Ravaged River(2)

By: Lindsey Cross



♣    The life-saver. Employs the latest field medical technology and limited surgical procedures

♣    Height: 6’2”

♣    Weight: 215lbs

♣    Combat Experience: Operation Anaconda, Operation Jacana, Operation Condor, Operation Summit, Operation Volcano, Operation Achilles,Operation Mountain Viper, Operation Eagle Fury



MERC: Engineer Sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class

♣    Recruited from Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

♣    Specialized Skills: direct action, unconventional warfare, special recon, Demolitions, psychological operations

♣    Demolition expert. Trained in psychological warfare, conducts field interrogations.

♣    Height: 6’5”

♣    Weight: 250lbs

♣    Combat Experience: Classified



ETHAN SLADE: Communications

Sergeant/Commo Guy, Sgt. 1st Class

♣    Recruited from the 75th Ranger Regiment, Ft. Benning, GA

♣    Specialized Skills: direct action, unconventional warfare, special recon, communications

♣    Communications expert. Employ latest FM, multi-channel, and satellite communication devices.

♣    Height: 6’0”

♣    Weight: 200lbs

♣    Combat Experience: Operation Condor, Operation Summit, Operation Volcano, Operation Achilles



CORD CARTER: Weapons Sergeant, Staff Sgt.

♣    Recruited from the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Camp Lejeune, NC

♣    Specialized Skills: direct action, unconventional warfare, special reconnoissance, weapons expert/sniper

♣    Weapons expert. Capable of firing and employing all small arm and crew served weapons

♣    Height: 6’1”

♣    Weight: 210lbs

♣    Combat Experience: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Condor, Operation Summit, Operation Volcano, Operation Achilles





1





Hoyt Crowe tilted back the bottle of whiskey as he faced his reflection in the bedroom mirror. The man staring back was so poisonous he destroyed everything around him. Friends. Family. And, fucking worst of all, himself.

Hoyt didn’t deserve to be alive. Not anymore.

A car door slammed outside and he jerked, almost dropping the bottle. Goddammit. His control was gone. Destroyed. How could he protect his team if he flinched at every little sound?

Sweat drenched his body. Hoyt lifted the bottle for another drink, spilling some liquor on his chin. His once sniper-steady hand shook like a new recruit on his first mission.

Laughter erupted over the music from the living room, thrusting Hoyt back to that shack in the woods on Crowe Mountain. Three months ago, he and Jared had taken a trip to the past and returned to their former home--the place they'd fled as kids. Of all the mistakes he'd made in life, it was the one he regretted most. He'd been captured and tortured by his cousin and his cousin's girlfriend, who'd mistakenly thought he could give them the deed to the mountain. They'd trussed him up and the bitch had taken a flaying knife to his skin. He'd never forget the look of glee in her eyes as she sliced into him. Her shrill, screeching laugh. The same sound that was streaming in from the living room, except this time it was lacking the edge of madness.

And just like an untrained newbie would have done, he’d blubbered and begged for his life.

He took another swig, praying the fire from the whiskey would burn through his shattered nerves, and spilled more on his shirt. He ripped it off and threw it in the corner. Bile clawed up his throat, lacerating him from the inside out. I can’t even take a damn drink without shaking.

His reflection was a mockery of what it had once been. Sliced and diced – he could write the manual. The deepest wound was on his face. The bitch had made sure he’d remember her every time he looked in a mirror.

Now his lips pulled in a sideways smile even when he frowned.

How could Hayden look at him, let alone want to be with him? She didn’t deserve to be tied to this. I am a weak, disfigured monster.

Of course, monsters weren’t afraid of the dark, so he couldn’t even call himself that. Hoyt’s twisted lips pulled into a smile that didn’t reach his pale blue eyes.

A knock sounded at the door. Hoyt ignored it. He wasn’t ready to face anyone.

“Hoyt, it’s Hunter. I need to talk to you.”

Christ. Hayden’s brother and his team leader wanted to talk to him in private. Hunter James wasn’t the type of man who was easily ignored. Hoyt staggered over to the rich oak dresser against the far wall. The mirror resting on it was as big as the dresser. There was no escape from his ruined reflection.

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