it was a religion. Though their military careers had ta
en them on different paths over the years, they
d remained close. Closer than any band or so-called brotherhood of buddies Garrett had ever
d always admired them for that. Truth be told, he
d envied them as well. The military was a boys
club, its very nature a breeding ground for camaraderie and lasting friendships. But these Bama boys were different, had shared a special connection that made them more li
e family than friends. When Project Chameleon had come along, it had been a no-brainerto reunite the four. They
d all7 been at the top of their field, each one of them successful in their own right.Each one of them different enough to offer unique qualities to the unit, ma
ingit one of the most balanced and effective special forces teams the Army had ever
nown. Though he had a reputation for being a bit of a ladies
a player in today
s slang, if Garrett remembered correctly
at a little over six and half feet, Flanagan not only had the brawn but also sported a genius-level IQ which made him thebrain of the unit. Honestly, it had surprised him to learn that Flanagan had thrown the first punch in this recent scuffle. Ordinarily he wasn
t quite so rash. Though they
d all ta
s death hard, Garrett suspected that Flanagan was having a harder time dealing with the loss than the other two at the moment. Understandable, of course, given how Danny had died. Still
With nerves of steel and anattention-to-detail which had landed him the nic
who only went by his last name
t do anything in half-ba
ed, half-assed measures. He was a man you could count on to not only get the job done, but get itdone right. Guy McCann was a bit of a smart-ass with an endearing penchant for being able to bend a rule just shy of the brea
ing point, but with good enough instincts that he always landed on his feet. And Levinson
Well, Levinson had been the best of all three, and what he
d made up for in heart. On their own they
d been formidable defenders of Uncle Sam
d been lethal. Naturally when the powers-that-be had heard rumors of their intent to leave, he
d been given strict instruction to prevent it. Garrett ran a finger over the flag attached to the topmost file. They
d inadvertently given him the power to do it, and yet, whenit had come down to the nut-cutting, he
d been unable to follow through. Better tohave them in his debt than have an unwilling unit too bent on leaving to be effective. Better a grateful man than a bitter soldier. If they were bound and determined to leave
and they were
then if he could wring one more mission, be it personal or professional, out of them, then he
d still be better off. Fortunately the brass above him had thought so as well.
s going to happen?
How longis this going to hold us up?
Garrett told them, leaning bac
in his chair. Guy
s green gaze sharpened.
On whether or not you agree to my terms.
The three of them stiffened and shared a guarded loo
ed warily.A muscle tic
ed in his tense jaw. At last
the heart of the matter, Garrett thought.
s right. You want out. We can do this one of two ways. The hard way
Or my way.
Flanagan muttered a hot oath, leaned bac
and shoved a hand through his dar
new this was going to happen,
he said, shooting Guy a dar
re so screwed.
Guy muttered angrily. Payne swallowed what was most li
elya similar statement, but managed to hold his temper. Just barely, judging by thevein throbbing in his forehead.
And what, exactly, would your way entail?
Garrett told them smoothly.
ll just owe me.
Guy reeated, with equal amounts of surprise and trepidation. Jamie frowned, his hazeleyes wary.
Owe you what?
Garrett shrugged, but his tone belied the casual gesture.
He cast them all a steely loo
From each of you. When I call itin, I want no questions as
ed, no excuses. Just do it.
Guy considered him with ameasuring, probing loo
That calls for a lot of trust.
ed with you for thepast four years, McCann. It
s either there or it isn
t. The choice is yours.
A beat slid into five while the three of them shared another one of those unspo