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“This SOB is fast.” Ben’s huffed words filled Sean’s earpiece and ratcheted his heart rate up five notches.
Missing out on a foot chase when you were late joining your special ops unit was frowned upon in the military. And when the commander was your big brother, the outcome was even worse. He was in for a world of shit for this, and all for a woman.
“Heading east. I have the agent in sight. Keep your heads on a swivel.” Ben’s update was followed by several grunts of agreement from the rest of the team.
Sean slammed the pedal of his old El Camino to the floor and gunned it through the New Orleans streets. The city was quieter at this hour, unusual in this area. He didn’t like it—his sixth sense was blaring like an alarm during an air strike.
“C’mon,” he urged his baby, smoothing his hand over the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Not half an hour before, he’d been stroking a woman into peak after peak. Getting the summons from Knight Ops was the kiss of death for a relationship, and this was the second time he’d walked out on some very dirty bedroom play with Ali.
But he’d jumped out of bed, at the ready. While throwing on clothes and hopping behind the wheel, he never thought the Knight Ops team would be able to locate a Russian spy who’d evaded captivity for a decade. Yet they’d found him in their own back yard and had eyes on him.
“Heading northeast now. Past Creole Joe’s.” Ben’s words came in his normal voice, and the only sign Sean had that he was sprinting was the small hiccup of air between words.
Sean took in his surroundings. Creole Joe’s was a few blocks over, and he could head the Russian off.
Without bothering with turn signals, he took a bend at top speed. His left front tire rolled up over the curb but came down smoothly, barely jarring him. He ran a hand over the steering wheel, giving it the caress of affection it deserved. His car might be circa ’78 but it outperformed many modern models. And looked cool as hell.
“Closing the gap. Ninja, you got him in view?” Ben asked.
A laugh sounded. “Since when are you calling me Ninja?” their youngest brother Roades asked.
“Quit fucking around and answer the question, dickhead.”
Another laugh from Roades. “The agent is not in sight, Captain.”
“Dammit. You and Dylan must be off course.”
“We’re not off course,” Dylan put in. “We know these streets like we know our own dicks, sir.”
More laughter from the other guys, who were fanned across the five-block area, by the sounds of it. Still, Sean was the closest. And he had a six-cylinder.
A flash of something caught his eye and he veered left just as the man they were chasing hurdled a fire hydrant feet away from Sean. He screeched to a stop and threw the car in park, hitting the ground running. The Russian might be fast, but so was he.
Pumping his arms close to his body to generate speed, he gained on the man. The guy threw a wild look over his shoulder, and in that second Sean knew he’d do anything to escape. He was a wild animal, cornered by the people who’d ship him to his mother country, where he’d be up on charges on his failure to execute his mission and looked in the eyes before being shot for letting down his commanders. If he stayed in the US, he’d only find himself imprisoned for life under top security.
He threw himself forward and hit the man from behind, launching them both onto the pavement. The air hung with the scent of yeast from the nearby bakery, but Sean’s nose flooded with the reek of sweat and fear.
“Don’t fucking move,” he growled as he whipped the man’s wrists together, and with one jerk of his hand, bound them with a zip-tie he preferred to rope. Easier to carry and you could make them as tight as you needed.
“You got me out of the bed of a very beautiful woman, asshole, and I’m not going to go easy on you,” he said to the man glaring up at him from one eye. He tightened the tie until the flesh swelled around the plastic—he couldn’t risk the guy getting free.
“I got him on the ground,” he said to his team.
“What the fuck? Thunder?” His brother Chaz sounded stunned.
“No, it’s Santa Clause. Did you assholes think I’d abandon you?” He kept a knee in the man’s back. “Name,” he demanded.
“Fuck off.” Damn, the guy’s English was better than his own. No wonder he’d managed to fit in undetected in this country for a decade.
Using only a portion of his strength, Sean hauled the man to his feet. “Walk nicely now. I don’t want to have to take out my weapon. Then again, you did fuck up a very enjoyable experience.”
When the man didn’t budge, Sean kicked his Achilles. The Russian groaned and slowly trundled forward.
Sean led the criminal to the back of the El Camino and depressed a button to raise the tonneau cover over the truck bed. The cover lifted, revealing a tool box big enough to fit a man.
The Russian tensed. “You don’t plan to put me in there, do you?”
He looked over the Russian’s physique. Yeah, he’d fit, no problem.
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