Thursday, June 25, 2015

Element 63: The TaP Team by L.j. Charles Excerpt


Barnes & Noble

Let the countdown begin…

Everly Gray and Tynan Pierce, her sexy, secretive husband, take on projects no one else wants to deal with. Known as the TaP Team (Touch and Persuade), they combine the best in extrasensory perception and tactical ability.

And then they accept the Lecoq contract.

It should have been a slam-dunk. A straightforward assignment to expose the truth behind a manufacturing company’s government contract, and it offered a perfect opportunity for Everly to practice her undercover skills.

Embarking on a joint career is a dream come true for Pierce and Everly—until the nightmare edges in, they discover the contract is a fake, and death hovers, waiting in every corner.

Chapter 1
WE’D TALKED ABOUT it. Discussed everything, or so I thought. But Tynan Ailill Pierce never failed to surprise me. Our original plan was to fly into North Dakota, switch from Pierce’s jet to a small plane, and land “below the radar” in a quiet area of the Badlands at oh-three-thirty. The early arrival should go unnoticed, and give us plenty of time to hike into Medora, and then pick up a rental car.  
Pierce had yet to explain why we weren’t simply driving into town like normal undercover tourists, but my mate’s enigmatic personality became especially dominant when he was teaching me the spy business. I discovered asking a lot of questions was good, and he usually considered each one carefully before answering. But when he didn’t answer, it meant I was in for an intense learning experience.
With three successful missions behind me, I was cruising into this one with confidence befitting the TaP Team: Touch and Persuade. I did the touching; Pierce did the persuading.
I, Everly Gray, loved Tynan and trusted him with my life, had even made my commitment official with our handfasting ceremony. I considered Tynan a blessing…until about twenty minutes into the flight, when he strapped me into a tandem harness, and began the rundown on what was going to happen. “We’ll hit the drop zone—”
I wiggled free of the straps. “No way in hell am I hitting any drop zone. This wasn’t part of our plan.” I refrained from punching him in the jaw.
He sighed, and I could tell he was fighting for patience. “This is a critical skill.”
Damn, but I hated when he made solid points that shoved me into the stratosphere of panic. I nodded with a slight dip of my chin to prove I’d heard him, but definitely didn’t agree with him. “Later would be good. We could easily drive into Medora and still keep our cover intact.”
He fastened the harness on me again. “Airborne skills need to be perfected before you need them.”
Another one of those damn truisms I couldn’t argue with. I tried to shift out of the harness. No go. “Right. I get that. But—”
“You need the experience, Hot Shot. If I’d warned you, we’d still be in negotiations. Bottom line:  you should have been jumping for weeks. Be easier to drive in, but this location is perfect for your first jump. Safe. Nobody shooting at us, and I need you on this op.”

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