled.
“Total prickhead,” a woman’s voice said behind him. The gaming company allowed the players to record their own voices. Hers was husky and reminded him of warm brandy.
Her sexy avatar lay down on her belly beside his. “I thought you’d be here Black Pirate. The hostiles are all inside the store, right?”
How’d she know? She’d just arrived. “Maybe.”
She laughed. “Come on. I know you. You’re stealthy, strong, and supremely patient. You’ve already figured out where the hostiles are. So that would be a yes. You never waste ammo. When you take a shot it counts.”
Hell yeah, he knew where the hostiles were hiding, but he couldn’t admit it. Besides, his ears were still buzzing on the compliments.
“Got any grenades to trade? I’ve got twenty bonus points. I really, really need to blow something up,” she said.
He heard sadness in her voice. “Rough day?”
“You have no idea.” She took the game grenades he offered and lobbed them at the store front. She missed, but the explosion was satisfying when a few of the newbies ran for cover.
“Tell me about it. I’m a good listener.”
She sighed. “Yes. You are. It’s one of the things I like about you.”
One of the things?
“I have a small security company. Very small, just me. Companies hire me for pen duty, as in penetration. I’m a certificed ethical hacker. Basically, I hack
into their computer systems to find vulnerable areas and security holes. I plug the holes before crooks, competitors, and other creeps break in.”
A hacker. No wonder she beat him at his games. “Go on.”
“A month ago, a rich guy contacted me with a sad sob story that his bookkeeper was ripping him off. He knew she was skimming, but didn’t know how. He had me hack into her system to keep an eye on her. A real close eye. I activated the camera on her own computer in order to nab her in the act.” She blew a disgusted breath. “I can’t believe I fell for his B.S., but I did. Hook line and sinker.”