Tabby's Rescuers (Elite Dragoons #4)(3)

By: Becca Van

“Are you sure?” Dalton looked from Cal to Law and Fletch then back to him again.

“We’re sure,” Fletch answered.

“Okay, thanks, guys.” Whit’s eyes twinkled, and Cal had a feeling that he and the rest of the team knew why they wanted off the ranch for a bit.

It was too damn fucking hard watching the rest of their teammates interacting with their women, and even though he wanted a woman of his own, he needed a break from watching them. He was jealous, and if he stayed around the men and women, he was going to end up biting someone’s head off.

“You leave in half an hour. That should give you enough time to shower, change, and pack and load up your weapons. A helicopter will be picking you up from here, and then you’ll be flown in a military-issue stealth bomber to a US aircraft carrier currently situated in the Alboran Sea. Once you’ve rested up, you’ll be choppered into Algeria for a rescue mission. You’ll have a SEAL team at your back, but you three will be in lead. Do you have any questions?”

“No,” Cal and his brothers answered simultaneously.

“Okay, get your asses moving. Good luck and stay safe,” Whit said.

Cal nodded and then hurried from the room with his brothers at his heels. He couldn’t wait to get started.

Tabitha Carey had never been so scared in her life. She had only been in Frenda, Algeria, for four weeks helping the other aid workers hand out food and water to the less fortunate of the world and loved to be able to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it was only a small difference. It was rewarding to see the smiles she brought to the children’s faces when she provided them with food and helped treat them with immunizations. It was such a crime for anyone in this world to go hungry, and if she had to give her last dollar to make someone else’s life brighter, she would.

She’d been working with the two doctors, a husband and wife duo, Max and Gloria Parker, and had nearly peed her pants in fright when a group of rebels had come into the clinic with guns pointed at them. She’d been so scared that she’d immediately started shaking. When Max had stepped forward to try and protect her and his wife, he had been hit in the head with the butt of an automatic rifle and knocked unconscious.

The rebels had tied all three of them up and they had been dragged into a corner of the small clinic and told to stay put.

That had been over three days ago, and apart from bathroom breaks and having their hands untied so they could eat and drink once a day, the three of them had been trussed up like turkeys for hours on end. They were never given enough water to appease their thirst, only enough so they wouldn’t dehydrate too much and get sick. Tabitha wondered if the rebels’ demands for money were going to be met by the US government and if she and the two doctors would get out of this situation alive. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the wall, scrunching her nose when she smelled her own sweat. She was nearly willing to kill for a shower, a good meal, and about a gallon of water to drink, but thank God it was almost nighttime and they would have a reprieve as the searing heat diminished.

Tabitha’s hands were numb and it was painful to move her shoulders. It was hell to have her hands tethered behind her back for hours on end, and it was hard to keep the tears at bay whenever she was released to use the bathroom, but she wasn’t about to give the rebels the satisfaction of seeing her cry over a little discomfort. Although “discomfort” was certainly becoming an understatement.

There were only five rebels in the clinic with her and the two doctors, but goodness knew how many were outside keeping watch. She and Gloria had been really worried about Max because after being hit on the head he had suffered from a concussion and had been sick to his stomach for a couple of days. He seemed much better, but his color wasn’t good and Tabitha knew if he didn’t get more water he was going to be in real trouble very soon. After not being able to keep anything in his stomach for two days, he was seriously dehydrated. His skin looked gray to her, and she could tell that Gloria was very concerned for her husband.

Tabitha must have closed her eyes and drifted off because she was startled awake when she heard what sounded like gunfire. Even though there were no lights on in the clinic, her eyesight adjusted to the dark and she could see the silhouettes of their insurgents as they hurried toward the door.