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No Way In Hell
A Steel Corps/Trident Security Crossover Novel
by J.B. Havens and Samantha A. Cole
No Way In Hell
Copyright (c) 2016 J.B. Havens and Samantha A. Cole
All Rights Reserved.
No Way In Hell is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Front Cover Designed by Samantha A. Cole
Edited by Eve Arroyo
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
Any information regarding persons or places has been used with a creative literary license so there may be discrepancies between fiction and reality. The Navy SEALs and other U.S. military branch’s missions and personal qualities within have been created to enhance the story and, again, may be exaggerated and not coincide with reality.
The authors have full respect for the members of the United States Military and the varied members of law enforcement and thank them for their continuing service in making this country as safe and free as possible.
To our readers and loyal fans.
Without you, this book would never have been a thought in our minds.
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Other Books by J.B. Havens
Other Books By Samantha A. Cole
Connect with the Authors
As always, I want to thank my husband, Mike, for his unending support. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.
Sam, I just gotta say, co-authoring a novel never entered in my mind. But as we’ve worked together on this project I’ve come to call you friend. Thanks for your help, guidance, and support. What are we going to write next? It’s been so damn amazing that I don’t want it to end!
Jules and Jess, you’re more than beta readers, you’re friends. Your love of Steel is just as great as my own. Thank you!
Brian Parker, thank you for your insight and for tearing us a new one and helping us get it right. We strive to entertain and you helped make sure we do it accurately. Mic and Carter thank you as well.
And to you dear reader, thank you for reading. I hope you love this collaboration as much as Sam and I do. It’s EPIC I tell you! :D
Oh, where to begin? There are so many people I need to thank!
My family and friends, of course, for supporting my exciting journey into the world of literature.
J.B., this has been the most fun I’ve had since I started the Trident Security series—and that’s saying a lot because you know I much I love writing it. This collaboration started as a joke between new friends and fans of each other’s stories. But then something clicked and I couldn’t have asked for a better co-author. Just say the word, and Carter and the Sexy Six-Pack will be ready to work with Mic and the boys again.
Jess and Jules—Lucy & Ethel, Frick & Frack, Jekyll & Hyde, and whatever future nicknames we come up with for you two—without you this book would never have been written. It was because of you yelling at me to read Core of Steel that J.B. and I connected. You didn’t steer me wrong and I will be forever grateful. As J.B. said, you’re beyond my beta readers, you are my friends, and I will never take that lightly.
Eve, you have been a godsend to me. Your editing and input helped make this book the best it could be (not to mention all my other books, lol). Thank you for everything and for meeting every deadline I’ve thrown at you.
To my beta readers and the Sexy Six-Pack Sirens, your continued support and encouragement means more to me than you’ll ever know. I cannot say thank you enough. Your posts, messages, shout outs, and reviews are the highlight of my day, every day.
And last, but far from least, to my readers. Your love and loyalty has humbled me. I wish I could one day meet each and every one of you, just to thank you in person. I hope you enjoy No Way in Hell as much as we did while writing it. Stay beautiful and happy reading.
Authors’ Note – Reading No Way in Hell Book 1 is Necessary Prior to Book 2
My feet pounded on the newly built track. Phillips was just ahead of me, and we were on the final leg of our five-mile run. Having spent years in the military, we were so used to starting our days with PT—physical training—that it would throw us off all day if we didn’t follow that routine.
I crossed the line moments after Phillips and slowed to a walk. It was as important to cool down as it was to warm up for runs. “You ready for today?”
“Sure. I guess. But I still hate that we need their help, Mic. I’d hoped we’d have our own team by now.”
“I agree, but Jackson will be working on that while we’re gone. And since Steel isn’t big enough yet for this and neither is Trident—we have to work together this one time. This is going to be the only time we do this; I can assure you of that. By the time we get back, Jackson will have beaten the drum, and we’ll have more team members to train.”
“I told him to find us a sniper, a pilot, and an EOD guy. Those are musts.”
It was times like this where I could sense my command grated on Phillips’s nerves. “I agree with you there, Sergeant.” I stopped pacing and turned to face him. “Shower and get your gear. We leave for Tampa in an hour.”
“Copy that. At least, it’ll be fun to see some of the guys again— if they don’t kill me for being alive.” He headed toward the large cabin, which he would soon be sharing with someone else.
I was anxious to get our team put together and trained. There was so much we could be doing. I strode to my own cabin and stripped as soon as I was in the door. My duffel and weapons bags were already packed and waiting by the door. Like Phillips, I was also looking forward to seeing Sawyer and the rest of Team Four again. It would be kick-ass to work with them on something where they weren’t riding to my rescue.
I briefly flashed back to that narrow desert road where our convoy had been ambushed. And everything that came after. Shaking loose those thoughts, I showered and dressed quickly and hauled my bags over to the hangar. It was mostly completed, enough for a jet to be parked alongside it. The sleek, black aircraft had cost a shitload, but it was good to have around. If for nothing more than no headaches getting our weapons through security. Our own personal Black Hawk would be delivered soon as well.
The row of lockers had been installed, and in front of them was a long bench, similar to what you’d see in a gym. There were boxes of weights and exercise equipment in the back, waiting to be set up. I’d had Jackson order a boxing ring as well. Sparring was essential to getting to know your teammates’ weaknesses and strengths. Plus, it was a damn good way to blow off some steam. I turned away from the open hangar and climbed the already lowered steps of the jet.
Inside was the most impressive setup I’d ever seen—and being in military intelligence, I’d seen some seriously badass tech. A bank of computers had replaced the couch halfway back. The entire aircraft was custom, from the standing room height to the soft, buttery leather on the oversized seats. In the back was a small galley-style kitchen, though I wasn’t sure how much use it’d get. There were pairs of seats on either side of the aisle, with one set having a built-in table between them. It even smelled factory fresh, like a new car.
“Pretty, fucking impressive,” Phillips spoke from behind me, tossing his own duffel on a chair.
“Fuck, yeah. I think it’s great.” I plopped down into the seat closest to the door.
“My only question is who’s going to fly it? We don’t have a pilot yet.”
The floor trembled as someone climbed aboard. Turning toward the noise, I watched with interest as Jackson ducked in with a grey-haired man behind him.
“This is your pilot. He was a test pilot for the Air Force. Half of what he did for them is still classified. He has a name, but you’ll call him Captain. He can fly anything, anywhere.”
With a respectful nod, the captain ducked into the cockpit and slipped on the headset with practiced ease. He was flipping switches and turning knobs rapidly. Turning back and catching us staring, he said, “Better sit down. I’m going to take off in a few. Buckle up, kiddies, we’ve got a five-hour flight to Tampa.”
Knowing when to follow orders, I strapped in and sat back as we taxied out with a roar. As we took off, my stomach hit my feet and my ears popped. We were on our way to Tampa, Florida to meet up with Trident Security. I would see Lieutenant Sawyer again, although he was now retired from the Navy. Just the thought of him brought back the smell of blood, and the feel of hot sand on my skin. I was both looking forward to this and dreading it. My first black ops mission was about to begin. Hooah!
Carter watched as the skinhead recruits ran the obstacle course. He’d been under for a few months now, and it was almost scary how well the organization was militarized. His solid cover had him fitting in perfectly with Colonel Michael Strauss and the other leaders of this sect of the New Order. As far as they knew, he was Timothy Carter, a Marine who’d gotten a dishonorable discharge, was court-marshaled, and did three years in the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. All for punching a black superior officer several times in the face. When Strauss had asked him about it, his response had been he’d gotten tired of taking orders from someone who wasn’t fit to tie his boots. That fake history, plus not having any obligations tying him down, was exactly the type of recruit they looked for here—in addition to being the right color to fit into Hitler’s ideal race. The First Sergeant ranking on his fictional military file, and his alpha leadership ability had fast-tracked him to Strauss’s inner circle. Now, he just had to wait until they moved to South Dakota and met up with the other two US divisions.
When the last recruit of the twelve-man squad he’d been put in charge of crossed the finish line, Carter barked, “Move out to the shooting range! You’ve got four minutes to get there and break down your weapons for inspection! Move your asses!”
As the men took off, Strauss approached him. “Lieutenant.”
He snapped to attention even though it grated on him. “Yes, sir!”
“At ease. How are the new recruits doing?”
Spreading his legs shoulder-width apart, he placed his hands at the small of his back. “They need some work, but nothing that a few weeks of training can’t fix.”
Strauss nodded. He was about three inches shorter than Carter’s six-foot-four frame and a little stockier. Like most of the men at the compound, his blond hair was closely cropped. A faint scar bisected his forehead—it had probably been from his youth and had required numerous stitches to close. “Well, try to shorten that time frame as much as possible. In ten days we’re packing up and heading to the main compound in South Dakota. General Wexler wants everyone training together to get ready for the big day.”
“You’ve mentioned this big day before, sir, but I still have no idea what you’re referring to.”
Pausing, Strauss studied him carefully with hard, pale blue eyes. “You’ll find out when I think you deserve to find out, Lieutenant. For now, all you have to do is follow your orders.”
The man turned on his heel and headed back to the main house on the compound. Mentally counting down from ten, Carter got himself under control, when what he really wanted to do was slit the bastard’s throat—he could almost feel the fucker’s hot blood spilling over his hands. The only things stopping him were it would blow his cover and the mission, and karma was a real bitch—Strauss would get what was coming to him in due time.
Jogging toward the shooting range, he thought about how to bring Mic and Phillips into a conversation with Strauss at some point. He’d already established he had wandered all over the United States since his release from prison. The planned cover story for Staff Sergeant Bea “Mic” Michaels and Sergeant Gary Phillips, aka Mikayla and Phillip Robins, was that they were redneck half siblings from Aberdeen, South Dakota. Purportedly, Carter had met Mikayla during his travels, and she and her half brother had the same warped hatred for the US government, so they were ideal people to bring in.
Another squad of recruits ran past him in sloppy military formation. There were a total of fifty-eight men and six women occupying the compound. Training consisted of standard boot camp drills and weapons exercises. The arsenal at this compound alone could be used to take down hundreds of people at a football stadium within minutes—and that didn’t include the explosives in an ordinance bunker on the far side of the property. If the other two training facilities were equally equipped, then the casualties on the “big day” could rival the numbers from 9/11. And he’d be damned if he didn’t do everything he could to make sure it never happened.
Leaning against the passenger side of the Suburban he’d driven to the small, local airport, Ian Sawyer watched the jet taxi from the end of the runway to the hangar he’d parked in front of. Steel Corps’s aircraft was almost identical to the one Trident had recently purchased, which was currently stored inside the large building behind him. Not only was this private airport on the outskirts of Tampa within fifteen minutes of the compound, but also the security on the property was top-notch due to the number of corporations and government agencies that used it.
He was curious to see who Jackson was bringing with him. All he knew was there were two Steel Corps team members who would be infiltrating the neo-Nazi compound in South Dakota and meeting up with Carter. The rest of the hired special ops contractors would be under Ian’s command in the areas surrounding the compound for support. He knew Steel Corps was black ops, but even his high government security clearance had its limitations. Well, he'd find out soon enough who the secret agents were.
The jet stopped in front of the hangar, and the engines wound down to a halt. A few minutes passed before the cabin door opened, and a set of stairs was lowered. The first person off the jet was a male Caucasian, about six foot four and 225 pounds, wearing a military green T-shirt and tan cargo pants. His dark hair was mostly covered by a tan baseball cap, while a scruffy beard and mustache hid his facial features. Dark sunglasses completed his attire. But there was something about the man that seemed familiar to Ian as he studied him descending the steps carrying a large, black duffel.
Striding across the tarmac, the operative stopped a few feet from Ian, set his bag on the ground, and pulled off his sunglasses. Shock, then fury flashed through Ian as he stared at a man he had thought was dead—killed during an undercover op overseas. What the fucking hell? They had all gone to the SEAL’s fucking funeral, for Christ’s sake, and pounded their trident pins into the lid of his coffin! Ian’s fists clenched in rage as he took a threatening step forward. “What the fuck? We fucking buried you, Phillips! What the goddamn fuck?”
Phillips wisely stepped back and held his hands at shoulder height in surrender. Regret filled his eyes. “I know, Sawyer. I know, and I’m sorry, but it was mandatory.”
“Mandatory? Fuck that shit! Does Team Eight know you’re fucking alive? Because they were mourning with the rest of us, you son of a bitch.”
“No, they don’t.” Ian hadn’t noticed Jackson join them. The master sergeant removed his own sunglasses and stood tall with authority. “And it was my call on my team going dark—they had no say in the matter. The only people who know he’s not six feet under are my handlers, his teammate, Carter, and now you. And your team will know when we see them—and that’s only because of your clearance level. To the rest of the world, he’s dead.”
Itching to hit someone, Ian put his hands on his hips and glared at Jackson. “So, this is why none of the contract operatives are former SEALs for this mission, other than my team. You took them from other special ops teams to make sure no one would recognize him.”
A single nod was his answer. Tilting his head back, Ian took several cleansing breaths and tried to get his anger under control. A count of ten would have to do because they needed to get the hell out of there and back to the compound. “Fuck. All right, who’s the other team member? Who else did you fucking resurrect from the dead?” Jackson silently hitched his thumb over his shoulder and Ian was thrown for another loop as a petite, blonde woman approached them before dropping her military-style pack on the tarmac. His eyes grew wide with disbelief. “Mic?” As he gaped at her, a small smile spread across the face of the intelligence interrogator who’d supposedly died during a classified mission in Afghanistan. “Fucking A! Well, now I don’t feel bad we missed your fucking memorial service. No offense, Corporal.”
“It’s Staff Sergeant, now, and none taken, Sawyer. It’s good to see you again.”
She held out her hand and instead of shaking it, Ian pulled her into a welcoming embrace. “Congrats on the promotion, and despite my shock, I’m fucking glad you’re still alive. But it’s going to take some getting used to.” He let her go, turned to Phillips and gave him a man hug with some slaps to the back. “You, too, frog. Sorry I flipped, but I fucking hate surprises. Give me a little bit to get my head wrapped around this.”
“No problem and I hear ya,” the big man replied with a grin.
Ian eyed Jackson with annoyance. “Can we go now, or is there anyone else on that jet who you brought back from the dead? Elvis, maybe? Jimmy Hoffa? Kurt Cobain? Personally, I wouldn’t mind if you brought Kurt back.”
“No, that’s it. Our pilot has made his own arrangements and can be back here within thirty minutes if we need him.”
“Good. Load up and let’s get the hell out of here.” He shoved his sunglasses on his face and rounded the hood of the SUV, still feeling like he’d just fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole.
Driving back to the compound, the last of his ire faded. He knew all about black ops, having worked with several operatives in the past. Hell, Carter was one of them, and Ian’s team knew very little about the man beyond what they’d learned from being on missions with him. Most operatives who go dark are chosen because they have little or no family, and wind up having an empty grave somewhere in a military cemetery where their unknowing friends can mourn them. It was a lonely life he couldn’t comprehend, and he had to respect those who lived it.
He glanced at Jackson in the front passenger seat. “Any word from Carter?”
“Got a message from Liam Cooper when we landed. Carter thinks they’ll be moving to South Dakota soon. Hopefully he’ll have a date and exact location for us within the next few days. Until then, we train and prepare. I’ll fill everyone in with what we already know when we get to your place.”
Turning off the highway to the road leading to the compound, Ian drove the half-mile to the manned front gate. The armed guard waved and let him through. All of the Trident buildings were now complete, and the Sawyer brothers had their own apartments in the fourth building. The second and third ones held the offices, bunk rooms, gym, indoor shooting range, storage, and a panic room, which had been a surprising find. The former property owners had been drug dealers and had apparently thought of everything. There was even an underground tunnel which led out into the woods from the panic room—hopefully, neither would ever have to be used, but it was nice they were there if needed.
The first building was still undergoing renovations and would be their BDSM club, The Covenant. The grand opening had been pushed back one month due to this op and the fact that some of the custom-made equipment hadn’t been ready for delivery.
Ian pulled up to the new interior fence and rolled down his window to place his hand on the security scanner, which would slide open the gate. His brother Devon was just exiting the building that housed their security business. Meanwhile, Brody Evans, Marco DeAngelis, and Jake Donovan were sitting on a picnic table outside the second warehouse, and the latter had one of his sniper rifles stripped down for cleaning. Parking and leaving the vehicle and AC running, Ian turned to Mic and Phillips in the back seat. “You two mind waiting in here a minute so I can fill them in. They’re going to be as shocked as I was.”
The both answered, “Understood.”
Climbing out of the SUV, he tried to find the words to explain the resurrection of two dead people.