Leave No Trace (Black Ops, Inc. Series)

Leave No Trace (Black Ops, Inc. Series)

by Cindy Gerard

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451696646
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 01/07/2013
Series: Black Ops, Inc. Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 174,803
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Cindy Gerard is the critically acclaimed New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the wildly popular Black Ops series, the Bodyguards series, and more than thirty contemporary romance novels. Her latest books include the One-Eyed Jacks novels Killing Time, Running Blind, and The Way Home. Her work has won the prestigious RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense. She and her husband live in the Midwest. Visit her online at CindyGerard.com.

Read an Excerpt

Leave No Trace

It had become too much about the scotch, Cav admitted with brutal honesty. Too much about relying on it to make it through the nights. Too much about craving it to help him deal with a life where the shots called him, instead of him calling the shots.

With a heavy breath, he leaned back in the mahogany and leather desk chair in the Jakarta mansion that had been his base of operations for the past six years. He slowly swiveled until he faced his office window, then rocked back and held the heavy-bottomed glass aloft, watching the sunlight play over the amber oblivion before indulging in another sip.

Yeah. Way too much about the scotch.

That was all about to change.

Everything was about to change.

Tomorrow morning he was going to give notice via his handler. After a decade and a half of being a good little spook, David Cavanaugh and the CIA were finally going to part ways.

It was past time.

He watched the ebb and flow of traffic shooting by the window and wondered why he didn’t feel relief. Instead, ever since he’d made his decision, he’d been overrun with recurrent flashes of guilt. And, yeah, panic. What now? What next? Where did he go from here? What did he have left to give?

The sound of light footsteps on the polished teak floor brought his head around. He’d dismissed the two bodyguards that were a part of his cover earlier, but Dira, his aman, stood in the towering office doorway, the wide strap of her woven straw purse slung over her shoulder. The twelve-foot ceilings dwarfed the quiet Indonesian woman’s five-foot stature.

“Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Windle?”

Frank Windle had been Cav’s CIA cover for the past six years. Windle’s expat, unprincipled venture capitalist persona came with this fully staffed luxury mansion, the personal bodyguards, a force of jangas—armed guards with dogs who patrolled the high cement wall surrounding the compound—and an expense account that would make the Prince of Wales weep with envy.

He’d come a long way since his initial CIA assignment in Ouagadougou, Africa, working undercover as a lowly U.S. embassy staffer and sharing a three-room tenement flat with fellow rookies Wyatt Savage and Joe Green. He lived in luxury in Jakarta now, and he regularly rubbed elbows with the scum of the earth.

“I’m good, Dira, thanks.” He dismissed his longtime housekeeper with a soft smile. “Enjoy your evening.”

He planned to enjoy his. Alone. With a farewell toast to both the Company and his love affair with Glenlivet.

With grim determination, he looked around the polished opulence of the wood-paneled room. He wouldn’t miss the subterfuge, but he’d sure as hell miss this place. The spacious office was one of twenty luxurious rooms in a mansion that personified the historical Dutch East Indies architecture with its steeply pitched gables, large airy rooms, and soaring finials. The house was a jewel. Cool, airy, and regal . . . and living here had choked the life out of him.

He downed the last of the fine single malt and wondered how the Company would explain it when Windle, who’d made a name for himself as an unscrupulous player in not only the Indonesian but the international black market by being open to any number of illicit business transactions, made a sudden departure from Jakarta and cut off its intel pipeline.

The Company’s problem, not mine.

Right. So why did a knot of anxiety tighten inside his chest like a fist? And, Jesus, why the guilt? He’d been a good Company man. He’d had plenty of incentives to flip and go over to the dark side. Lucrative incentives. And while he wasn’t as naive about the international spy game as he had been when he’d first signed on to play, he was still a patriot. He didn’t need to feel guilty about anything—not about his work, not about leaving. And yet . . .

“Screw it,” he muttered. Screw the guilt. It was someone else’s turn to run the gauntlet. He’d be thirty-five next month, and some days he felt as old as fucking Methuselah. It was the weight of those dead bodies and repeat adrenaline burns. He’d carried both as long as both his body and his soul could bear.

He rubbed at a scar on his right thigh, a memento from an AK-47 round in Beirut in ’99. And whenever it rained his collarbone ached like hell from when he’d broken it escaping an op gone wrong in Mogadishu in ’05.

His cell phone rang, Private Number showing on the readout. He’d personally fitted the security screens on his cell—this phone, even the CIA didn’t know about—but just in case he answered with his cover. “Windle.”

“Cav, it’s Wyatt.”

The chair creaked as Cav sank back. It had been months since he’d heard Wyatt Savage’s soft southern drawl, yet his old friend was one of the few constants in Cav’s history. He hoped that would be true in his future as well. In the spook world, where black and white too often bled into shades of gray, there had never been a question that Wyatt was also one of the good guys.

That didn’t mean he couldn’t give his old partner a hard time.

“Why is it that every time the phone rings and I hear your voice, I feel a knee-jerk reaction to say ‘wrong number’ and hang the hell up?”

“I need your help.”

“Ah. That would be the reason.” The last time Wyatt had enlisted Cav’s help it had involved infiltrating a human trafficking ring, the takedown of a rat-bastard Chinese crime boss, and several blown-up buildings near the Jakarta wharfs.

“Look, Cav. I don’t have a lot of time. So here’s the quick and dirty.”

“It’s always quick and dirty with you, Savage.” Just like Cav was always going to say yes to whatever Wyatt asked of him.

Over a decade and several dead bodies had stacked up since he, Wyatt, and Joe Green had guarded one another’s backs in service to Uncle. While Wyatt and Joe had said hasta luego to the CIA several years ago and teamed up with Nate Black’s private security and military contract firm, Black Ops, Inc., Cav had stuck with the Company. Until now.

“Cav . . . you still there?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m here,” he said when he realized he’d lapsed into silence. He glanced toward the liquor cabinet. “What’s going on?”

“Two days ago an American woman stepped off a plane in Mandalay, Myanmar, hired a taxi that let her off near her hotel downtown, and she hasn’t been heard from since.”

Cav reached absently for a pen, then flipped it back and forth between his fingers. “One of yours?” Black Ops, Inc. specialized in immobilizing bad guys on the international front.

“No. She’s not with BOI. Carrie’s a friend. And she’s as green as the damn grass.”

“What kind of friend?” Wyatt had gotten married last spring, yet he sounded damn rattled over this friend. Cav had missed the wedding. Like he’d missed many important events over the years, because he’d been embroiled in some covert op to gum up the works in a would-be tyrant’s attempted coup to overthrow a U.S.-sanctioned government, or an op to intercept an arms shipment bound for a terrorist training camp, or a score of other missions that had kept him on the razor’s edge of life or death. A lot of lives. A lot of deaths.

A lot of post-op scotch to blur the memories that hovered like ghosts around a crypt.

“Just a friend,” Wyatt said, snapping Cav back. “I grew up with her. Our families go way back. She’s a small-town hospital administrator. She wasn’t prepared for Myanmar. She’s never even been out of the States. Hell, for all I know, she’s never been out of Georgia.”

Cav could hear the desperation in Wyatt’s voice.

“Her family begged me to talk her out of going, and I tried. Believe me. I tried to scare her smart. But there was no stopping her.

“Look”—he paused, and Cav could visualize his friend rubbing his brow with his index finger—“she’s important to me, Cav. I’d be there in a heartbeat but Sophie . . . she’s pregnant and . . . Christ, Cav.” His voice broke and Cav sensed that what came next wouldn’t be good.

“There are complications. We . . . we might lose the baby.” His voice was thick with strain. “I can’t leave her right now. The doctors say it’s going to be touch and go for the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours.”

“I’m sorry, man.” Cav knew all about Sophie. One drunk midnight, shortly after the Company had paired them up as partners all those years ago, Wyatt had told him about the one who’d gotten away. Cav had been happy as hell when they’d finally found their way back to each other this past year. Now this tough break. One that was clearly tearing Wyatt apart.

Now he understood the reason for Wyatt’s call. He couldn’t go to Myanmar. Cav could. And he could get there a helluva lot faster from Jakarta than Wyatt could from Georgia.

“What’s the word from our embassy?” he asked.

“They’ve got nothing. It’s like she fell off the face of the earth. They’ve got calls in to both local and government officials, but so far it’s clam city.”

Cav listened intently while Wyatt gave him Carrie Granger’s physical description.

“Let me make some calls. See what I can find out. I’ll be back in touch.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Don’t insult me.” They’d been too much to each other to ever have to say those words.

“Right. Love you, too.”

A quick smile curved Cav’s lips as a glimpse of the Savage he knew finally surfaced. He disconnected, then started looking up old contacts who might have connections in Myanmar.

TWO HOURS AND several calls later, Cav still had nothing. In a city peopled with Asians, a slim, pretty, blue-eyed blonde, five foot seven or eight, should stick out like a square peg in a round hole. But he’d butted up against dozens of brick walls. No one had seen or heard anything about an American woman. This wasn’t good.

Myanmar was a country where human rights—especially women’s rights—were basically nonexistent, and this was starting to stink like a government cover-up. Which meant two things. One: Carrie Granger of Nowhere, Georgia, was in big, bad trouble. Two: Cav couldn’t hang up his spy shoes just yet.

It was a full forty-eight long hours later before he finally managed to rattle the right chains and come up with some answers. He flipped open his phone and called Wyatt’s number.

“I found her,” he said without preamble when Wyatt picked up. “As far as I know, she’s still alive.”

“And the bad news?” Wyatt asked, too savvy to feel relief.

Cav glanced toward the window.

“You don’t want hear the bad news.”

Customer Reviews

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Leave No Trace 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im soo sorry... mom accused me of creating a faceboook when i didnt so now shes taking away my nook for good and shes taking away wifi too... im really sorry i love you... but idk whats going to happen... this is no joke... im not that creuel.... im so sorry... you can still talk to me here, id prefer my email... during summer... idk... idk if moms really gonna do it... im so sorry...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So i have Hypertensive knees... i have crutches, have to get an MRI done... they think i have cartilage damage and tore my Meniscus (MCL) ... so i may have to have surgery.. i posted a youtube vid... of me epically failing on crutches.... yeah hopefully soon... love you..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope i do too... im out of track for now... i fked up my right knee doing warmups, idk what happened i have an appointment at 1:45 to check it out... peeps say its either popped out of place or sprained... i can only walk when my leg is twisted sideways so im just gimping around... i tried to jog and i cant, its too painful.... hopefully its nothing bad.... i love you hope u have a great weekend if i dnt get my nook bk ... hopefully u dnt get injured like me... gah im just nervous bout my knee.... it hurt like he.ll... i couldnt feel my leg at all.... anyway... i love you so much ger.... i miss you...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tehya~ hehe nice! practice was awesome i love trAck. im doing the 100 meter dash, javelin, diskkis, and shotput. lol, i was hanging with Reed before practice and he said if i pass out he will bring me a donut and a diet coke. XDD thats like our thing now haha.  the only thing i didnt like was some of the guys cat calling and whistling when i was doing warmups and stretches. i do the spiderman, my fav warmup. and i love the kareoka, and peeps were amazed at my bridge. since i wrestle of course im good at the bridge. an lol this guy was teasing me when i was with reed and he challenged reed to a wrestling match. he got taken down in 3 seconds! it was funny the teachers were laughing! haha... anyway... i love you so much....
EdelS More than 1 year ago
Ill be strong for you... i love you... im probs gonna die :P lol im not good at long-distance running, but short distance like 100meter i can run real good. ill see what my time is. my time 3 years ago was 6.4 seconds.  i miss you... miss you so bad... i dont forget you... ill never forget you... thanks babe...   i hope this posts.... i finished a new song. i might be able to post it idk tho i will try... i love you ger...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my posts arnt showing up... i saw.. i miss u and love you..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sharon1JT More than 1 year ago
I read all of Cindy Gerard's books because I love them. She adds everything to her writing. I know you won't be disappointed with this book, I sure wasn't.
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Book 5.5 of Cindy Gerard's Black Ops, Inc series. This was the story of David Cavanaugh (first seen in Whisper No Lies) and Carrie Granger (first seen in Risk No Secrets). Cav heads into Myanmar to rescue Wyatt's friend Carrie from a hard labor camp.  He is on his own to get her out of the camp.  While dodging bullets, rabid dogs and a ruthless military regime, Cav finds himself falling for Carrie - but is he enough for her?  This is a fully fleshed out story, even though it is a novella.  If you're looking for a quick, heart-pounding read, this is the story for you.  It can be read as a stand-alone story, however it is intended to be read as book 5.5 in the Black Ops Inc series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. I enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay but way too short to be worth buying...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is only 111 pages, which equates to a weak plot, and not nearly the depth of characters as you normally find from Cindy Gerard. So only 3 stars on this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ha mabey. this is our last week of school. i may post a few vids mabey... im sorry i couldnt reply, i had  to go to my grandmas funeral and now i gotta make up finals reveiw...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im really sorry... we only have like 3 weeks of school left.... ill miss you...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
me too... i miss you... finals starting next week.... im really sorry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
congrads! sorry been busy... i posted a vid... i miss you... im not gunna be able to post alot....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well i wished u good luck! im sorry ive not been replying everyday... im getting my hair done today so i will probs post a new vid tommorrow.... miss you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah sorry ive been really busy.. my bff just had surgery on thursday... i posted a new vid... i miss you... im just not feeling so good lately... so sorry i havent been responding lately... i love you...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ik... i do too... im sorry i havent responded... lifes been not so good for me lately... i almost was killed yesterday... i came 3 feet away from getting hit by a car.... miss you.. love you..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mom says im never getting my nook bk cuz i supposable was reading naughty books. which i didnt. moms the one who bought em, ig it was the 2nd 50 shades of grey book, i didnt know there was more than one so i read the sample, nothing bad in it. so ill try to talk to moms friend and explain it... im really sory... i have no school tommorrow.. love you..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im so sorry.. hopefully i get it bk.. love you