Danger Close Excerpt

It’d been three days since Skylar’s father was taken, and no demands of any kind had yet been made. Skylar was worried, scared, and restless. She found herself in medical taking inventory for the third time when Jaxon came by.

“Hey. How ya doing?”

“I’m hanging in there. Worried about Dad but doing alright, I guess.”

“Logan said they got a lead this morning. He and Brian went to check it out. I’ll let you know if anything comes of it, OK?”

“Yeah. Thanks.”

Jaxon looked around. “So, how do you like your new digs?”

She smiled at him. “Brass was right. This place is fully stocked. Just about anything I could need for any conceivable injury could be treated here. Everything from a small cut needing a Band-Aid to a bullet wound.” She was damn impressed.

“Yeah. I’m sure we’ll keep you on your toes too,” he told her.

“I wouldn’t mind some of that right now. I think this is the third or fourth time I’ve taken inventory today alone.”

Jaxon pulled her into his arms. “We’ll find him, Sky. I promise you we will.”

“I know. I’m just not good at waiting and sitting idly by. I need something to do.”

“Kayla is up at the gym. Why don’t you head up there and work out some of your stress and nervous energy?”

“That sounds like a good idea. I just might do that.”

Jaxon smiled at her. “I need to head back to command, but I wanted to check on you before I did. You sure you’re good?”

Skylar smiled back at him and kissed his cheek. “Yeah. I’m good. Thank you for checking on me.”

“No problem. I’ll see you a bit later, OK?” Skylar nodded and watched Jaxon leave.

Good God, that man has a nice ass. MM MMM.

She was about to lock up and head to the gym when she felt her phone vibrate in her back pocket. “Hello?”

“Skylar Larson?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“We have your father.”

She sat down hard on an examination table before she fell to the ground. “What do you want?”

“We want you. If you want to see your father alive again, you’ll do as we tell you. Do you understand?”

“Ye…yes.”

“Good. Go get some lunch in town and wait for further instructions. Understood?”

“Yes. Let me speak to my father first. I want proof of life.”

Skylar heard some noises in the background.

“Skylar?”

“Daddy!” she quietly exclaimed.

“Skylar, don’t worry about me. Do not do anything they say. Do you understand me?”

She heard her father grunt in pain.

“You have fifteen minutes to get to town.” The call disconnected.

Skylar took a few deep breaths and let them out slowly.

You promised to tell Jaxon if you got a call about him. I know and I will.

Now, not later.

I know, damn it.

She grabbed her purse and car keys and headed to the parking lot, calling Jaxon on the way.

When Jaxon saw Skylar’s name on his cell phone he knew something was wrong. He had left her not two minutes ago. “Sky? What’s wrong?”

Skylar was just about running to her car as she spoke. “It’s Dad. I just got a call from the people that have him.”

“Breathe for me, baby. How do you know they have him?”

“Because they put him on the phone. I have fifteen minutes to get to the diner in town and wait for further instructions.”

“Sky, wait for me. I’ll be there in thirty seconds.”

“I’m already in my car and leaving base.”

“Damn it, Sky.”

She should know better than to go off on her own like that.

“It’s my father, Jaxon. Please understand that. I called you like I promised. I’m sorry I didn’t wait but I couldn’t.”

Jaxon raced to the parking lot and found Logan and AJ talking with their wives. He put the phone on speaker for the other guys to hear. “I’m at my truck now, Sky. Leave your phone on for me so we can hear what happens, OK? If they call again, conference me in. I’ll have my phone muted so they won’t know I’m on the line.”

“OK.”

Logan nodded his understanding as to what was going on. “Put your coms in so we can monitor things from here. I’ll have the rest of Alpha right behind you.”

AJ jumped into Jaxon’s truck and pulled the door closed just as Jaxon peeled out of the parking lot. He grabbed the coms set from Jaxon’s go-bag in the back and put it on. “Coms check. Logan, you there?”

“Yeah. Kayla and I are here. Mac and Trace are right behind you.”

“Can you hear Skylar?” Jaxon asked.

“Loud and clear,” Kayla responded.

Skylar headed into town as she was told. She pulled into the diner parking lot and put the car in park but left it running. Less than a minute later she was startled by someone tapping on her window.

“Can I help you?” she asked the stranger, never rolling down the window.

The man on the other side gave her an evil grin and broke the window. Skylar screamed while she fought to put her car in gear. The man grabbed her hair and pinned her to the seat.

“Stop. Now,” he demanded. Skylar stopped immediately. “Good. Now, get out of the car slowly, leave everything, and calmly walk to that van.”

“Shit, AJ. This isn’t good. We aren’t gonna make it in time.”

“Drive faster.”

“I can’t. FUCK!” Jaxon yelled as he punched the dashboard.

“No,” Skylar told the stranger.

The man answered her with a backhand to her cheek. “Tell me no again, and I’ll do much more than backhand you. Do we understand each other?”

“Yes.”

I should have waited for Jaxon.

No shit, dumbass.

Now what are we going to do?

Pray he finds us.

Two minutes later Jaxon and AJ pulled into the diner parking lot. Skylar’s car was still running. “She’s gone, no trace of the van. Her purse and phone are still in the car,” AJ updated the rest of the team.

“God damn it!” Jaxon yelled.

“Calm down, Jaxon. We’ll find her. Everyone return to base. We need to get a game plan together,” Kayla said.

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