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A SEAL's Vigilant Heart (Midnight Delta #8)

By´╝ÜCaitlyn O'Leary

entious about money.

"Okay, now that I have burned two thousand calories doing contortions to get in and out of dresses, who's up for lunch? I vote for Mexican food. I desperately need a margarita," Frannie called out.

A round of 'yes's' sealed the deal.

Sophia took one last look in the mirror and gave a secret smile. Yes, Mason is going to love seeing me in this dress.

Chapter Two

If he was told one more fucking time it was a quick in and out mission, he was going to quit the SEAL team! Lieutenant Mason Gault gripped his Sig Sauer P239 and glanced at Drake Avery out of the corner of his eye. His second in command was angry, but he really didn't give a shit. He was in command, and if someone was going to take the risk on this goat fuck, it was going to be him.

Mason didn't mind hard assignments, hell he relished impossible assignments. That's what he and his team were trained for, the reason they had signed up to be SEALs. But this was the third time in a row the intelligence had been one hundred percent wrong. Thank God his gut had warned him, and he and his team had double-timed it to the Middle Eastern village where the reporters were being held.

Supposedly they were going to be ransomed, and it was Mason's team's job to rescue them. However, when they got there, the city square was filled for public beheadings. It was clear by the faces of the people many of them were too scared not to attend, and the armed guards around the perimeter had forced them to be there.

Mason, Drake, Finn, Clint, Jack, and Aiden had scouted the area for the last twenty minutes. Aiden was going climb to one of the high points and act as a sharp shooter if necessary. They were hoping it wouldn't be. If it came to that, they were toast, since the odds were easily five to one and they still had to get three civilians the hell out of Dodge. He was also going to be the eyes of the team, and that was definitely needed.

Clint was going to be the one coordinating communications again. Every one of the men was wearing a tracking device so he would know their whereabouts. As soon as one of them got ahold of the civilians, they would be tagged with trackers as well. It was Clint's job to coordinate with Aiden to come up with the best escape route and to stay on the ass of their extraction team.

Finn had already provided Mason, Drake, Jack and himself with thaubs, the Arabic robes would disguise their fatigues and vests. However, in this village only about twenty percent of the men wore them, so there was still a chance they would stand out. Thank God Finn also scored agals to wear on their heads. Otherwise, Jack with his blond hair would stick out like a sore thumb.

The scaffolding where the executions were to take place looked brand new, which to Mason's way of thinking was a very good sign. It meant this was the first time the terrorists had performed a high-profile execution in this village, so they weren't practiced. Drake, Jack, and Finn were to mingle with the crowd while Mason went to the building behind the scaffolding where they had to be holding the reporters. It's what had Drake's panties in a twist.

"We should all go," Drake hissed as he got in his face.

"Okay guys, spread out. We need coverage, and you know it. We'll be connected via radio," Mason said pointing to the barely seen transmitter in his ear and the mic somewhat covered by the headdress.

"That's bullshit, Mase. You should, at least, take one more man to where we think the hostages are. We're not lone rangers. We're a team."

"I fucking know that, Drake. But if I'm too late, or I don't make it, then I'm going to need you guys to get them before they walk up the stairs to the platform. That's going to require the three of you, and you know it." Drake gave him a hard stare and finally nodded.

Mason went first around the corner and mingled with the crowd. He knew the others would follow. Clint was set up in the falling down building, and Aiden should be in place by the time Mason made it to his target.

The crowd was thick with people. He couldn't believe the number of women and children who had been made to come and watch this spectacle. The kids had picked up on their parent's discomfort and were crying. He got closer to one of the sentries and saw he was basically a kid. When he looked closer, he saw the muzzle of his rifle was bent. There was no way he was going to be a threat.

"Check out the sentries," he whispered quietly into his mic. "The guy closest to me has a weapon that won't fire. We might be in for some luck."

"Roger that," Finn said.

"Gotchya," Drake answered. "Checking now."

"Yes, Sir," Jack said. He was still new to the team and pretty deferential. Mason knew it would change quickly.

"Count 'em off and give me their positions. I'll coordinate with Aiden," Clint said.

Mason provided info on the guards he passed as he made his way to the building where they hoped the reporters were located. He heard as, at least, seven more were identified with inoperable rifles, and he reported two more. Mason did a mental fist pump.

He couldn't believe it when he got to the building, and there wasn't a single guard posted at the side entrance. The intel had been right about one thing, they were dealing with amateurs. He pushed the door in slightly, holding his gun to the side.

A man pulled the door open with a frown and got out two words in Arabic before going for the rifle he had propped up against the wall. Mason rushed him, and using his K-Bar knife took care of him with one well-placed cut. Yelling came from someplace on the second floor. He reached the bottom of the stairs, peeked around, but didn't see anyone.

As quickly as he could, Mason did an entire check of the bottom floor and found only one other lackadaisical guard who he was easily able to subdue. There were no other ways down to the bottom floor, wh