Monday, February 8, 2010

Mighty MenWith Weapons by Addison Avery


They’re killers. Trained to kill those who most agree, deserve to die.

They hunt. But they’re on the trail of those who leave blood wherever they step.

They’re dangerous. They can whirl a knife, slice a throat, fire a gun, and toss a grenade all at one time.

Three men have been called upon for a very special assignment. They’ll come together for one of their most dangerous missions, but as they watch for the enemy, they’re also keeping a keen eye focused on one another.

Chapter One

“It’s called the best kept secret in the Pacific Ocean, but I imagine by the time you finish your job there, you won’t find The Cook Islands as palatable as the tourists visiting the South Pacific each year,” the admiral scoffed, narrowing his gaze.
Nate realized the man staring back at him did not like him. He matched the admiral with similar feelings.
Admiral Thomas F. Shoemaker’s resume unfolded like a career document for several officers from the Who’s Who in the American Military. He’d served as a U.S. Navy Admiral. Early in his career, he also earned an appointment as Chief of Naval Operations from a former U.S. president, and he chaired more committees in Washington than most socialites in Palm Beach. A man with power and influence, Admiral Shoemaker held his head high and commanded respect.
Nate was fresh out.
He studied his commanding officer only because he trusted him about as far as he could throw him. Given the admiral’s six-foot-five stance and matching superior strength, Nate didn’t think he’d pick him up and toss him aside anytime soon. Turning his back on his equal offered little appeal.
Once a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs, Nate Francisco didn’t have a family, and what few recollections he had of a childhood he chose to forget. When several high-ranking government officials offered him a chance to become an independent special operative, he jumped at the honor to serve his country and fight for various causes. Sometimes he gained a little insider knowledge and understood what he fought for, but when he didn’t, he seldom let the lack of details bother him.
Nate retained a true license to kill, and he used his carte blanche like a free pass. He reveled in unconditional authority and often left as much devastation in his wake as those truer criminals who had gone before him. Those were the men and women he often hunted like animals.
“I’ve been to the islands before. Any specific one holding your attention, or will I travel between all fifteen?”
“Everything you need to know is in this packet,” the admiral said, waving a folder. “Rarotonga is your first stop. If you exceed expectations, it may be the only one you’ll make in the islands. You’ll meet up with two other operatives, and they’ll fill you in on the particulars of their assignments as well.”
“Do they have names?”
“No. Right now they don’t. Like you, these soldiers don’t exist in modern day society. Instead, they traded in their lives to serve their country.”
Nate lifted the flap on the envelope. “I wonder if they feel as fortunate as I do.”
“You’ll have plenty of time to ask them once you meet them. You’ll fly on a private jet as my guest to Tahiti. From there, you’ll travel to New Zealand and then on to Rarotonga International Airport.”
“Retirement looks good on you. A private jet means you’ve arrived, doesn’t it, admiral?”
Sometimes Nate tasted the bitterness on his tongue. The only reason he chose this life was because men like Shoemaker convinced him of the greater good. He was once told of the better way of doing things, the longer life plan for those who underwent the kind of training he endured for the life of an invisible, if not invincible, soldier.
When he first signed up for the honor of living such an extraordinary lifestyle, he thought he had something solid. Of course a young gun in the military often believes he's ten feet tall and not only bulletproof but also better than any weapon used in the military. He signed on for a lonely existence as a man without a home or a future. Soon, he became one of the best because he resented his choices. The displeasure transmitted into his core and made him into one hell of a survivor.
Admiral Shoemaker said, “I imagine this assignment will appeal to you on many levels.”
“Is that right?” Why ask direct questions? Why pretend he even cared when he didn’t? An assignment was an assignment.
The admiral’s wicked smile proved he wanted him to probe for more. Hell, no. Nate would not fish for information. When he wanted more data than he received, he searched for facts on his own. Sometimes he killed for direct leads, and other times he paid for mere clues.
What he didn’t do was beg.

* * * *

Donovan Collier leisurely strolled through the cool airport with his navy blue duffle bag over his shoulder. He felt confident he’d spot Admiral Shoemaker without a problem. Even if he didn’t, Shoemaker would recognize him. He was the kind of commander who made it his business to study the fellows he led into battle, or, in his case, gave a final kick into the trenches.
Donovan grabbed a Wall Street Journal from a nearby newsstand. A young woman with long, brown hair and big black eyes showed him immediate interest. He never had a problem catching a lady’s eye.
“Hello,” she said. “Are you an American?”
“Yes,” he stated flatly.
Great, just terrific, he thought. The admiral was late, and the woman in heat wanted his attention.
“Are you here on business or—”
“Business,” he growled. “And it’s none of yours.”
She narrowed her gaze and then winked. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that if I were you. Follow me, Donovan Collier. Your car is already outside and another one just like you—fabulous personality and all—is waiting there as well. I’m sure you’ll get along about as well as a mountain lion and a baby calf. For the record, you’re the calf.”
He snarled. “Is that right?”
“From what I can tell, one hundred percent accurate.” She took off at a sprint, well in the lead. He didn’t try to keep her pace. He didn’t chase women or subordinates, period.
Once he hit the heat, he saw a taxi waiting for him. She held the door open and said, “Get in.” Her tone changed drastically. The chick had grown some balls between batting her eyelashes at the newsstand and opening up the cab door, curbside.
He peered inside the car and locked gazes with the other passenger. He’d know a killer anywhere. He’d smelled enough of them. Besides, they all looked the same. They had stone cold faces and hard, empty eyes.
He sat down on the leather seat and tossed his bag behind his neck-rest.
Great, terrific, marvelous.
Donovan once requested a reassignment because of men like the one seated next to him. This time, a granted transfer was out of the question. Warned before he left Honolulu, he knew this job stuck.
The door slammed behind him, and a hard tap against the roof alerted the driver. Within seconds, they traveled away from the airstrip.
“I’m Donovan,” he said, extending his hand.
“Nate,” the other man growled, ignoring the hand offered.
“I was told there were three on this mission,” Donovan said.
Nate turned to face him. “I don’t care if I fly solo or have an army behind me. I’m here to do a job, and I’m one of the best in the business. Now if you want company, that’s all fine and dandy—maybe the admiral made adjustments for your special needs—but I ain’t your guy.”
Donovan studied the man next to him and gave him a good gawking, a real once-over before he looked outside the window. He caught a glimpse of the beach, but the cluster of palm trees along the road prevented an unobstructed view.
Ah hell, he thought, avoiding the temptation to steal another glance at the man seated next to him. Another one just like the last operative he left behind. He could almost feel the guy’s dick swelling against his ass now.
Yeah, it was safe to assume Nate was most definitely his guy. Time would tell, but time always had a way of shining a light in his favor.

* * * *

Nate didn’t like the set up. The bungalows, while located on the beach, were anything but private. The Polynesian-style huts formed clusters in four groups of five straight across the oceanfront. The island resort sported waterfront activities. Kayaks and sun lounges were scattered across the sand, and a large sign directed tourists to snorkeling rentals.
Stepping onto the tiny porch of their scantily appointed accommodations, Nate ducked his head and walked inside. “How quaint,” he grumbled, looking around the area.
“I’ve stayed in worse,” Donovan said.
Nate walked into the bedroom. There, he found a king-size bed located directly under an oval window. He’d noticed a single day bed in the living room and a full service kitchen off to the left. Turning to the right, he eyed the dressing area and full bathroom complete with an oversized walk-in shower.
“We could ask for another cabana. I’m sure they have huts with two bedrooms.”
“There’s a convertible bed in the living room,” Nate reminded him. “I hope it’s comfortable.”
“I’ll just check with guest services,” Donovan persisted, walking over to the bright red phone on the nightstand.
His finger touched the first number, and Nate pressed down on the necessary buttons to disconnect the call. “We’re not here on our honeymoon, sweetheart. We stay where Shoemaker books. There’s a reason he wants us in this bungalow.”
Donovan shrugged. “Suit yourself. I’m taking the bed.”
Nate didn’t argue. Instead, he slung his bag on the mattress and unzipped the canvass. Pulling out his weapons first, he had one of his guns loaded and locked within a few seconds, taking time to adjust the sights. If Donovan was smart, he would understand the obvious. The bed was taken and the room belonged to him.
Nate felt the hairs standing up on the back of his neck and turned around. “What the hell are you doing? Waiting for instructions?”
“I don’t take orders from you,” Donovan reported.
“Then don’t just stand there looking like you might need them. Get your gear unpacked. Go outside and look around. This is a small island, but I’m not familiar with this particular resort. We need to know how many employees are here at all times. When the shifts change, when the housekeeping staff arrives and when they leave, when guests check in and check out, arrivals and departures to and from the airport, and of course, we will want to familiarize ourselves with the guests already here. We should have our orders by the time our third leg shows up.”
At this point, the best Nate could hope for was a soldier who looked more like Rambo than George Clooney. He wouldn’t bank on a miracle.
Nate returned to his work. Unpacking another gun and a few grenades, he opened a drawer in the bedside table and casually tossed the weapons inside. A few seconds later, he heard his sidekick leave the room.
Thank God, he thought. Nate closed his eyes and shook his head. He couldn’t get started on this one. Oh, hell no. The last time he mixed business with pleasure, he almost lost his life. A sexy Marine with too much family money and political pull had been left for dead in a deserted POW camp in Afghanistan. He was sent in to save him when no one else even acknowledged he was still alive.
He saved him, all right. Then, he fucked the hell out of him for two weeks while they lived like animals and fought like wild men to cross over the rough terrain and weather the worst of droughts—by far one of the poorest climate conditions he remembered. Regardless of the natural heat, he kept things burning one degree hotter between him and a man he later affectionately called his little soldier boy.
No, he didn’t want a replacement for what he shared with some twenty-two-year-old overgrown kid. What he experienced in Afghanistan and the weeks following his assignment held as a once in a lifetime deal, one he took a pass on just to save his soul. He didn’t think he could survive another relationship that almost was, let alone a good hard fuck with someone who looked like Donovan.
Walking over to the doorway, Nate narrowed his focus when he spotted the other operative rummaging through his luggage. He honed in on Donovan the man, not Donovan the killer, just a few feet away. He studied him carefully as he unpacked his rig, placing each weapon in a meticulous line straight across the exotic wood bar lining the living room wall.
Donovan had dark hair, a little salt and pepper in his circle beard, one he kept clean-cut and perhaps only grew for an assignment. Most of the men who fought beside him in the past kept clean-shaven whenever possible. Too many days in the field left many ISOs viewing razors as a luxury item.
“Did you say you’ve been here before?” Donovan asked, snapping a clip into the butt of his gun.
Jolted by the sound and the fact that he allowed himself a brief moment of indulgence, Nate walked by Donovan. “It’s been a long time,” he snapped over his shoulder. “I’ll be back.”
Before he heard a reply, Nate stepped into the sand and walked toward the ocean. He took maybe twenty steps when his nostrils flared, allowing him the opportunity to inhale the sea air. The palm trees whispered in the background. The waves gently lapped forward, and the grace of nature tempted him. He rolled up his pants, removed his designer shoes, and tossed them behind him.
Nate had always been mesmerized by the beauty found in the South Pacific. In the late evenings, the blue water turned a dark turquoise and crystallized enough to entice the naked eye and capture a man’s soul. The clear water was an attraction for swimmers and divers. Nate enjoyed the advantages the sea provided even though there were obvious disadvantages.
A man couldn’t hide under these waters, but he’d certainly know where he stood and what swam around him. Right then, the ocean held more appeal than the mission set to begin.
Damn it all. Nate wished the calm sea intrigued him as much as the man waiting to fight beside him. “Fuck me,” he said, kicking a spray of water and stumping his big toe on a clump of tiny pebbles. Yes, indeed, there were few doubts about where he was headed. This particular job would likely get downright messy.


  1. This is an awesome book! I enjoyed it so much!

  2. Hi Judie,

    Thanks very much for posting information about Mighty Men with Weapons. I'm so glad you enjoyed this Siren novella and can't wait to share news about upcoming books. I Kissed a Boy releases from Aspen Mountain Press in March and a few more submissions will be headed out for publication consideration soon.

    Addison ;)