He’s a former military hero determined to get her back.
She fell for his friend after he broke her heart.
With MANTIS now at her side, she’s praying for answers.
As a K19 pilot, I see and hear a lot, while facing battles that take me away. When I’m undercover, I’m sometimes forgotten. All that matters to me now, is Alegria Mondreau, helping her heal. I’ve loved her since college; I’d do anything to get her back, make her happy—even if it means walking away.
I loved him first. I know that. But he walked away. And I fell for someone else. Now that he’s back, there’s more on the line. Our lives are in danger. We need a lot more than prayers, and MANTIS is ready for the fight.
When I heard the sound that made my ears prick up, I knew all hell would soon rain down on the encampment where I was being held hostage.
The nausea and debilitating headache I’d had only moments ago went away with the rush of adrenaline that flooded my body. Every nerve ending had gone on high alert as I prepared to carry out the procedures I’d been trained to do if I ever found myself in a hostage situation.
My job was to get myself and the other two captives out of the way without alerting our Somali pirate captors of the impending attack.
As with every other mission or op I’d carried out with my lifelong best friend, Thomas “Dutch” Miller, it executed flawlessly.
“Let’s go!” Dutch shouted, leading me and the other hostages out of the compound and into waiting vehicles.
I climbed into one SUV with Dutch, and the other four men climbed into the second.
“I owe ya one,” I said once we were a safe distance away from the compound.
Dutch laughed. “Oh, yeah? I think I owed you a couple first.”
“Let’s call it even, then. What’s the word on Striker, Tackle, and Halo?”
“Extracted.” Dutch scrubbed his face with his hand. “I’m not sure if I should tell you this.”
I turned my head and looked at him. “What?”
“They were home in time for Christmas.”
I nodded. That wasn’t bad news. I wondered why Dutch would think I’d take it as such.
“How are you doin’?”
I rubbed the back of my neck with my hand. “I could use a hot shower, about five gallons of water, and decent food. After that—sleep.”
“Tall order, but I think we can manage most of it. Who were the other two prisoners?”
“I don’t know. They’re not American, I know that much.”
“Diesel and Ranger will take care of contacting whichever embassy they should be delivered to.”
“How far are we from Mogadishu?”
“Three hours, at least.”
“Mind if I get some rest?”
“Of course not.”
I reached over the back of the seat and grabbed a blanket. I wadded it up and put it between my head and the passenger side window. As uncomfortable as I was, it was better than where I’d been sleeping the last several days.