Olivia is Jackson and Anna's story... I hope you love it!
CHAPTER ONE – JACKSON
His heart pounded violently in his chest as he took a steadying breath. He looked to the man opposite him, giving him a reassuring nod.
Jackson prayed he was right about this call. It was his first big decision as team leader for the FBI’s newest division, and if he was wrong about this he’d have more to worry about than looking stupid. Lives were on the line.
“Move in,” Jackson said, making the call.
There was no backing out now.
He was in deep. All the way in.
His colleague opened the door and Jackson darted inside, weapon raised.
He heard the footsteps of his men behind him. Two seconds of normalcy before chaos erupted around them.
Gunshots echoed through the warehouse and Jackson knew in a split second the intel they’d been given was wrong. There were more than five targets in this building.
“Team B move in!” Jackson commanded. They needed support and they needed it now.
He ran to the closest pallet, using it for cover as he tried to assess the situation. There were at least ten men on site, weapons raised and firing. And they were all in the center of the warehouse. Jackson’s team needed to encircle them.
“All targets in the center. Use pallets for cover, form a circle. Go!” Jackson instructed as he darted from one pallet to the next, his heart pounding against his chest more wildly with every second that passed. He peered around the pallet and fired, hitting the leg of the target closest to him.
The man stumbled as he howled in pain, lowering his weapon.
Jackson fired another shot and he fell to the floor.
Jackson darted closer again, using the pallets for cover. He took note of what looked like boxes of medical equipment but he didn’t stop to open one—he hoped there would be time for that later.
Wood chipped off the pallet, flying through the air as Jackson pressed his back flat against it, stealing a labored breath.
He was a long way from Redwater, and he felt every mile between them.
But he’d taken this new role for a reason—to make a difference, so no family had to suffer like his had.
And now he needed to take advantage of every minute he had in this warehouse.
He leaned around the pallet, surveying the carnage.
Four men were on the floor—none of them his men.
His eyes swept over the empty loft above them.
He needed to get up there where he would have the advantage.
He eyed the staircase and counted the pallets between him and the stairs.
He darted for the first one. Bullets sounded like they were following him but he didn’t stop.
“Cover me!” Jackson screamed at his colleague as he ran past him.
It was a new team but so far they were working well together.
Bad intel or not, they were holding—for now. Jackson reached the stairs and climbed them two at a time as bullets hit the metal, the tinging noise a death siren.
As he climbed the last step, he looked down, spotting the man firing at him.
One shot to his chest fixed that problem.
Jackson sprinted forward, racing around the platform toward the greatest advantage point.
He was almost there when he saw a figure in the shadows.
A woman shooting at the men below.
Jackson’s eyes followed her line of sight and he saw a man on the ground. His head snapped back to hers.
Jackson came to a halt as their eyes met.
Captivating, dark brown eyes stared back at him.
No fear, no hesitation, as she turned her weapon on him. She stepped out of the shadows and he took a step back and away from the railing.
His mind reeled.
What was she doing?
He’d just seen her fire at one of his targets, but she wasn’t on Jackson’s team.
“I don’t know who you are,” she said with a husky voice, “but you didn’t see that, and you’re going to put your weapon on the ground and let me pass. I don’t care what happens after that.”
Jackson was impressed by her brazen attitude, but he was not putting down his weapon and he was not letting her pass. He wanted to know who she was and what she was doing here.
The corner of his lips turned up as he raised one eyebrow.
“My first thought was that you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that’s not true. You shot to kill, and I need to know why,” he said.
She took a step forward, her eyes assessing him like a caged tiger.
“I’m not going to give you another chance,” she said, her eyes locked on his.
As she took another step, she emerged from the shadows completely. She was half his size with a tiny waist, a slither of her toned stomach showing between her tank top and jeans.
But it was her eyes that drew him in. Eyes framed in a delicate face with a sharp jawline and strong cheekbones. But there was nothing else delicate about her—that much he already knew.
“Step aside,” she commanded, raising an eyebrow.
“Who are you?” Jackson asked, not moving an inch.
“Your men are dying down there while you’re wasting time with me,” she said.
He didn’t look away, because that’s exactly what she was trying to do—distract him.
“Something tells me you’re an important piece of this puzzle,” he said.
“I’m nothing to no one,” she said, raising her chin.
“That’s not true,” Jackson said and he knew that was the truth.
Her eyes locked on him and something flickered in them, but a clapping roar from below pulled Jackson’s attention and it was the distraction she needed.
She darted forward as he reached for her but she raised her elbow, slamming it into his face.
He grunted, cursing under his breath.
He blocked another blow but she put up a good fight.
Jackson reached for her wrist, grabbing hold of it, pulling her in.
The unexpected scent of rose infiltrated his mind as he clasped her hands behind her back.
But she didn’t give up. She raised her knee, most certainly aiming for his groin but he predicted her move. He didn’t foresee that she would try and overpower him by lunging at him, though—nor did he foresee the attack from the man behind him.
An arm around his neck loosened his grip on her and she stepped back. She looked alarmed for a minute, but if he’d held any hope she’d help him out of this situation he’d have been disappointed. She ran past him and left him to his demise.
However, Jackson wasn’t ready to lay down.
He drew what little air he could and braced his body, flinging himself back to headbutt the man behind him.
It was enough to break free of the man’s grasp.
Jackson swung around and raised his fist, landing it into the jaw of his attacker.
He raised his foot and slammed it into the man’s stomach, knocking him off balance.
Jackson grabbed his cuffs and tied him to the metal railing.
He looked at the stairs—no one else was coming up.
He looked over his shoulder but the woman was gone.
Jackson would deal with her later. He ran around to the railing, reloaded his weapon, and fired at the men below.
He gave his men on the ground just enough breathing room to take advantage and within a few minutes the warehouse was eerily quiet.
Jackson exhaled a long breath and wiped the sweat off his brow.
He looked at the shadows again, almost expecting to see her, but he knew she was long gone by now.
He took the stairs two at a time. “Let’s open these packages and see what we have. There’s a man upstairs who can be interviewed. Load everyone capable of talking into the vans. Everyone else will work on sweeping this warehouse. Let’s move as quickly as we can . . . we don’t know if they have friends arriving soon. Is anyone hurt?” Jackson looked over his men in full tactical gear. Everyone was standing but there were a few blood-stained shirts. Jackson didn’t know if it was their blood or if it belonged to the men on the ground.
A few nodded and he grouped them together while their team medic looked them over.
Jackson moved toward the closest pallet and pulled a pocketknife from his pants, cutting through the plastic wrap.
He opened a box of back heat patches and cut it open. White powder filled it.
“Test this,” Jackson said as he passed it to one of his colleagues.
“Open a box on every pallet,” he instructed.
If it was cocaine, this was going to be a huge bust for his team. A new team assembled by the FBI to combat the problem of drugs in Missouri. A team Jackson had been promoted to lead after the serial killer case.
He’d never dreamed of an opportunity like this, but everything had changed after that case and now he was determined to hold on to his blessings.
Plus, he had a deeply personal reason for taking on this new role.
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