Submission Is Not Enough

By: Lexi Blake


Grand Cayman

“Kill her.”

Theo heard the words of his CO, but he hesitated. His heart was thumping in his chest, but it was an oddly pleasant rhythm. Adrenaline flooded his system, making him hyper-aware of everything going on around him.

He’d done the impossible, gotten through all the security to save his boss. Tennessee Smith had been his full-time boss at one point and now he was also a friend. The ex-CIA agent had recruited him out of the Navy and then led him straight to McKay-Taggart and this mission.

Unfortunately it had gone haywire and Ten had been captured, and now looked worse for the wear. It was up to Theo to get him out and save the mission.

If he could pull this off, no one would look at him like the littlest Taggart ever again. He wouldn’t be in the shadow of Ian or Sean. He wouldn’t merely be Case’s baby brother. He was well aware of the fact that while there were only a few minutes between him and his older brother, everyone considered Case to be the badass. Theo was the sweet one, the one everyone worried might not be fully capable of handling himself in the field without big brothers looking out for him.

He didn’t want to be the sweet one. He wanted Erin to look at him like she did Case. Like he was competent and not just some himbo she’d allowed into her bed. Some kid she would dump when she found a real man.

Fuck, he loved her and he was going to prove to her that he was worthy.

But first he had to decide if he was going to follow Tennessee Smith’s order.

Hope McDonald was some kind of crazy scientist, and it was obvious she was the reason for Ten’s extremely bad day. He’d been captured by her father, and it looked like the senator had been doing some experiments of his own. In torture. Ten could barely walk. He’d begged Theo to run and take the rest of the team with him, but Taggarts didn’t leave their men behind. Even when they were surly and difficult.

Still, standing there and aiming right at the blonde’s head, he had to wonder how far he could go. “She doesn’t have a gun.”

“That bitch doesn’t need one.” Ten’s lips were dry, his voice cracking out of his mouth.

Dr. McDonald’s well-manicured hands came up. “Theo won’t kill me. He’s a gentleman. You should move. Father’s men will attack from behind and the Chinese will come up the road.”

Theo stared at her, knowing precious seconds were flying by. She was an odd duck. It was obvious she’d had a thing for him back in Dallas. Was that why she was helping him out now? He’d never done a thing to encourage her. Since the moment he’d seen Erin, he hadn’t looked at another woman. He’d known that crazy redhead was the only one for him. “Why would you tell us anything?”

“Because it won’t change the outcome. I would like for us to work together, Theodore. I find you fascinating. Even more now that I’ve read your records. Mr. Smith was a good subject, but you will be a masterpiece. You should hurry. They’re almost here.”

“Kill her,” Ten insisted.

The moment seemed almost stuck, as though he wasn’t sure what he should do. He’d had a few moments like this, when he’d known somehow the outcome depended on his own choice. The world seemed to slow and he knew whatever he did next would change things.

In the end, he had to follow his conscience. He put an arm around Ten Smith and started to drag him out into the night. They had an army of MSS agents after them and all of the senator’s mercenaries. “I can’t shoot an unarmed woman, Ten. You can fire me later, but I can’t.”

As they exited Ten’s torture chamber, he seemed to perk up a bit. “Faith. Tell me Faith left the island.”

Brody Carter stepped out from where he’d been clinging to the shadows. The massive Aussie was part of the team Theo was in charge of. Dressed in black from head to toe, he somehow managed to blend into the night. “I’ll take him. And Faith is safe and sound back at the vehicles with Hutch and Erin.”

The Aussie chucked Ten over his shoulder with a thud.

“Why is Faith with Erin?” Ten managed with a huff. “The last I heard she never wanted to talk to any of us again.”

“I needed her intel.” Theo touched his earpiece. There would be time enough for a full debrief later. “We’re on the move.”

His communications specialist’s voice came over the comm device in his ear. Hutch’s voice was steady over the line. “You’ve got trouble heading your way, Theo. Your girl just took off. She and Faith are on their way to rendezvous. I’m coming after them.”

Theo felt his stomach drop. Cool. He needed to stay cool, but the idea of Erin charging in made him anything but.