Authors: Elle James
No Prisoners Series
Copyright © 2013, Elle James. All
rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
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Manufactured in the
United States of America
Cover Artist: Elle
This is a work of
fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the
author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to
actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
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a retired member of the armed forces, whose father was a career military man
and whose sister and brother also served, I'd like to thank all the brave
soldiers, sailors, airmen, SEALs, Coast Guard and special forces who are
serving or have served and sacrificed to defend this great nation.
take the time to thank those who have served for their commitment and
dedication to keeping us free and safe.
like to dedicate this book to those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives
and to the wounded warriors who so bravely face new challenges.
you've enjoyed this story, please consider taking the time to leave a review on
your favorite retail or reader review site. Authors appreciate your thoughts
about the books you read and love it when you share them with others.
aka Myla Jackson
Tucker, Tuck to his buddies, tugged at the tie on his U.S. Navy service dress
blue uniform, and his gut knotted as he entered the rehabilitation center of the
National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
never run from anything, not a machine gun pinning his unit to a position, a
fight where he was outnumbered, or an argument he truly believed in. But the
sights, smells, and sounds inside the walls of the rehabilitation center made
him want to get the hell out of the facility faster than a cat with its tail on
he couldn't leave. Not yet. This was graduation day for Reaper, aka Cory
Nipton, his best friend and former teammate on SEAL Team 10. Reaper was being
released from the rehabilitation center after enduring something even tougher
than BUD/s training, the twenty-four week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL
training designed to weed out the true SEALs from the wannabes.
Reaper's release from rehab wasn’t the only event that brought Tuck there that
day. He was going to a wedding. His heart twisted, his palms grew clammy, and
he clutched the ring box in his left hand as regret warred with guilt, creating
a vile taste in his mouth.
was marrying Delaney, the only woman Tuck had ever trusted with his heart. The
only woman who'd forced him to get over his past and dare to dream of a future.
She was the woman he could see himself spending the rest of his life with. And
today she was promising to love, honor, and cherish his best friend—a better
man than Tuck by far. A hero who'd lost his right arm because Tuck hadn't given
him sufficient cover. Cory deserved all the happiness he could get after being
medically discharged out of the only family he'd ever known. The Navy SEALs.
hand on the door to the room where the wedding was to take place, Tuck squared
his shoulders and stepped into his future.
Two months earlier
glanced to his left and right. The members of Strike Force Dragon sat or stood,
tense, holding onto whatever they could as the MH-60M Black Hawk dipped into
the valley between two hilltops, less than a click away from the dark, quiet
village. The only thing different about this mission was that, since the one
before, he'd slept with the Pilot in Command of the helicopter.
men knew her as Razor, the call sign they used for the only female pilot flying
infiltration and extraction missions for the 160th Special Operations Aviation
Regiment (SOAR), Army Captain Delaney O'Connell.
his NVGs he picked up the bright green signature of a lookout on top of one of
seconds, shots were fired at them, tracer rounds flaring in the dark. The
helicopter remained just out of range of the man's rifle shots, but it wouldn't
be long before a Taliban machine gunner with long-range capability was alerted with
the potential of lobbing rocket-propelled grenades their way.
no time, the helicopter sank to a level just above the drop zone (DZ). While it
hovered the men fast-roped down.
soon as his boots hit the ground, Tuck brought up his M4A1 in the ready
position and ran toward the sniper on the rooftop, zigzagging to avoid being
locked in the enemy crosshairs.
Big Bird, Gator, Fish, and Dustman spread out to the sides and followed.
they were in range, Reaper took a knee and employed his uncanny ability as a
sharpshooter to knock off the sentry on the rooftop.
team continued forward into the walled town, going from building to building, until
they reached the one they were after. In the center of the compound, high walls
surrounded one particular brick and mud structure.
Bird bent and cupped his hands.
planted his boot in the man's massive paws and, with Big Bird's help, launched
himself to the top of the wall, dropping down on the other side in a crouch.
Weapon pointing at the building, finger on the trigger, Tuck scanned the
courtyard for potential threat. People moved past windows inside. So far, no
one had stepped outside to check out the disturbance. Only a matter of time. "Clear,"
he said into his headset.
Dustman topped the wall, a man emerged from the side of the structure and fired
hesitation, Tuck fired off a silent round, downing the man with one bullet.
dropped to the ground beside him and gave him a thumbs up, taking the position
by the wall so Tuck could move to the corner where the dead man lay.
they'd discussed in the operations briefing, they only had three minutes to get
into the compound, retrieve their target, and get out. Kill anyone in the way,
but bring out the target alive.
four of the six-man team were inside the wall, they breached the doorway and
entered, moving from room to room. If someone or something moved, they had only
a millisecond to decide whether or not to shoot.
opened the first room. Inside, small green heat signatures glowed in his NVGs.
Children sleeping on mats on the floor. He eased shut the door, jamming a wedge
in the gap to keep them from getting out too soon.
moved on to the next room. When he opened the door, a woman rose from a pallet,
wearing a long black burka. When she lifted her hand like she held a gun, Tuck
fired, taking her down before she could pull the trigger.
he continued in the lead position down the narrow hallway, Tuck's adrenaline
hammered blood through his veins and honed his senses. His wits in hyper-alert
status, his finger rested a hair's breadth away from again pulling the trigger.
This was the life he was made for. Defending his country, seeking out his
enemies and destroying them with a swift, deadly strike. His job was risky,
dangerous, and deadly.
man emerged from a room down the hall.
nerves spiked. He had only a fraction of a second to identify him.
pulled the trigger and nailed him with another silent round. The man slumped to
the floor, his cry for help nothing more than a startled gasp.
door he'd emerged from flew open and men bearing guns poured out.
spoke quietly into his headset. "Get down." He didn't bother to look
back. His team would follow his orders without hesitation. He dropped with
them, his M4A1 in front of him, and fired at the kneecaps of the men filling
by one, they went down, discharging their weapons, the bullets going wide and
Pashto, the language spoken by most of the population of Afghanistan and
Pakistan, Tuck told them to lay down their weapons.
one of the injured enemies sat up and took aim, Tuck fired another round,
putting him out of the game.
injured enemy soldiers threw down their guns.
clean up out here," Tuck whispered into his mic. "Reaper and Big
Bird, you're with me."
the lead, Tuck stepped around the fallen Taliban and entered the room in a low
crouch, ducking to the right. Nothing moved. Another door led into yet another
unknown space. Tuck dove into the room and rolled to the side, weapon up.
he entered, a man with an AK47 fired off a burst of rounds that whizzed past
Tuck's ears, missing him, but not by much. The man shouted for Tuck to drop his
fired at the shooter's chest. He fell to the ground, revealing the man he'd
been protecting. Their target, the Taliban leader they'd been briefed on. He
stood straight, a pistol aimed at Tuck.
he wanted to pull the trigger, Tuck couldn't shoot. His mission was to bring
him out alive.
hesitation cost him. A round, fired pointblank, hit him in the chest and flung
him backward to land on his ass. If not for the armor plate protecting him, he'd
be a dead man. He lay still for a moment, struggling to regulate his breathing.
used the stun gun, firing off a round that hit dead on and had the man flat on
his back and twitching in seconds. "You okay?" He extended his hand
to help Tuck to his feet.
Tuck motioned to Big Bird. "Take him."
biggest, strongest man of the team, Big Bird lifted their target and flung him
over his shoulder.
fighting to catch his breath, Tuck led the way back to the fence. Once outside
the building, he scanned his surroundings and then checked back up at the top
of the roof. No signs of enemy snipers. But that didn't mean they were in the
clear. They still had to navigate their way out of town and get back to the
the way, with Gator and Fish guarding the rear, Tuck hurried back along the
narrow street to the outer walls of the village where the helicopter hovered
nearby, waiting for their signal.
blinked the flashlight outfitted with a red lens at the hovering aircraft and
it moved in, setting down for the briefest of moments, enough to get the
six-man team inside. He reached over the back of the seat to the pilot and
Black Hawk lurched into the air, rising up and moving forward at the same time,
hurrying to gain as much altitude as possible as they disappeared into the
night sky, out of enemy sight and weapons range.
until they were well out of reach did Tuck release the breath he'd been holding
and take stock of his team and their prisoner. All of them made it out alive
and intact. That's the way he liked it. He'd been the only one who would have
sustained injury if he hadn't been equipped with armor plating.
co-pilot handed Tuck an aviation headset and he slipped it on.
minutes, twenty-five seconds." Gunnery Sergeant Sullivan's raspy voice
sounded in Tuck's ear. "Better, but still not fast enough."