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Crazy for Her

By´╝ÜSandra Owens

CHAPTER ONE

 June 2011


 Afghanistan

 Ambush!”

 Hissed with urgency, the word crackled in the SEAL team’s headsets. At the front of the adobe house, Lieutenant Commander Logan Kincaid faded into the shadows along with two of his men. The other three members of his small band of brothers were hopefully slipping unnoticed into the back of the building made of mud bricks and timber. Supposedly abandoned, Intel had received information that the missing army captain was being held inside by the Taliban.

 Peering through night-vision goggles, Logan saw no movement in the watery green scene in front of him. “Dog, report in,” he whispered into his mouthpiece. Roberts didn’t answer.

 The distinctive rat-a-tat-tat of Russian-made machine guns filled the air. The sudden three-round bursts of Roberts’s M4 were quickly followed by the rapid firing of O’Connor’s and Prescott’s assault rifles.

 “Shit,” Romeo hissed from Logan’s left side. “Thought they didn’t know we were coming.”

 Logan glanced at Buchanan. “Fucking Intel.”

 Saint, pressed against Logan’s other side, crossed himself. “All aboard. Next stop, hell.”

 Logan agreed with Turner’s assessment. They had trained and trained and then trained again for this night. A piece of cake, the Intel officer had claimed. Slip in unnoticed, get the hostage, and be gone before even the dogs knew they were there. Logan had never been fond of cake, and judging by the furious barking, the fucking dogs definitely knew they were here. “Let’s go rescue our guys.” Logan pushed away from the wall.

 “Lead the way, Iceman,” Buchanan said.

 The more dangerous the situation, the calmer Logan became, his mind able to see and process everything around him at once, the reason his teammates called him Iceman. He didn’t know why it happened. It just did.

 Before they left the cover of the building’s shadowed doorway, six Tangos, AK-47s slung carelessly across their shoulders, turned the corner, coming straight at them.

 Stupid fools. If they were going to play with guns, they should learn how to hold them. Logan held up one finger, then two, then three. He and his two teammates stepped out of the doorway. Controlled fire from their M4s terminated the threat.

 Fierce gunfire continued from the back of the building. Logan raced down the alley, followed closely by Buchanan and Turner. At the end of the alley, he stopped and peered around the corner where he saw Roberts and O’Connor crouched in front of Prescott.

 Christ. Evan’s down.

 The second half of his team was trapped behind an ancient, rusted-out truck while the bad guys shot at them from two windows located at the first level of the building.

 Logan turned to Buchanan. “I’ll take the far window, Romeo, you take the other. Saint, you cover us.” He pulled out two fragmentation grenades and waited until Buchanan did the same. “Dog,” he whispered into the radio to Roberts. “We’re coming in. Keep firing, but aim high.”

 Hugging the side of the building, Logan made his way to the window and turned to make sure Buchanan was in place. Bullets whistled above his head as chunks of the mud wall bounced off his helmet. At his nod, he and Buchanan pulled the rings from their grenades and tossed them into the windows. Logan hurled himself facedown, Buchanan following suit—both hugging the filthy street.

 Panicked yelling in Farsi sounded from above in the seconds before the explosion. After the dust settled, Logan listened for any sound of life inside the building, and hearing none, he pushed to his feet. Within ten minutes, they had the building secured and had rescued Army Captain Bryce Davis.

 “They were expecting us,” Logan said.

 Davis nodded. “They were. They leaked word to known informants that they had me in this location. From what I could gather, they wanted to kill some SEALs in revenge for us killing bin Laden. Sorry about your man there.”

 Logan knelt and met the eyes of Doc, kneeling on the other side of Prescott. He didn’t like the message he saw in O’Connor’s eyes. “Call in and change our pickup to the rooftop ASAP,” he said to Buchanan. Every minute counted. Their scheduled pickup was three miles to the south. No fucking way he was waiting another two hours for the bird while watching Cowboy bleed to death. With O’Connor’s help, he picked up Prescott and hoisted him over his shoulder, Cowboy’s weight nothing compared to the heaviness in his heart.

 On top of the building, Logan lowered Prescott onto the timber rooftop, leaning back as Doc pulled gauze packs out of his medic’s bag. Although not a man who knew how to pray, he found himself pleading with God to save his friend.

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