Blue (SEAL Team Alpha #5)By: Zoe Dawson
I’d like to thank my beta readers and editor for helping with this book. As always, you guys are the best.
To David, my Deeps. Thank you for coming into my life and making it even more wonderful. I love you.
people can’t destroy you, break you or hurt you. Only you have the power to do that to yourself.
* * *
The chaos always comes from within
r. m. Drake
UNKNOWN LOCATION WILDS of Kirikhanistan Province, Russia
A rocket propelled grenade had caused the explosion and set things in motion that had led Special Operator Ocean “Blue” Beckett here, fighting for his life. It had blown his helmet right off his head, cleaning his clock, leaving his brain more than a little hazy. In the chaos, he’d lost track of his team and his comm was blown all to hell. As the medic, he should have been making sure they all made it home alive. Instead, fucked up intel had left him lost behind enemy lines and a captive with the SEAL they had come to rescue.
Trapped in this crumbling, run-down place, in the bowels of God-knew-where Kirikhanistan, completely naked and shaking from shock and cold, he could see Justin “Speed” Myerson lying in a crumpled heap, wet, from the looks of him, maybe dead. Tortured, Blue was certain.
Alpha Team, Blue’s team had been decimated: Tank wounded, Echo disappearing in the explosion, in a fearless effort to protect them all, that dog so much a part of their team. His eyes welled up. He didn’t know how Scarecrow, Ruckus, Kid, Wicked or Cowboy had fared. As their corpsman, it was his responsibility to know. He hadn’t been able to help them or Elena Sokolov. It tore him up that he didn’t know if she was dead or alive. She was another atrocity to lay at the rebel’s feet, the woman who had saved him, given him shelter and risked her life for him. During his convalescence in her small, neat home, he’d fallen for her. He prayed she was alive confident that his teammates would help her. If she had died…the guilt would have to wait, so he pushed it deep.
He’d failed at saving Speed. Failed at saving his team. Hell, he may have failed at saving himself.
From his dark corner, Blue had seen first-hand what these fucks would do to get what they wanted. He trembled when he looked at Myerson’s body, partly from the cold, partly from fear. There would be no waterboarding. No, the bleak rig of ropes and pulleys hanging from the ceiling over the edge of the inground pool proved this was going to be a whole-body experience.
He felt the weight of that truth with every breath he took. But he was a Navy SEAL. As a surfer, swimmer and survivor of BUD/S–Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, he had an affinity for water. He’d excelled at every water sport he’d ever attempted, and his aquatic past had served him well. In his class, he’d been able to hold his breath the longest. When he closed his eyes, he could almost envision knifing through the liquid with ease, his breathing even and strong.
It was foolish to deny he was afraid, embracing it, allowing himself the uncertainty to dictate his course of action, actually grounded him even more. His BUD/S experience had been something he wouldn’t trade for anything. It had made him stronger, more assured, tough as nails.
BUD/S training was intense. The combat diving was really an exercise in “almost” drowning. The training students received, using swimming and diving techniques as a way to transport them from the launch point to their mission objective, had prepared him for this. Every deployment had tempered him for this. He wasn’t going to give in…ever.
His mission was to get the Golovkins to allow Blue to assess Speed, administer first aid, save him. He was so pissed off that he was unable to get to him, and he was so close, yet too far from him to help. Yeah, the wet, probably dead lump of Speed pissed him off.
Pissed off or not, he was in the middle of a shitstorm. Blue had memorized the rebel leaders’ bios. He knew who he was dealing with, and it galvanized him. He had recognized Boris Golovkin even hiding in the shadows, silent and waiting, one of their high-value targets or HVTs. The other rebel HVT wasn’t a man and she was standing in full light, right in front of him–calm, in control, soft spoken, harder than iron, and the most ruthless Kirikhan rebel second only to Boris. Yes, he had seen what Natasha Golovkin was willing to do to get what she wanted.