Harley (In the Company of Snipers Book 4)

By: Irish Winters

IN THE COMPANY OF SNIPERS



This multi-book series revolves around the efforts of one exceptional man, ex-Marine scout sniper, Alex Stewart, and his covert surveillance company, The TEAM, home-based out of Alexandria, Virginia. An obsessive patriot and workaholic, he draws his strength from his wife. Book 1, ALEX, is the story of how Alex and Kelsey met, fell in love, and fought all odds to stay together.

His company is not just another security company of mercenaries and hired guns. The TEAM reflects his belief that the world is comprised of three types of people—sheep, wolves, and shepherds. The men and women of The TEAM are all ex-military snipers, those rare individuals he sees as the shepherds, willing to stand between the predators of the world and the innocent and weak.

In the Company of Snipers is a collection of love stories. Each book is a complete tale in itself. By the end of the telling, all warriors begin to realize...

Love changes everything.





Prologue

“Remember, the idea is to grab her. Don’t punch her. Don’t hurt her, and for the love of Mike, don’t let her scream. You gotta clamp her mouth shut or you’re gonna get caught. Got it?”

Raymond nodded at the old woman, his gaze fixed on the hamburger in her grimy hands. No pickles, ketchup, or mustard. Just the way he liked ’em. He felt like a big, old lap dog, drooling and panting with the fast food so close to his nose like it was.

“And then what? What’s next? Tell me. Oh, hell, never mind. You’re dumber than dirt. You can’t do it.”

“I kin do it,” he muttered, rubbing his extra large tennis shoes together beneath the extra small table.

Her reflection glared back at him in the window. “Then do it. Tell me the plan. All of it.”

His nostrils flared. This particular no-kidding hamburger was a rarity and had been made just for him. Its aroma teased his taste buds with promised deliciousness. He’d do anything to get it into his mouth—if he could only remember.

“Hey. Dummy.” She snapped the back of her grimy index finger right between his eyes, jolting him out of his daydream. “What’s the plan?”

Raymond gulped, determined to get it right and the hamburger inside his mouth. “Ah, the first thing is, ah, I gotta be real quiet so’s I don’t disturb nobody. And then, and then, I gots to be real quiet when I grabs her, so’s I don’t hurt her cuz you don’t want me to squish her. That’s real important cuz you said so. And then I gots to run faster than fast, so’s I don’t get us all caught. And then... And then...” He scratched the top of his head, scraping together enough courage to look her in the eye. “I dunno. I forgot.”

“You forgot? All you gotta do after that is throw her bony ass in the truck!” She smacked the side of his head, but it didn’t hurt much. “You don’t get nothing ’til you remember the whole thing, or it ain’t gonna work. None of it.”

“But I almost got it, huh?” He shuffled his feet again. Them kids in the next booth were staring, so Raymond ducked his head into his shoulders and tried real hard not to make a peep. Big guys got laughed at when they cried.

“Stop kicking!” The toe of her boot made hard contact with his shin. “For the love of Mike, keep your big feet off me.”

“Sorry.” His lower lip stuck out as his eyes dropped. Raymond wanted to please his new friend, but she was always angry. The bag of greasy food was off the table and he couldn’t see the hamburger either.

“Get it right, or I’m gonna find someone smarter, and you won’t get nuthin’.”

Embarrassment crept up his neck. His feet itched to move, but Raymond concentrated on making them hold still like that one time when he was little. The neighborhood kids called it freeze-tag. He held perfectly still like a statue. They said they’d come back and play with him if he didn’t move a muscle, so Raymond made his whole body freeze, and he almost didn’t even breathe either. He was good at that game, but they didn’t come back. Some bigger, meaner kids came instead. They laughed and punched him and said he was a big, stupid dummy. And he cried. Those big kids were kinda right. He wasn’t very smart in his head.

“Stop staring like you got someplace to be.” His mean friend smacked his head again. “Pay attention. Do what you’re told.”

He sucked in a deep breath and tried one more time, watching her mean eyes so he could tell if he was on the right track. His brain hurt he was trying so hard. “Okay, so’s I be real quiet, and then I grabs her. And then I be real careful, so’s she don’t scream or nothing, and then... and then...”

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