Series: TS Omega Team #0.5
Published by: Suspenseful Seduction Publishing
Release Date: April 13, 2017
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Military, Romance/Military, Special Ops, Starting Over, Suspense
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Between new clients and governmental contracts, Trident Security has grown in leaps and bounds. To accommodate the increased caseload, they’ve added a second team to their Tampa headquarters. After hiring seven “best of the best” from military and law enforcement backgrounds, they’ve put together a cracker-jack group of six men and one woman. But before they are turned out to handle their own missions, they must first prove they are a cohesive and capable unit.
Dropped into the Rocky Mountains, the Omega team has minimal supplies and two days to make it back to civilization. But what they find in the wilderness turns a training op into a real one. Will they all make it back alive?
***This novella is a bridge between the original Trident Security (TS) Series and the spin off series, Trident Security Omega Team. While it is not necessary to read the original TS series or this prequel before the Omega Team series, it will give the reader more insight and background of the members of Trident Security.
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Resting her arms, Mallory Hart inspected the pictures of a bald eagle she’d just shot on her digital camera. Hiking in the San Juan Mountain range of the Rockies was one of the best places for her to shoot nature scenes, which she’d then upload to stock photo sites for sale. She currently had over a thousand of them on various websites, and the extra income helped pay for her college classes, textbooks, and supplies.
After taking a few more shots of the majestic bird soaring overhead, she glanced at her watch: 2:30 p.m. She had about another hour before she had to start back down the marked trail. It was approximately two miles to where she’d parked her six-year-old, gray Toyota Corolla. Her friends thought she was crazy to go hiking alone on Wednesdays when she didn’t have any classes scheduled, but she liked the solitude. It wasn’t often she came across another hiker this far into the wilderness during the middle of the week, and she always made sure she didn’t stray far from the main trail. Just in case she did run into trouble, in her backpack was the satellite phone her father, who was retired from the Marines, insisted she have since it was difficult to get a cell signal sometimes. There were also two bottles of water, a few granola bars, a compass, and spare batteries for her camera. Clipped to her jeans was a container of bear repellent.
A scurrying occurred behind her, and Mallory spun around to try and spot the small animal that had caused it. Her gaze flickered around the brush and trees, but there was no creature in sight. High above her, birds sang and squirrels chittered. The unusually warm weather in the mountains for late March had brought some of the wildlife out of hibernation early.
Squatting down, she tried to see if a red fox, wolverine, or porcupine might be looking for food. The sound had been too big to be a chipmunk or squirrel, and too small for anything larger. She searched high and low. Nothing.
A breeze lifted her blonde hair off her shoulders, and an odd chill went down her spine, causing her to pull her lightweight jacket tighter around her body. She was in the middle of the wilderness, high on a dirt trail, surrounded by aspen, cottonwood, and evergreen trees, some shrubbery, and rocks, yet she felt as if she were being watched. There was a gentle, downward slope to the east, leading to the small lake, and a more precarious, upward one to the west.. Scanning the area around her, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. She hoped like hell it wasn’t a cougar or wolf. A bear would make a lot more noise than those two carnivores—especially if it didn’t realize Mallory was there.
Deciding to start back toward the parking area, she kept her eyes out for wildlife she could shoot with her camera and any that might be a threat. After glancing back over her shoulder a few times, she began to relax a little and her mind went to what her boyfriend had planned for their date tonight. She’d been seeing Kevin McCarthy for a few weeks now, and things were starting to get serious. He wanted to take things further, however Mallory was nervous about it. She wasn’t a virgin, so that wasn’t the problem, but she hadn’t been lucky with men in that department. The boy she’d lost her virginity to at sixteen had been sweet while they’d dated, but he’d left her for a girl he met in college while Mallory was still a senior in high school. The only other guy she’d been with had been after high school graduation, and he'd dumped her shortly after she’d put out. She’d learned too late he’d only been looking for another notch in his bedpost.
Those were the only two men she’d ever slept with. Number three might have been a guy in her freshman year of college, but she found out the bastard in her English Literature class had a bet with his friends he would be in her bed in less than a week of dating. Mallory had sworn off the opposite sex for a while after that, concentrating on her schoolwork and photography instead. After a year of not dating, she’d finally broken down after Kevin had pursued her for several weeks. But with her past history of dating jerks, she was now gun-shy about sleeping with him.
She’d only gone about a quarter of a mile on the winding trail, when she stopped short. There was bear scat in the middle of the path, and from the stench, it was recent. It had to be, because she’d have noticed it when she came that way fifteen or twenty minutes ago.
“Shit,” Mallory mumbled to herself. The unintended pun was lost on her as her gaze darted around again. “The last thing I need is a fresh-out-of-hibernation momma bear with her cubs.”
Another rustling sounded to her left, and she shifted in that direction. Again, she couldn’t help but feel like someone was studying her. She hadn’t seen any hikers in over forty-five minutes, and the last ones had been two middle-aged women who’d been out birdwatching, and they’d been a lot closer to the parking area.
Letting her camera hang from the strap around her neck, Mallory unclipped the bear spray from her belt loop and carefully continued down the path. Rounding another curve, she gasped and froze when a large figure stepped out from behind a tree. Her heart pounded in her ears as she stared at the burly man dressed in military-style clothing. His unruly dark hair needed a trim and so did his beard and mustache. A jagged, two-inch scar ran from his upper lip across his right cheek. He was over six feet tall and almost as wide. A large knife was sheathed and strapped to his leg. While she didn’t see any other weapons, that blade was enough to scare the crap out of her. Mallory gripped her bear spray tighter as the man grinned at her.
“Hey there, pretty girl. I didn’t mean to scare you.” His leer belied his rumbling words.
Mallory tried not to show she was afraid. Swallowing hard, she hoped her voice sounded strong and unaffected by the fear coursing through her. She pasted a fake smile on her face. “It’s okay. You just startled me is all.”
“Uh-huh.” The man stepped forward, and Mallory moved backward. “I scared you. I can see it on your pretty face. What’s your name?”
She knew better than to tell him the truth, so she answered the first name that popped in her head. “Susan.” Sorry for borrowing your name, Mom.
“Susan. Pretty name for a pretty girl.”
The way he kept calling her “pretty” sent shivers down her spine. He took another step closer, and her gut churned. “Thanks, but if you don’t mind, I’m in a hurry. I’m meeting people back at the parking area.”
An ugly sneer crossed his face. “Oh, I don’t think anyone is waiting for you. I think you’re lying and I don’t like when people lie to me.”
When the creep moved even closer, she started to lift the bear spray, more than willing to press the red button if she had to. Suddenly two arms wrapped around her torso from behind, pinning her own arms to her side. She screamed as she was lifted off the ground, her body twisting, trying to get loose. The spray bottle dropped out of her hand as she flailed her arms and legs. The man in front of her laughed when she tried to kick him, and grabbed her ankles with his dirty paws, holding them to the side. Mallory opened her mouth to scream again, but her throat went dry and her eyes widened when he unsheathed the huge knife and held it in front of her face.
“Stay quiet, pretty girl, or I’ll cut you into little pieces.”
Copyright ©2017 Samantha A. Cole
All Rights Reserved.
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