Their mission is to search out and bring down those who trade in terrorism, fear, and human suffering by whatever means necessary. To do this, they must be willing to give up their freedom, and even their lives. They are a mercenary unit with a mission, and a motivation that has nothing to do with what they get paid, and everything to do with the innocent lives they save. Meet the men and women of…
Peter Talladay swore he’d never return to Ireland alive, until a battle with a demon in Iraq left him certain he would die a broken man. But when his boss’ wife calls in an expert on demons, and a withering disdain for mercenaries, Peter’s found a new reason to live. Now, if he can only convince determined-to-hate him Hope MacKenzie to trust him, Peter may still find the peace he’s long believed lost to him.
“Bean Si” – Excerpt from HOPE OF HEAVEN (Project Prometheus, Atlantis Silver, Book #2) —
Burn Cleary Farm, Ireland
August 1, 2001
A keening wail sifted across the moonlit field, stirring the high, dark grass into a seething ocean of shadows. Sweat stood out on his brow and dripped, icy, down his spine as he ran through the moving shadows. His breath huffed out raggedly, and his entire being ached with a torment he never knew could exist. Ahead of him, salvation glowed like a silvery beacon in the darkness, but it remained just beyond reach and the howling grew steadily nearer behind him.
With a cry of terror, Peter Talladay bolted upright in bed, his hand grasping futilely for the weapon no longer stashed beneath his pillow as adrenaline poured through him. His heart pounded harshly. Searching wildly in the dark for the danger stalking him, his surroundings finally penetrated the fog in his mind and reality crashed over him, both relieving and terrifying. This was his room at Burn Cleary. He was back in Ireland, where he swore never to set foot again until he died.
Well, he was as good as dead now, wasn’t he? Peter flopped backward, allowing himself a brief flicker of self-pity as he stared at the shadows sifting across his bedroom ceiling. For years, he stayed one step ahead of the bloody Bean Si. He survived more years and suicide missions than a mercenary twice his age had a right to expect, and not a single one of those missions was bought in cowardice or dishonor. Not even the last one he conceded with a sigh, though it ended his career with this helplessness.
Peter pillowed his arms behind his head, his gaze fixed on a vision of the past as he remembered. She was a pretty lass — all sweetness and smiles with a face Helen of Troy would envy. But from the moment he opened his eyes in that devastated Lebanese canyon to find her standing over him, he knew she wasn’t for him; she was out of bounds. Oh, he came to love her all the same over the ensuing months, but there was no lust in his feelings for her. No desire except to protect her from harm. And when he recognized his best friend’s reluctant fall for the gentle Sumerian woman, no man could’ve been happier than Peter. Matthew Raleigh deserved happiness, and Peter did everything in his power to see it come to pass, including deliberately drawing a demon’s wrath down upon his own head.
The physical pain lessened and all but disappeared over the past fourteen months; he rarely thought of it anymore. Nevertheless, something changed in his soul as he looked into those glowing eyes. He knew in that instant he was a dead man; and now he was. He had little mobility, and nightmares stole away the oblivion of sleep. Aye, the Bean Si mourned him loudly, and he no longer cared.
Disgusted with his thoughts, Peter sighed deeply, and named his apathy for what it was — dangerous. Rolling over, he reached for the bedside phone and punched familiar numbers. He needed help. He needed a friend.