Betrayal

(Book 2 in the SSU Series)

An innocent woman is caught in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Can she trust the most wanted man on the planet to save her?

Excerpt

Kai Paterson paused at the edge of the warehouse. A wide, exposed strip of dirt stretched between him and the safety of the trees along the riverbank. He checked behind him for signs of pursuit, then quieted his breathing and listened.

The night contained only the sound of the river softly slapping against the hull of the boat waiting for him in the shallows and the occasional cry of a nocturnal animal. Reassured that it was safe to proceed, Kai sprinted across the dirt and into the protective darkness of the stand of trees. Then he flashed a signal with the red LED light on his flashlight and waited for the proper response from the pilot.

It didn’t take long. A couple of minutes later, the boat slipped into view.

Kai picked his way carefully along the slippery surface of a thick root that jutted into the river. Then he leapt lightly onto the deck of the boat.

“Any trouble?” he asked the pilot in Portuguese.

“No.” The man handed Kai a pair of night vision binoculars.

As the boat pulled away from shore, Kai removed the backpack that contained his personal supplies, then scanned the land with the glasses. No sign of human activity. Good.

He might actually pull this off.

After all he’d lost, after two years on the run only to end up nearly dying in another crime lord’s dungeon, it was about time luck came his way.

Seeing no pursuers, he stowed his pack in the cabin next to his weapons and ammunition, which the pilot had retrieved earlier. Then he returned to the railing, checking for any late arrivals intending to stop their departure.

At least, that’s what he told himself. The truth was that he didn’t want to think about where they were heading.

I shouldn’t be here.

He shoved the fear back. Where else could he be? Dr. Nevsky’s damn microchip had destroyed his life. He couldn’t let any governmental agents, criminals, or terrorists get their hands on the data on the chip.

The boat pulled away from the shore and soon reached the center of the river. Refusing to be a coward, Kai strode to the bow. Moonlight rippled across the river. Underneath the boat’s odor of fish and diesel fumes he caught the jungle’s signature stench of rotten vegetation and sweet flowers. The trees loomed on either side of the river. Little more than an impenetrable darkness at this time of night, Kai nevertheless felt the jungle’s violence calling to him.

Nausea churned in his belly. Dark memories threatened to swamp him.

His fingers tightened on the wooden railing.

A fish broke the surface of the river, then quickly disappeared into the murky depths. Yeah, wasn’t that a metaphor for his life these days? Barely able to take a clean breath before he waded back into the muck.

Kai shivered. The horrors he’d seen in Nevsky’s lab still gave him nightmares. Men so insane, so focused on the kill order given by their handlers, that they attacked their teammates with teeth and nails and fists, fighting like animals to the death. Then biting and mauling their opponent’s corpse until the ground gleamed red.

He shook his head, but it was too late. The memories segued into coroner’s photos showing his mother lying in a pool of blood. Showing his fourteen-year-old sister, Isabel, with her throat gaping open from a knife wound, her hand reaching toward her dead twin brother.

Kai clenched his fists and jerked his mind away from those pictures. He would not think about their deaths. Not here in the jungle, where his control was so thin. Where the sights, sounds and scents threatened to send him back to the moment in an Indonesian jungle where he’d taken the life of the fifth of the six assassins who’d killed his family.

God, if he’d only known what price he’d pay for going undercover at Nevsky’s lab. And now Rafe, his brother-in-law and fellow SSU agent, was missing after investigating a lab they suspected of restarting part of Nevsky’s experiments.

Rafe would be better off dead than a test subject.

Kai closed his eyes and tried to breathe past the lump of rage and grief in his throat. He attempted to quiet his mind, but instead he saw blood dripping off his hands onto the jungle floor while the body of the assassin twitched out its final seconds of life.

To his horror, even though he stood on the deck of a boat months after the kill, Kai felt an echo of the hot, primitive satisfaction that had surged through him as he’d stared down at the body. He remembered throwing his head back and letting loose an inhuman cry of triumph that scared birds into flight and scattered a colony of monkeys.

His heart pounded in remembered exhilaration.

Shit, shit, shit.

Playlist

Here is a short playlist of songs that are connected to Betrayal:

  1. "Love Is Blindness" by U2. Something about the tone of this makes me think of Kai.
  2. "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling. Also makes me think of Kai.
  3. "Into the Night (feat. Chad Kroeger)" by Santana. This is what I imagine is going through Kai's head when he sees Susana in the club at the end of the book.
  4. "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera. Represents Susana's party side.
  5. The soundtrack to Raiders of the Lost Ark. I listened to this on repeat while writing the jungle scenes!

Accused of murder and the theft of a microchip containing deadly scientific research, SSU agent Kai Paterson is the target of an international manhunt. His only hope of clearing his name lies in finding the microchip before the hunters catch him. And kill him.

Kai isn’t the only one who’s tracked the microchip to internationally renowned archaeologist Susana Dias. But he’s the only one who will keep her alive.

Focused on uncovering a legendary city deep in the heart of the jungle, archaeologist Susana Dias is unaware she holds the missing microchip inside her. Betrayed and hunted, she finds an unexpected ally in Kai.

Kai promises to protect her, but will his promise hold up when it comes time to retrieve the microchip? Removing the chip might kill Susana. Letting the data on the chip fall into the wrong hands puts thousands of lives at risk.

In a race for their lives through the jungle, Kai must find a solution that will save both Susana and the world.

DON'T MISS ANY OF THE BOOKS IN THE sSU SERIES

Prequel Novella

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 3.5

Book 4

Prequel Novella

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 3.5

Book 4

Betrayal

(Book 2 in the SSU Series)

An innocent woman is caught in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Can she trust the most wanted man on the planet to save her?

Excerpt

Kai Paterson paused at the edge of the warehouse. A wide, exposed strip of dirt stretched between him and the safety of the trees along the riverbank. He checked behind him for signs of pursuit, then quieted his breathing and listened.

The night contained only the sound of the river softly slapping against the hull of the boat waiting for him in the shallows and the occasional cry of a nocturnal animal. Reassured that it was safe to proceed, Kai sprinted across the dirt and into the protective darkness of the stand of trees. Then he flashed a signal with the red LED light on his flashlight and waited for the proper response from the pilot.

It didn’t take long. A couple of minutes later, the boat slipped into view.

Kai picked his way carefully along the slippery surface of a thick root that jutted into the river. Then he leapt lightly onto the deck of the boat.

“Any trouble?” he asked the pilot in Portuguese.

“No.” The man handed Kai a pair of night vision binoculars.

As the boat pulled away from shore, Kai removed the backpack that contained his personal supplies, then scanned the land with the glasses. No sign of human activity. Good.

He might actually pull this off.

After all he’d lost, after two years on the run only to end up nearly dying in another crime lord’s dungeon, it was about time luck came his way.

Seeing no pursuers, he stowed his pack in the cabin next to his weapons and ammunition, which the pilot had retrieved earlier. Then he returned to the railing, checking for any late arrivals intending to stop their departure.

At least, that’s what he told himself. The truth was that he didn’t want to think about where they were heading.

I shouldn’t be here.

He shoved the fear back. Where else could he be? Dr. Nevsky’s damn microchip had destroyed his life. He couldn’t let any governmental agents, criminals, or terrorists get their hands on the data on the chip.

The boat pulled away from the shore and soon reached the center of the river. Refusing to be a coward, Kai strode to the bow. Moonlight rippled across the river. Underneath the boat’s odor of fish and diesel fumes he caught the jungle’s signature stench of rotten vegetation and sweet flowers. The trees loomed on either side of the river. Little more than an impenetrable darkness at this time of night, Kai nevertheless felt the jungle’s violence calling to him.

Nausea churned in his belly. Dark memories threatened to swamp him.

His fingers tightened on the wooden railing.

A fish broke the surface of the river, then quickly disappeared into the murky depths. Yeah, wasn’t that a metaphor for his life these days? Barely able to take a clean breath before he waded back into the muck.

Kai shivered. The horrors he’d seen in Nevsky’s lab still gave him nightmares. Men so insane, so focused on the kill order given by their handlers, that they attacked their teammates with teeth and nails and fists, fighting like animals to the death. Then biting and mauling their opponent’s corpse until the ground gleamed red.

He shook his head, but it was too late. The memories segued into coroner’s photos showing his mother lying in a pool of blood. Showing his fourteen-year-old sister, Isabel, with her throat gaping open from a knife wound, her hand reaching toward her dead twin brother.

Kai clenched his fists and jerked his mind away from those pictures. He would not think about their deaths. Not here in the jungle, where his control was so thin. Where the sights, sounds and scents threatened to send him back to the moment in an Indonesian jungle where he’d taken the life of the fifth of the six assassins who’d killed his family.

God, if he’d only known what price he’d pay for going undercover at Nevsky’s lab. And now Rafe, his brother-in-law and fellow SSU agent, was missing after investigating a lab they suspected of restarting part of Nevsky’s experiments.

Rafe would be better off dead than a test subject.

Kai closed his eyes and tried to breathe past the lump of rage and grief in his throat. He attempted to quiet his mind, but instead he saw blood dripping off his hands onto the jungle floor while the body of the assassin twitched out its final seconds of life.

To his horror, even though he stood on the deck of a boat months after the kill, Kai felt an echo of the hot, primitive satisfaction that had surged through him as he’d stared down at the body. He remembered throwing his head back and letting loose an inhuman cry of triumph that scared birds into flight and scattered a colony of monkeys.

His heart pounded in remembered exhilaration.

Shit, shit, shit.

Playlist

Here is a short playlist of songs that are connected to Betrayal:

  1. "Love Is Blindness" by U2. Something about the tone of this makes me think of Kai.
  2. "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling. Also makes me think of Kai.
  3. "Into the Night (feat. Chad Kroeger)" by Santana. This is what I imagine is going through Kai's head when he sees Susana in the club at the end of the book.
  4. "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera. Represents Susana's party side.
  5. The soundtrack to Raiders of the Lost Ark. I listened to this on repeat while writing the jungle scenes!

Accused of murder and the theft of a microchip containing deadly scientific research, SSU agent Kai Paterson is the target of an international manhunt. His only hope of clearing his name lies in finding the microchip before the hunters catch him. And kill him.

Kai isn’t the only one who’s tracked the microchip to internationally renowned archaeologist Susana Dias. But he’s the only one who will keep her alive.

Focused on uncovering a legendary city deep in the heart of the jungle, archaeologist Susana Dias is unaware she holds the missing microchip inside her. Betrayed and hunted, she finds an unexpected ally in Kai.

Kai promises to protect her, but will his promise hold up when it comes time to retrieve the microchip? Removing the chip might kill Susana. Letting the data on the chip fall into the wrong hands puts thousands of lives at risk.

In a race for their lives through the jungle, Kai must find a solution that will save both Susana and the world.

DON'T MISS ANY OF THE BOOKS IN THE sSU SERIES

Prequel Novella

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 3.5

Book 4

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