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One Shot

By:Laurie Roma


“Slade to team two.”

“Bishop here, go.”

“We’ve checked site one. It’s a negative. Repeat. We have check and there is no sign of Sharif’s men or the canister, over.”

“Copy that. We’re heading into site two now.”

“We are on our way to secondary location and will patch in when we arrive. Good hunting,” Slade said then cut the connection.

“Did you copy, T-rex?”

“Affirmative. We are in place at the back entrance.”

“Move in,” Brett ordered.

Tara pulled out a set of tools and quickly went to work picking the lock on the back door to the facility. In seconds she had it opened.

“That’s a handy skill.”

“Sure is. Get your game face on, Julian. We’re going in.”

Julian’s grip tightened on the Glock in his hand as they slipped through the door. Inside, the building was empty of people. Knowing that a skeleton crew was on shift made it easier for the team to slip into place.

Tara made her way down the hallway on silent feet, cringing internally as she could hear Julian following her. She turned around to glare at him.

“Buddy, we need to work on your stealth skills.”

Julian flushed and made a conscious effort to lighten his tread as they continued on. Tara placed a hand lightly on his arm, stopping him instantly.

“Stay here,” she whispered before creeping forward, gun trained at the ready.

Julian watched as she made her way to the end of the hallway where she quickly checked the other corridor before motioning him forward again. They had studied the layout of the building during the flight and knew where the main treatment machinery was located. As they made their way there, Tara once again held her hand up to stop them. She moved forward to the body lying on the floor. The guard had been shot.

“Shit. Bishop, we’ve got a guard down,” Tara said.

“There was no one at the security desk up front either. They’re here.”

“Yeah, they are,” Tara agreed. “Proceeding to target location.”

“We’ll meet you there.”

Tara led the way down a set of metal stairs into the heart of the building then burst into a run as Rock’s voice sounded in her ear. “Fuck, we’ve got contact. Five tangos by the main water lines. We’re pinned down.”

“Keep them busy,” Tara ordered as she and Julian ran down a metal gangway then down another flight of stairs. They could hear the shouts and gunfire now, coming from in front of them.

“Are you ready for this?” she whispered to Julian.

“Yes. Let’s get this done.”

Tara held her gun up and slowed her steps, controlling her breathing as she sighted her first target down. It was a man holding the canister, trying to unscrew the top in a hurry as he rushed toward the main water line. She pulled the trigger and dropped him.

One of the terrorists turned to fire at her, but Julian took him out before he could fire his weapon. Rock took out another as the terrorist scrambled for cover. Tara fired at another but was pushed off balance as Julian rammed into her. A bullet pinged off a metal pipe where her head had been.

Tara squeezed off a shot as two more terrorists fired at them from the metal catwalk above. One of the men clutched at his chest and fell while Julian shot at the other.

“Clear,” Brett called out.

“Clear,” Tara said but still held her gun up, looking for any more possible threats.

“I’ve got the canister,” Rock announced.

Tara turned to see him holding the metal canister in his gloved hands. “Did he get a chance to open it?”

They all held their breath.

“It’s still sealed. Call someone in to get this shit. My balls are shriveling just thinking about what’s in this thing.”

Brett barked out a laugh. “That is certainly a colorful way to put it.”

“Yeah, I’m just a fucking rainbow,” Rock grumbled. “I really wasn’t kidding, call this shit in.”

“Calling now,” Brett said as he pulled out his phone.

Tara turned to Julian and smiled up at him.

They had done it. Save the world with minutes to spare and none of her team had been hurt. Tara looked at Julian with love in her eyes, knowing that she would never find a man who could do what he had done for her. He had opened her heart, made her see that she was safe with him. That he would do whatever was necessary to prove his devotion to her.

How could she not love him?

“You saved my life twice tonight.”

He put his arms around her waist and pulled her close. “I have plans for you that require you stay breathing.”

“Oh yeah?” Tara asked playfully.

“Yeah,” Julian murmured as he leaned down to rub his lips over hers. He looked at the butterfly bandages on her forehead with a frown. “I don’t like seeing you hurt.”

Tara pulled back and sighed. “You have to get used to it.”

Julian didn’t think he ever would.

She smiled up at him. “You know what I’m in the mood for?”

“A cheeseburger?”

Tara laughed. “Well yeah, that would be good. But after.”

“After?”

She pressed her lips to his again and whispered, “After.”

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