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From War To Forever
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The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?
The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?
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The rescue mission takes almost the entire day to plan. I don’t have the official go-ahead, and the guys helping me volunteer to do so, knowing damn well how risky it is. They are my closest friends—my brothers— so I’m not surprised they offer to help. Lucky for me, my friends are a bunch of badass motherfuckers and adrenaline junkies who love to shoot people.
I beg whatever god can hear me that Zara, my wife, is still alive. She was taken yesterday from one of the roughest parts of this horrid town of Idontgiveafuck, Iraq. She was trying to dig up information to complete a report for her London-based news station. Stupid. What she did was just plain stupid. I told her not to go snooping around there. That the people wouldn’t like her being there, but she didn’t listen.
As darkness falls, my men and I suit up with only the essentials. If everything goes according to plan, we should be in and out in half an hour. Luckily figuring out where they are keeping her was fairly easy. We have some great intel resources, plus the town is small with only so many buildings where they can hide. The biggest problem—and the reason I can’t just rush in and get her—is they are heavily armed. There is no way I could go in without backup and expect to get her and myself out alive.
We move out on my command. Six of us climb into the unofficially borrowed Humvee. Thermal scans of the area gave us an idea of the setup of the place and the number of guys. We figure we’re going up against eight to ten men, which six of us can easily handle if we’re smart. This is a shoot-first, fuck-questions kind of mission.
We park the Humvee about a block away to avoid alerting anyone in the dwelling where Zara is. We check our weapons, and I order Velazquez to stay in the driver’s seat because we will most likely have to make a quick departure. The rest exit the vehicle and start for our target.
The five of us come up on the building, and using hand signals, I send two men around to the back. They have orders to kill anyone who tries to run. I refuse to let any of these fuckers survive. They took the wrong man’s wife. Rage brings out the seasoned killer in me. No mercy will be given here tonight—only pain and suffering for the men who ripped the one shining light out of my life.
Hold on, baby. I’m coming.
I signal Fuller to kick open the door. As soon as he does, we start clearing the building room by room. Looking down the sights of my rifle, I make my way through the first room we enter. It seems to be a living room type area. Movement catches my eye from the doorway leading to the hallway and the room where we believe Zara is being held. Finger on the trigger, I let a couple of rounds go, hitting my target in the chest. The noise is sure to rouse others inside and outside the place. We need to move quickly.
After stepping over the man I shot, Fuller, Turner, and I make our way down the hallway. I silently direct Fuller to take the room on the right and Turner the room on the left. I’m heading to the last room at the end of the hallway.
I hear shots fired behind me from both of my men. Knowing they are more than capable of handling themselves, I continue down the hall. The last door opens just as I stop in front of it. A man hastily emerges. He stops short, inches in front of the barrel of my gun. A shocked “oh shit” expression covers his face. I hear something metal clang to the floor at our feet. I risk a glance. I really shouldn’t have. I really, really shouldn’t have. It’s a large serrated knife with fresh blood all over it. My wife’s blood, no doubt.
I swear I hear the snap inside my head. I squat while keeping my gun trained on the fucker in front of me as I pick up the still-warm, bloody knife. Everything inside me dies. She’s dead. I know it with every fiber of my being. This man killed her because he heard us coming. I let my rifle drop and hang from its sling. The look on the man’s face is one of pure terror. Good. He should be fucking scared. I snatch the front of his shirt. I’m only just noticing the blood splattered across it. I yank him into me while driving the knife into his gut.
His face contorts in pain, and he grunts. He grips the forearm of my hand that’s still holding the knife. With my eyes locked on his face, I slowly drag the knife across his stomach. I want to see every ounce of pain I’m causing him. He gasps and chokes and shakes in my grasp. His eyes bulge, and his mouth works as he tries not to scream. I can hear the disgusting sound of his intestines and possibly some other organs falling from the devastating wound I inflicted on him. Some of the mess even hits my boots. I can see he’s starting to die, the life leaving his eyes. The last eyes to see my wife alive. I take the knife from his stomach and easily pluck his left eye out with the tip. He jerks but doesn’t make a sound. I’m basically holding him up by his shirt now. He’s almost gone. I finish by stabbing the big knife into his right eye before throwing him to the floor.