Rebel Heart (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 9)

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Brady looked up from the radar imaging on the screen before him. Dan entered their command tent and threw down a chunk of blackened metal.

"That's it," he said. "That's all that remains of the command center on the Peak."

"That's not our work," Brady said and lifted the metal. "What happened?"

"Bodies and a whole lot of that. We think General Greene and a few others got away. We intercepted some emergency transmissions but couldn't get everything because of the electromagnetic field."

"Our prisoners are the only survivors. And I don't know they knew anything."

"Something made them leave," Dan reminded him. "I think Angel will just cry if you ask her anything. Why don't we bring in Elise?"

Brady didn't think Dan was far off. The woman in his tent was something else. He still didn't fathom what had driven her to leave the Peak in the first place when she clearly couldn't even make it down the side of the mountain on her own.

He touched the micros in his cargo pocket as he rose, recalling his night. He was a saint for letting her out of his bed the night before. The moment their bodies touched, he could think of little else than how long it had been since he had a woman and how much he'd wanted Angel since soon after he'd started talking to her weeks ago. He doubted Tim would appreciate him making moves on her.

"Elise it is," he said. "If she doesn't kill us first."

"You have no idea how hard it was to tie her to that damn tree," Dan said. They started away from the tent towards the center of their camp.

While Brady knew Lana was too afraid to leave his tent even if it wasn't guarded, he'd had to order Elise chained to a tree within view of four guards. The special ops specialist was fearless, genetically engineered to kill, and as lethally trained as any of his men. She glared at them both with a cross between disdain and fury. Brady held up the chunk of steel.

"This is all that's left of the Peak," he said.

Her eyes went to it, and he saw confusion in their depths.

"I didn't order it destroyed. That leaves your people."

Her anger turned to thoughtfulness. Dan pulled the tape from her mouth, and the first words out were curses. Then she shook her head.

"No. The Peak is there. If it's not, you destroyed it," she insisted.

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