Justice Page 21

Jimmy Torres pointed to his watch, held up one finger and jerked his thumb toward one of the black vehicles. She pulled her hair back to secure it tightly at the base of her neck in a ponytail. She clearly wanted to be identified as a woman and her long hair helped. Her all-black, bulky outfit sure didn\ look feminine and the bulletproof vest hid her br**sts.

She approached her team. Five men waited inside the black SUV parked a block from their target. She sat in the back seat. It was a tight squeeze to close the door and she glanced at the two guys sharing the bench seat with her. The task force was made up of all men who were at least six feet tall and muscularly built. They only hired large, strong men since sometimes they didn\ want Species males to noticeably stand out from the humans they worked with. It made them easier targets to pick off if it ever came down to a firefight.

Jessie shivered, thinking about that. So far she\d been lucky. The closest she\d ever come to being shot was the mission in Mexico. Shots had been exchanged but Jessie had stayed away from the fighting until she\d broken ranks.

The men had been pinned down but she\d been able to slip around to enter the back door of that house and go after that poor Gift Female. Tonight they were going in all at once. It was a large estate with three buildings on the grounds. The Species female could be stashed in any of the three locations. If the rich ass**le still has her. If she is still alive and if the jerk who paid Mercile was given one of the women. The chances are good. You know that. Think positive. We don\ get called in unless they honestly believe we can recover one of them.

’’What\s the word on this one?’’ Jessie glanced at Jimmy, seated next to her.

’’We received a tip from an anonymous caller that this jerk is holding a weird-looking woman on his property and she\s being chained up. When the police ran the jerk\s background it turns out he has a strong association with Mercile. They called us.

A report like that immediately gets flagged. The tipster also implied this rich asswipe is about to move the woman. We knew we had to move on this one tonight. We\ e hoping he hasn\ moved her yet since whoever called said it would go down tomorrow morning.’’

Jessie felt hope. ’’It sounds like a hot tip.’’

’’That\s what the bosses said.’’ Jimmy grinned. ’’So when are you going to hole up inside a motel with me so I can have my dirty way with your body?’’

She smiled over the conversation they always shared before a raid. She was pretty sure the ex-Marine wasn\ seriously hitting on her, that he was just trying to make her laugh by distracting her from becoming too nervous. He was good at doing that.

’’When I\m ninety-two. Do you think you\ll still want me by then?’’

He laughed. ’’Sure. I\ll let you climb on my lap in my wheelchair. I\ll pop some blue pills and we\ll talk about the first thing that comes up.’’

Laughter softly floated around the SUV. Jessie smiled, relaxing a little. She liked most of the men on the task force. They teased her but not one of them had ever harassed her.

’’It sounds kind of hard.’’ Jessie winked.

More laughter filled the vehicle. The driver and team leader, Trey, suddenly cleared his throat. ’’Lock and load, boys and girl. Put your ears on. We\ e about to crash a party.’’

Jessie shoved her earpiece in and secured it firmly to her ear. She waited. Six seconds later a voice over the com said, ’’Check.’’ Jessie held up a thumb. The other men did too. Trey nodded.

’’We\ e all good and we can hear you.’’

’’All right people,’’ Tim said in Jessie\s ear device. ’’We stick to the plan. On my \go\ let\s hit this mausoleum and see if we can wake the dead.’’

Jessie took a deep breath and blew it out. She gripped the door to brace, her boots flattened on the floor and she swallowed while tucking her chin down just a little. She\d been on enough raids to know what to expect.

’’Go!’’ Tim roared. ’’All go!’’

The vehicle shot forward and Jessie\s back slammed into the seat from the sudden force but she\d been prepared. She hadn\ put on a seatbelt. None of them had since they needed to exit the vehicles quickly when they stopped. The SUV picked up speed fast. The gate next to the road was the only thing in the dark she could see until they reached the well-lit area where the gates sat to admit visitors to the estate.

Trey turned the wheel sharply to leave the road for the driveway. An explosion boomed ahead, bright light flashed and the locks on the iron gates blew apart. Their team had determined that blowing the locks on the gate would be the fastest entry and a marksman had nailed it with an explosive charge from across the street. The walls had motion sensors so going in on foot wouldn\ have worked. The rich guy also had motion sensors all over the grounds. Speed mattered and they didn\ have time to slow down for pesky locks.

Jessie realized they were the lead car as Trey gunned the vehicle straight at the iron gates. They hadn\ been blown open but the damage to the locks was clear even from a distance. They hit it hard, sparks flew and the gates parted with a massive noise. Jessie knew alarms had to be sounding inside the mansion. She turned her head, spotted six pairs of headlights right on their ass, driving in pairs.

Trey jerked the wheel hard, left the driveway and bounced over the curb. They\d been assigned to hit the guesthouse. One vehicle followed, still close on their ass. The easiest shortcut to that location was across the personal golf course.

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