Lock and Load

Lock and Load

by Desiree Holt

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786862648
Publisher: Totally Entwined Group Ltd
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Series: Strike Force , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 277,169
File size: 982 KB

About the Author

A multi-published, award winning, Amazon and USA Today best-selling author, Desiree Holt has produced more than 200 titles and won many awards. She has received an EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and many others including Author After Dark’s Author of the Year. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail. She lives in Florida with her cats who insist they help her write her books, and is addicted to football.

Read an Excerpt

When Beau Williams became part of Delta Force Charlie, one of the first things his teammates told him was Afghanistan was no picnic. They'd warned him that it was considered one of the most forbidding battlegrounds in the history of war and it didn't take him long to agree with that assessment. Fiercely cold in the winter, hot as an oven in the summer, there were few roads, water was scarce and only the hardiest of the hardy could survive the brutal environment.

But the men of Delta Team Charlie, led by Slade Donovan, were just such men, trained in every skill imaginable to fight in the war on terror. They were part of a unit in the legendary Delta Force—or 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—which operated as part of JSOC—Joint Special Operations Command—in the on-going conflict with radical extremists around the world. Slade and his men were currently in the middle of yet another hair-raising mission in the Hindu Kush mountain range that ran from Central Afghanistan to Pakistan.

An unforgiving mountain system, the Hindu Kush was nearly a thousand miles long and two hundred miles wide, running northeast to southwest, mainly through Afghanistan, and dividing the Amu Darya River Valley and the Indus River Valley. It stretched from the Pamir Plateau, near Gilgit, to Iran and had over two dozen summits of more than twenty-three thousand feet in height. Below the snowy peaks, the mountains of Hindu Kush appeared bare, stony and poor in vegetation. For centuries it had been referred to as the graveyard of foreign armies.

This wasn't the first time Delta Team Charlie had been here in this soulless place on a mission and they were pretty damn sure it wouldn't be their last. They'd plotted and planned as carefully as they could, absorbing all the intel they'd received, but as many times as they'd been here, they knew planning could only take them so far.

Finding cover was difficult as always, but their recon man had found them a perfect place to sequester themselves. Good thing, since they'd been waiting two days and two nights. The only good thing about the endless wait, alternately roasting and freezing, was the wind that had plagued them constantly for most of that time had finally died down. Beau, the team's sniper, hated the wind. An errant wind played hell with the accuracy of a sniper rifle, screwing with the trajectory. He'd been doing this, serving as a sniper, for ten years and had learned how to compensate for nature, how to correct for correct for almost anything up gale force winds. But he liked it better when the air was still and his spotter could give him exact trajectory and coordinates. He'd still rather not have to worry about it. And up here in the Hindu Kush, the winds were very unpredictable.

Stretched out full length beside him was Trey McIntyre, the man who had been his spotter from the time he joined the team. By now the two of them were so much in sync, they could almost communicate telepathically. Trey was motionless, staring through his field glasses at the small settlement below. It was little more than a collection of tents, with camels and donkeys staked out under a canvas ceiling. Their target was a tribal leader who had proven connections with a radical Muslim group and who made money stealing guns from the American military and selling them to other tribes.

The intel had reached them that the leader would be visiting this outpost and would be more exposed than at any other time. This would be the most optimum time to take him out before he could do any more damage. With their commander they'd plotted the mission very carefully, trying to cover every angle.

They'd been here all this time waiting for their target to show himself. The intel had informed them they had a three-day window, but that time would run out pretty soon. The Apache gunship that had dropped them off wouldn't hang around beyond the target date. Too dangerous. Even now they all hoped the pilot had managed to find a place out of sight, maybe in one of the many desolate canyons.

Their four-man team had been dropped into place more than a mile away from where they now waited, the place where the helo would pick them up when their mission was completed. Getting more than one team in there—even a full team of their own—would be impractical. The more people you dropped into a hot spot, the greater the chance of discovery. Lean and mean, as Slade always said.

Beau was happy they had found this little notch to conceal themselves. Slade and their recon expert, Marc Blanchard, were stationed behind them, scoping out the area. Covering their backs.

Most people looking at Beau Williams when he was not in mission mode would have dismissed him as a 'surfer dude,' and often did. But he was one of the most highly trained snipers in Delta Force, totally focused on every mission and with a growing kill book. Now, lying on the rocky ground, his ears were tuned to every sound, his hands lovingly cradling his extremely effective .50 caliber Heckler&Koch SG1. The lightweight, highly efficient semi-automatic sniper rifle had deadly accuracy and a large magazine capacity. Its silent bolt-closing device made it ideal when absolute silence was required, as it was with nearly all of their missions.

They had been in this spot for two days, subsisting on energy bars and bottled water and using those sparingly. It wasn't as if they could run into the local Walmart to replenish their supplies. They had taken turns standing watch, napping lightly, something they'd been well trained to do, watching for signals of the arrival of their target. But the monotony of the activity below them hadn't changed. The men in the camp rose early, gathered in the central area of the yard for prayers, prepared their breakfast over a central campfire and ate as if they had nothing else to do. Which, Beau thought, seemed to be pretty much what their activity was for the rest of the day. At sundown they prayed again, ate dinner and retired to their tents.

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