Battle with the SEALBy: Leslie North
Norse Security Book Three
Wandering around a cheesy, tourist-ridden airshow in the Midwestern United States wasn’t exactly Kevin “Loki” Low’s idea of a good time. Not that he didn’t enjoy huge plastic cups filled with too-sweet lemonade and absurdly awful fanny packs cinched tightly around too-plump waists as much as the next person. Honestly, he deserved a medal for the things he did to keep his company, Norse Security, afloat.
Too bad he didn’t have a little vodka to spice up his lemonade. Then again, the type of guy who hung out at airshows like this probably didn’t know vodka from moonshine, so he supposed it was all part of his cover. And cover was his specialty. Any time, any place, any persona—he could do them all. Blending was his talent. In fact, it was how he’d gotten his nickname—after the Norse god of trickery and deception. No one was better at that than him.
Still, he wished one day he’d get to pretend to be a rich dude instead of a redneck.
With a sigh, he peered around the end of the food truck he was standing behind, the smell of deep fried meat and popped corn tickling his nose, and stared across the busy walkway at the woman he’d come here to track. Known only as M, her real name was so far under wraps even Loki with all his resources hadn’t been able to discover it. He had, however, been able to locate several pictures of her on the Internet, always with the same short pixie haircut—though the color changed often—and always with those same killer curves. Today, she was wearing a bright pink tank top to match her hair and a pair of denim shorts that should have been illegal in all fifty states.
He shook off his inappropriate thoughts about what he’d like to do if he ever got her out of said shorts and instead concentrated on his mission. Loki was here because his company had been hired by a private contractor client with a major weapons deal about to go down in the United States. This client suspected a mole within their ranks, a spy who could ruin everything if the culprit wasn’t rooted out and taken down. If successful, the commission on this job could single-handedly fill the dwindling coffers of Norse Security and put them back on solid financial ground. Their last couple of ops had gone less than stellar—Cam and his bungled car and tech retrieval mission and, most recently, Hunter and his run-in with a sex trafficking ring in L.A. Although both guys had ultimately completed the jobs assigned to them, and found the loves of their lives along the way, none of it had been cheap. Loki, being the boss of it all, was left with a mess to clean up, money-wise. So wrapping up this job cleanly, smoothly, and quickly was of the upmost importance. And after weeks of painstaking research and monitoring, Loki believed that said mole was standing right across the walkway from him now.
Loki’s fingers twitched at his side as he considered just pulling his gun right now and marching over to the booth where M appeared to be admiring a pair of rhinestone-encrusted sneakers, and taking her into custody. Then she turned and looked straight at him, her gaze cool and calculating as she lifted the hem of her tank top to reveal a gun of her own.
So much for this mission being over without a snag.
There were too many people around for him to risk a firefight here. There’d be way too much collateral damage. Instead, he tossed his Big Gulp in the nearest trash can before making a beeline toward her across the walkway. Surprisingly, she didn’t bolt as he’d expected.
Instead, M grabbed his hand and pulled the shocked Loki away, rushing through the crowds toward the less packed parking area. Once they were clear of onlookers, M stopped and turned to face him, her hand still poised over the butt of her pistol, just in case.
“Why the hell are you following me?” she asked, her gaze narrowed.
Loki’s mind immediately went on high alert. She’d asked him why he was following her, not who he was. Which meant she already knew. Apparently, she’d been studying him too, same as he’d done her. Two could play that game, so he shrugged. “Why are you following me?”
Something whistled past his ear. At first, Loki thought it was just another bee or insect, but then he felt warmth trickle down his neck. He reached up and his fingers came away coated in warm sticky blood. Shit. He barely had enough time to take hold of M’s wrist and tug her down to the ground beside him before another bullet shattered the window of the minivan they were crouched next to.