Whispered Lies (B.a.d. Agency)

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9781439169940: Whispered Lies (B.a.d. Agency)
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In the suspenseful thriller from New York Times bestselling coauthors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, a Bureau of American Defense agent and an irresistible informant join forces to thwart a deadly global conspiracy. . . .

Gabrielle Saxe has hidden from a killer for the past decade, sending anonymous tips on international criminals to intelligence agencies around the world. When a postcard arrives from a friend who is supposed to be dead, she takes a risk that catapults her into the midst of dangerous operatives on a treacherous mission—and into the arms of Bureau of American Defense operative Carlos Delgado. Dutybound to surrender her to Interpol as an international felon, Carlos is the last person Gabrielle should trust and the only one standing between her and death. But little does she know, she holds the key to his survival as well. . . .

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About the Author:

SHERRILYN KENYON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several series, including the Bureau of American Defense novels Born to be BAD, BAD Attitude, Phantom in the Night, Whispered Lies, and Silent Truth--all available from Pocket Books. There are more than twenty-five million copies of her books in print in over thirty countries. She lives with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.Visit her website at SherrilynKenyon.com.

DIANNA LOVE is the New York Times best selling co-author of the Belador urban fantasy series. BLOOD TRINITY, the first book in this new series, debuted on the NYT, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Walmart best seller lists. ALTERANT, book two, will be released Sept 27, 2011. 
Visit AuthorDiannaLove.com for more on this author who rides motorcycles, loves to saltwater fish and enjoys meeting fans everywhere.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

One

If he had to die today, he'd have preferred a warm climate and a bullet between the eyes over this.

Carlos Delgado had no one to blame but himself. He had agreed to take the lead on this screwed-up mission.

The routine HAHO -- high altitude, high opening -- jump from a Câ?? 130 came with a standard set of risks. First, his team had to hit a tiny spot in the French Alps near St. Gervais. Second, a midnight op upped the ante. Last, parachuting into a snowstorm kicked in the high-octane factor.

And those weren't even the best reasons for labeling this op suicidal.

He stretched his legs and lifted a hand to scratch his face, but stopped. The Gentex face mask itched like a son of a bitch, but breaking the seal between skin and mask would immediately lower the raised nitrogen level in his blood. That meant he'd have to abort the jump and scrub the mission since this op was planned with a minimum number of operatives.

With the mood his three teammates had been in when they went wheels up, someone would immediately accommodate his wish for a quick death.

But they'd show some restraint since none of them wanted to waste a day off for his funeral.

Carlos checked his watch. Just after lunch on Sunday in the States. Headquarters should have new intel by now. He was ready to get moving as much as he hated making the jump.

He'd made the leap more times than he wanted to remember, but the stakes were high this time. The only thing worse than flying in an airplane was exiting one during flight...and at this altitude. An adrenaline junkie's dream. Not his.

He slapped a sideways look at Korbin Maximus, sitting next to him on another uncomfortable canvas seat. Their resident adrenaline junkie and insertion specialist for BAD -- Bureau of American Defense -- wore an identical oxygen mask. His night-vision goggles were shoved up on his forehead.

Slouched, eyes closed above a perpetual five-o'clock shadow, and arms casually crossed, Korbin appeared at rest, but Carlos knew their point man was not asleep.

"What's the matter, Korbin? Job puttin' you to sleep?" Reagan "Rae" Graham's British lilt came through the commo headset they all wore. Perched across from Carlos and Korbin, Rae was the only female on this op and no petite miss at five-eight. She could more than handle herself in hand-to-hand combat, cool as an ice cube under pressure. Few men would suspect the trim woman packaged with all those lush curves to be so lethal, but she was one tough babe from the short, sandy brown hair to a mile of legs...to the G36C rifle strapped across her chesty flight suit.

"Just reserving my strength for later." Korbin lifted a dark lash long enough to send a whispered wink at Rae.

"For the op or some sweet thang?" Rae chided in a poor imitation of his Texas drawl that sometimes carried shades of Korbin's Mexican heritage.

"I'm always up for a sweet thing, especially one loaded for bear." Korbin's eyes crinkled in challenge.

"Yeah, right. In your dreams." Rae flipped a droll don't-waste-your-time glance at him.

Carlos rolled his eyes at the pair. The banter and verbal poking had gone on for the past six months. Why hadn't they found a room yet? Should be a perfect match since both of them considered dinner reservations a long-term commitment.

BAD did have a "No fraternizing with team members" rule, which wouldn't normally faze most agency operatives, who considered breaking rules part of their job description.

But the first commitment of every agent in BAD was to protect teammates, which would be damn hard to do if one of the agents caught in cross fire was a loved one.

Carlos had no problem steering clear of relationships with females on a mission. Emotions complicated an op and jeopardized lives.

He'd learned that lesson the hard way and never made the mistake again. Never would.

"Besides, Korbin, you haven't made it to the R's yet," Rae piped up. "Who is it this week? Jasmine, Kelly, or Lisa?"

Korbin scowled, eyelids still at half-mast.

Rae's gaze twinkled with undisguised gloating over the direct hit.

"Is that what you're doing?" Gotthard Heinrich, the fourth operative, broke in. As the beefiest member of the team, he packed an easy 275-plus of solid muscle into that granite body and a temper not to be tested. "Gayle two weeks ago..." Above the clear oxygen mask, Gotthard's diamond-blue eyes narrowed in sharp concentration. "Haley last week...Isabelle...two days ago. Damn! You are working your way through da alphabet. You son-a-bitch." He spoke perfect English, French, German, Russian, and Italian whenever he wanted, a faint German accent slipping into his English only when in a secure situation.

"Thanks, Rae," Korbin growled, anything but appreciative.

"Hey. You're the one with the itch and a predilection for patterns."

"Must be nice to be single," Gotthard grumbled.

"Depends." Korbin shifted his slouch. "I don't have someone to go home to every night."

"Makes two of us." Gotthard dropped his head back, eyes shut.

Banter eased tension on a mission, but Carlos grimaced over Gotthard's slip. The few agents aware of the big guy's turbulent marriage also knew Gotthard did not discuss it openly.

BAD was a covert organization the U.S. government would never acknowledge that protected national security and saved lives, to put it in pretty terms, but the bottom line was they did whatever it took to get the job done. That way of life generally torpedoed serious commitments, in spite of a few couples that had managed to make cohabitating look possible. Most of the time even the best relationships fell victim as unavoidable casualties.

The one married teammate on this mission was slowly realizing that and getting an earful from his wife about being home for Thanksgiving in four weeks.

Wouldn't be so hard if Gotthard could tell his wife the real reason he'd missed the last two holidays. That he didn't really design interiors for aircrafts, but that sufficed as a cover.

Gotthard sat up, tense lines daggering the bridge of his nose.

"Incoming?" Carlos asked before he could stop himself, but he needed better intel, now. Gotthard had the only link to headquarters and had probably just gotten a vibration from his wrist unit.

The big guy gave a curt nod as he shoved the pale gray sleeve of his flight suit back, exposing his wrist video. The satellite-linked video device looked like an oversize square watch similar to the Vâ??Rambo unit worn by Israeli soldiers and alerted the wearer of an incoming message by vibrating.

But this electronic baby had been customized and developed just for BAD operations, all financed by a silent investor Joe knew. With a name like Joe Q. Public, no sense of humor when it came to his name, and a background most agents only speculated about in hushed conversations, no one questioned the director's supplier for BAD toys.

Gotthard was their communication specialist, who could all but talk to NASA with a piece of aluminum foil and tin can if they needed to reach an astronaut. When the wide-bodied agent finished reading the text on his arm piece, he lifted his gaze to Carlos, then his deep baritone came through the commo set.

"Heads up, everyone." Perfect English this time.

Korbin straightened next to Carlos, alert and ready. Rae cut her eyes at Gotthard, who continued once he had everyone's attention.

"New information is coming through in chunks. The transmissions are breaking up as we move between two satellites." Gotthard's gaze shot down to his wrist video. "Package...is confirmed missing from origin...stolen goods."

Carlos nodded when Gotthard glanced up to see that he understood. The package was Mandy Massey, the missing seventeen-year-old daughter of an American diplomat currently in Uruguay working on a military-site agreement the United States needed in that region. The diplomat thought his daughter was still traveling across South America with friends, but she was also known as a hellion who had disappeared from time to time from her private school in Europe.

BAD intercepted a kidnapping tip from an anonymous source known only as Mirage. The message indicating Mandy as a target of kidnappers had been sent with specific electronic markers, obviously meant for international intelligence agencies scanning for suspicious communication. BAD instituted a covert search across South America, which ended at the last place Mandy had been seen. Another electronic tip followed hours later, warning if the young girl went missing to look for her at a château in the St. Gervais area of the French Alps.

The BAD mission room had sounded more like a bar brawl in the making twelve hours ago when Joe first informed them of this jump. Carlos couldn't fault his companions for arguing against sending a team to jump into a blizzard when the missing renegade daughter had disappeared twice before then shown up later as if nothing were wrong. But the minute Joe shared that the second intercepted missive from Mirage stated Mandy would be given to something called a fratelli, the room had quieted, all agents ready to go.

Added to that, Mirage had been correct too many times to ignore the validity of the message. The very reason every intelligence agency in the world searched for this unknown person. No informant ever just shared intelligence freely.

They all had an agenda.

BAD needed to find out what Mirage stood to gain from sharing this information. What game was going on?

The team knew all too well that the reference to a fratelli in the tip could well mean the Fratelli de il Sovrano, which translated into Sovereign Brotherhood, number one on BAD's most-wanted list of dangerous organizations.

During the past year every agent had seen what this maniacal group could do to human beings. Men, women, and children had been used as guinea pigs for the Fratelli's biological terrorist attacks. The virus unleashed had turned the victims' bodies into hideous forms as they drew their last breaths pleading for death.

Making tonight's HAHO jump was no longer under debate with the chance of saving this young w...

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