Marine Captain Tamia Kuan is no stranger to war. Raised in war-torn Tibet, and then turned loose with the street gangs of Old San Francisco, Tamia is living proof that no matter the crisis, the strong will survive. On the streets, she learned to bury her heart to survive, and, but the end of the world war known as the Divide, that survival depended on no longer having a heart at all. But one man’s doubt in her innocence will turn the tables on her, and force her to free her heart. For, in the midst of one of the deadliest counterespionage missions of her life, the one thing that saves her life could be love.
“The Hit” – Excerpt from TAMIA (Underground, Book #1)
Tamia lay in the rafters of the old Columbian factory, her weapon resting against her chest and belly as she stared at the ceiling and waited for Gypsy’s signal that she and Cali had arrived. Eyes closed, Tamia drew a deep breath and mouthed a prayer chant from her childhood as she sought strength. Kuron would probably skin her as a blasphemer if he heard it. He’d be scandalized that she’d use a Buddhist chant – words of peace and life – as weapons of war and destruction. But she’d use whatever she had at her disposal to get this done right. The world was at stake.
A tiny series of beeps sounded in her ear – Morse code never seemed to fade out of war completely – and rolled swiftly onto her stomach in the loft to rest the barrel of her rifle against the wooden ledge. Peering through the gun’s sight, she drew shallow breaths, even behind her soundproof mask, and steadied herself as she watched and waited.
The door below opened, and Tamia tensed. This was it. She heard Gypsy’s soft voice float through the air, and then the deeper voice of a man, just before Hector Cali stepped through the door and into Tamia’s sights. Her weapon trained on his head, she squeezed the trigger and the sniper rifle kicked against her shoulder as Cali jerked and fell, a red dot in the center of his forehead.
Gypsy stepped forward and stooped to place two fingers against the side of the downed man’s neck. After a moment, she sketched a cross in the air above his body, and then rose to her feet and gave Tamia a thumbs-up.
Tamia released her breath in a sigh of relief as she rolled to her back again tapped the COMlink on her belt.
“Striker to Tin Roof. Dinner’s over; come and get us.”
“Affirmative,” came Frank’s voice over the ‘link. “Rendezvous LZ. We’ll be waiting.”
Tamia acknowledged him, and slid forward, feet first. She pushed over the edge and dropped the ten feet from the loft to the concrete factory floor, to land in a crouch. Swiftly, she rose to her feet and signaled Gypsy, who didn’t have the advantage of a COMlink or any protection in that peasant dress, as she turned toward the loading dock.
One down, three to go, including Coramaz.
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