Broken - LS Silverii

Chapter 1

“If he flinches—shoot him, Sue,” Justice ordered the sniper. “We’ve worked too hard to have some Vegas playboy dick us over. Just deliver the goods and he can be on his way.”

“10-4, and don’t call me Sue.”

Justice’s mouth quirked at the response. He’d taunted his brother, Bobby for years over the nickname given him by their father. Besides being a real asshole, their dad was a Johnny Cash fanatic.

Justice peered into the high-powered binoculars. His team was in position—he’d made sure of it. Tension clawed its way across his face. The main artery in his neck grew thicker with each pulse.

“It’s still quiet,” an impatient voice crackled over the radio.

Surveillance hidden on the northeast ridge had eyes on anything that entered the target area. Howling winds through the shallow Colorado valley swirled around each of the former military specialists, but provided no comfort from the anxiety streaming over this latest operation.

Justice wandered too close to the edge of their observation deck. Stones from beneath the sole of his worn boot ricocheted down the mountain. He wiped moist palms onto his jeans. His fingers twitched. The physical effects of so much time spent setting up this deal had begun to show, not to mention he worried about the cash dropped for reeling in the target.

“Y’all sure it’s cool down there? I don’t want anything spooking him,” he barked. Thick, calloused fingers suffocated the radio. Justice’s gnarled beard scratched against the plastic surface held to his chapped lips.

“10-4, boss. Silent. Except for the coyotes,” replied the former Force Recon Marine. Usually unperturbed by the wilderness wildlife, coyotes were nocturnal hunters—aggressive. That would’ve also described Sue, but this was the coyotes’ territory.

Justice had carefully sketched the plan—it was fool proof and easy. The Vegas wise guy, Ricky Geneti, would deliver the military grade weapons they’d already test fired, in exchange for cash. Everyone would be happy. Simple.

Justice flipped on the night vision goggles, but the stars were brilliantly bright and he was too far away for the NVG to be of any help. They clanked onto the hood of his pickup truck.

“Hey, be careful with those. They ain’t cheap,” Rage cautioned.

The former Army Intelligence operative shot a glare at Justice, but quickly swept his focus back onto the matrix of computer screens. The black and grey monotone monitors were tailored to prevent detection during night ops. Rage’s collection of rugged notebook laptops showed images from a series of covert cameras he’d set up to alert them the instant anyone arrived. Other than the dust kicked up by the valley’s wind gusts, the conditions were optimum for his technology.

“Yeah, ain’t like we got extra cash on hand. This damn deal is setting us back on our reserves.” Justice eased the NVG into the hard-plastic case.

“Eyes up. Jeep approaching lights out.” A voice snapped the radio’s silence.

Justice peered over Rage’s shoulder to watch the screen’s blip. Like a bat out of hell, the Jeep moved toward the rendezvous point. Rage widened the radar’s scope to show no other vehicles in the area—just as instructed.

“Looks like little Ricky can follow directions after all.” Justice tried to make light of the situation, but he never relaxed until the deals were done. Just like in his military special operations days, the safety of his crew came first.

“Sniper one to base,” whispered Sue Boudreaux. “Looks to be alone.”

“He better be, else I’ll drag his greasy ass all the way back to sin city,” Justice growled.

He paced the mountain ledge like a lion, and reached for the NVG out of habit before changing his mind.

“He’s out of the Jeep. Top is down like he was told. I see the trailer behind him.” Sue called out a play-by-play from his crow’s nest. Trained by the United States Marine Corp as a sniper, the Force Recon operative had an eagle’s eye and owl’s intuition about human behavior.

Justice mentally checked off the next action in his ops plan. “Fury, it’s your play. Check his trailer for the weapons. No test firing, but you can rack the bolt actions and selector switches to confirm they’re fully automatic rifles.”

“Roger that.”

“I’ll signal when it’s okay to hand him the keys to the motorcycle. Vengeance will deliver the keys to you. Two hundred and fifty grand are locked inside the saddlebags. Well, minus the twenty thousand I took out for the Harley to transport it out of here.”

There was silence. Not many of them had had a clue how much money was at stake. That detail was