Damn. Damn all this shit to hell. We need more men and a much larger network. Shit like this should have never happened.

Why do we always seem to be unable to keep our women safe?

“Lucifer’s coming in with the helicopter, but I doubt he’ll be able to catch them,” I say to Johnathan.

Pushing the button on his neck, he breaks the radio silence. “All teams, Alpha will be heading in on the chopper, bringing the baby for our playboy.”

“Shit, yeah! I need my sexy little filly to play with,” James says over the comms.

“Christ on a hotdog bun, James. Couldn’t you act serious?” Johnathan responds with a laugh.

“Let’s be professional for this. The Saudi’s will be packing heavily. Possible RPG’s, as well as full auto weapons,” I say as I glance down to my hands.

I have a pistol and a phone. This isn’t going to be enough.

“Fuck RPG’s, or well I would say that if I had my girl,” James says over the comm. “But I got enough distance with the HK416 I’m using now. I should be able to get some cover if Andrew can drop me on the other end.”

“Roger that. Simon send over the map of the landing strip if you can,” Andrew says.

Pulling my pad out of a backpack, I flip through multiple maps and eventually have to use a Google Earth map.

Sending it to them, I say, “Best I have right now.”

My proximity alarm on my phone starts beeping, telling me that we are now within a fifteen-mile range of the Saudi’s convoy.

They have three fast moving BMW’s right now heading to the airstrip. I can’t tell any more than that because we’ve gone past the traffic cameras I had control over.

Fifteen miles until I see her.

“The Saudi’s have entered the fifteen-mile radius of my tracker on Meredith,” I say to the men. “They should arrive at the airport two minutes ahead of us.”

Fuck, that is a lot time for things to happen that I have no control over. This is a small-time airport, no security except some old man with a dog.

“Clear. I’m looking at the map. Give me one minute to see if I can get up high enough to shoot downwards,” James says.

“Johnathan, let me pull up in front of you,” Thad says over the comms, “I’ll try to take lead in front of the plane if possible. Me and the Harrison boys can cover you guys that way.”

“We have two oncoming cars. Thirty seconds, then pull ahead,” Johnathan says over the radio.

“Simon, I’ve got a high spot. It looks good, but I can’t be positive. Andrew will pull into the rear. He’s going to be a bit late to the party, but he can drop me at the radio tower there. I won’t go too high, but enough to get some height,” James says.

“Roger,” I say over the comms.

“Let’s get the bosses sister before they get a chance to get funny any ideas,” Andrew says in a gruff voice.

“Nah, that’s Simon’s girl, man,” James says over the comms with a laugh.

“What? Are you fucking getting hitched, Simon?” Andrew asks.

“Die in a fire, all of you,” I say with annoyance.

I don’t need all these assholes knowing my personal business. If they knew the depths of the soul-crushing ache that I feel when she’s not near me, I would never live it down.

“That’s a negative for me, Simon. I got rid of the clap a couple of months ago. No more burning pee-pee for me,” James snickers.

I swear if that fucker was in the car with me right now I would slit his fucking wrists and piss all over his skull before I detached it from his fucking idiotic neck.

“Gentlemen… and James…” Lucifer’s voice comes through the comms and instantly the chatter ends. “Let’s get this wrapped up as cleanly as possible.”

Everything goes quiet for us. We’re close to death. I can feel it in my heart. We’re going to fight for our lives right now. The bloodshed will be significant.

I rarely wear tactical gear like I am right now, and the damnable bulletproof vest on my chest is constricting me in a way that keeps me from breathing normally. I’m not completely out of my element, but it’s close enough.

Is the constricting of breath though from the vest like I want it to be? Or is it Meredith being in harm’s way?

Today started out quite pleasantly. I made passionate… is it love… to Meredith. I don’t know if that word fits.

It’s not all consuming enough.

Love to me is a pitiful metaphor for the feelings I have for this woman. It’s all-consuming, soul-crushing, and mind breaking. Is that love? I have no clue.

I trusted the men of Twin Star to keep her safe while I went out to take care of the Yakuza.

Both failed.

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