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Cole's back itched.
A normal person would simply reach behind him and fix the problem. But keeping his sniper rifle trained on the bad guy required two hands. And one eye.
He shifted his body a millimeter to the right, holding his finger steady on the trigger. Maybe his black shirt would blot the slow-rolling drop of sweat before it drove him over the edge. Unless the voice dribbling through his earpiece like the incessant drip of a leaky faucet sent him over first. What was that hostage negotiator doing, anyway?
When your bosses told you to clear an American embassynowthat didn't mean to sit around and shoot the breeze. It meant something bad was headed your way.
Moss threw him a warning glance from the roof of the building fifteen yards to his left. Leave it to his buddy's sharp eyes to catch the restless movement. His Special Forces chum could sit in one spot for hours on end. Cole could too, but the effort ate away at him. He craved action. Lived for it. Maybe that's why no one woman could ever hold him in place long enough to get a proposal out of him.
Short attention span.
ADHD they'd called it in elementary school. They'd drugged him up, slapped a "normal" label on him and sent him on his way.
But he'd proven them all wrong. Cole was anything but normal. Why else would his knees be glued to the roof of a sixteen-floor apartment building in a sweltering third world country? Could it be that it took one madman to take out another before said crazy person took out any of Cole's countrymen? Or countrywoman, in this case.
ADHD. Yeah. Channeled in the right direction, that label had become an asset in his line of work rather than a liability. It allowed his brain to rapidly switch tracks when the need arose. He took situations apart, analyzed them and solved them. Fast.
The military called it "thinking on his feet." Cole called it pulling his thumb out of his ass.
Then why couldn't he figure out how to make the skin on his back stop doing the hokey pokey? Because he wasn't getting any action. That's why.
If they'd inserted him in the middle of the situation, instead of that Washington bureau-I-don't-give-a-crat, they might have already put this baby to bed with no casualties. As it was, the only one talking was the schmuck with the bomb strapped to his chest. The so-called hostage negotiator who'd been embedded with them hadn't gotten so much as a complete sentence in edgewise. What was the use of psycho-bullshit if you didn't even try to use it? Not that Cole put much faith in that kind of thing. He was convinced the whole psychological community had been put on earth for the sole purpose of bringing him grief. It worked. He didn't trust any of those sniveling, mind-melding types. Not one of them. He trusted his gut and not much else.
Unfortunately Cole's gut wasn't getting the chance to prove itself. Bomb guy had anchored that pregnant woman to his chest as tightly as his explosive pack and kept her there for the last ten minutes. Cole could get a clean head shot and take the guy out, but he couldn't guarantee the hand holding the switch wouldn't trip it in a reflexive jerk as he went down.
He moved his telescopic sight down an inch and took in the condition of the hostage. Large, calm eyes seemed to stare up toward his position. Cole frowned. Could she see him?