When international law attorney Sheikh Harun Ali is lured to the Amazon and warned of a frightening plot against the United States, he and his wife, Marianne Benson, enlist the assistance of their neighbors, covert agent Cade Matthews and his wife, Constitutional Law Professor Janet MacLachlan. Ultimately, these feisty lawyers are pushed to the wall, desperate to find a plane that has been buried in an unknown cornfield, the passengers still on board. The terrorists’ hatred for the Alis is absolute—the Alis once left their organization bankrupt and broken—but they hate America more. And their fiendish games are just beginning. They are seeking a much bigger prize—one that could destroy a nation and possibly the world. An act that will live in infamy.
September 30, 2018
The Amazon, Brazil
Anders Mark shifted his position and tried to get comfortable behind the ancient steering wheel.
Between the steamy jungle air and the hot woman next to him, he was in danger of melting. If Dianna Murphy, agent-in-training, lifted her tank top and fanned herself one more time, he was going to blow a gasket. He’d already swerved dangerously to the right several times on the rough dirt mountain road, barely missing an assortment of branches and trees. Unfortunately, the memory of his hands and lips exploring that taut runner’s body on the plane would not leave him. He wanted more. Get it together, butthead. We have a job to do.
Dianna sighed. “Exactly how are we supposed to know these men, again? The ones we’re picking up? Seems anyone could flag us down for a ride.” She swiped at the sweat on her forehead and blew her blonde bangs out of the way. “What if we pick up the wrong people?”
“The agency said one of the people would be known to us,” Anders replied. He downshifted through another rut. God, he hated this damn Jeep. Its transmission was squishy and the brakes almost nonexistent. He would be lucky if they made it back to the airport in one piece.
Dianna shifted in her seat and lay back, flipping her long ponytail off of her neck. She pulled her wide-brimmed Panama hat over her face. “Damn, it’s hot.” She picked up her tank top, again exposing her flat stomach, and fanned herself.
Anders bit his lip, trying to mentally keep Junior at rest. Limp and flaccid. No boners on the Amazon trail. “What did you expect when they said they were sending us to a village near the Amazon in late August? An air-conditioned limo?”
Dianna glared at him, her large blue eyes narrowed. “Are you implying I’m pampered?” She huffed and turned away from him. “God, you can be such a jerk sometimes.”
Anders snickered. “This from the former beauty queen who thinks everyone eats cake. Besides, that’s not what you said when you hauled me into the bathroom on the plane.”
“I needed a release after all those weeks of training.” She smirked. “I’ve been at it for almost three months without a break. You were the only person available. How does that song go? If you’ve got nobody to love, love the one you’re with? Besides, I was under duress.”
She grinned. “If you weren’t so gloriously hot, with that chiseled chest, those rock-hard abs, and that…ahem, amazing cock, I wouldn’t have been compelled to lick you all over. I was weakened by desire.”
Anders snorted. “You mean lust?” He picked up an opened water bottle and dumped it on top of her. “This ought to cool you off, Ms. Hot Pants. Not my fault you can’t keep your hands off of me.”
Anders knew he was treading on dangerous ground. A third-year law student, Dianna had been admitted into an experimental program for promising recruits at his agency—one that was so covert it was even hidden in a Senate appropriation bill under environmental compliance. Dianna was completing her final year of law school remotely while training to become an agent.
Anders and his superior had rescued Dianna—a law student at DeBarkin University and former beauty pageant winner—from a slave trafficking cartel over a year ago. Since then, she had pursued him like a rabid dog. She stalked him at law school and then after she joined the Agency. Though Anders had been in on the rescue, he could never admit it. Members of his agency were always deep cover. After he and his boss had purchased several American women who had been kidnapped by the cartel and brought them to safety, they had disappeared without revealing their identities. Although both men had worn masks, somehow Dianna had recognized him.
Dianna sputtered and sat up. Then she stripped off her tank and her shorts, leaving only a bra and panties.
“What the hell are you doing?” Anders gaped at her. God, sometimes he just wanted to take Dianna over his knee and spank her.
Dianna chuckled. “Drying off my clothes.”
“Dammit. Cover yourself. God only knows who’s on these roads.” It was at times like these that Anders truly felt their age difference. At age thirty, he was six years older than Diana. He had burned off all of his impulsiveness, she had not. And in the spy business, that impulsiveness could kill you.
“Oh, pull-eeze. We haven’t passed a single soul.”
“Dianna, you’re practically naked in a foreign country in a jungle crammed with all sorts of rogue warriors.”
Dianna grinned and looked down at her body. “I’m wearing more than most people do on a beach.” She removed her bra and tossed it into the back seat. “There…happy? Now I’m wearing standard fare for the beaches in Rio.” She opened a bottle of water and poured it over her body, then moaned. “Mmmmm, so good…”
Anders slammed on the brakes. The ancient Jeep jerked and slid to a stop. “Cover yourself—now! We’ve got trouble ahead.”
Without moving her body, Dianna lifted her sunglasses from underneath her hat and studied the two men who had stepped out into the road. They were filthy. Both wore camouflage shirts and pants, with what looked like white sheets wrapped around their heads. And they were carrying nasty-looking weapons. She sighed, doffed her hat, picked up her tank and slid it over her head, then wrestled with her shorts. “That’s our pickup,” she said.
“How the hell do you know that?”
“Oh, my God, are you blind? That’s Cade and some other guy.”