Healing Hearts 1: Warrior Angel(2)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

She never felt so helpless and alone in her life, even as she held her lover, her best friend in her arms. She was alone, and life didn’t seem worth living.

Chapter One

“It’s quiet,” Selasi Stelling whispered to his brother Zayn. They were hiding in the brush under the trees about a hundred yards from the facility they were about to infiltrate. Their other brother, Thermo, along with a few soldiers from another troop, were being held prisoner inside the building. A secret mission gone badly, and the government wasn’t sending anyone in to rescue them. So Selasi and Zayn called up their friends, used their connections, and decided to do their own secret mission. They weren’t letting their brother die.

The building, a two-story shit hole that looked like it could collapse at the next big windstorm, was heavily guarded. Thermo had been assigned to a special operations unit six months prior. It was supposed to be the last assignment for their brother and then he was retiring from the Corp. Same for Zayn and Selasi, who already got things started with careers after the military. Zayn with the state police as a special training officer and investigator, and Selasi assisting with intel and operations for their buddies who were mercenaries. Zayn and Selasi were done eight weeks ago, and then they got word that Thermo had been captured by a small terrorist cell in Baghdad. It took a lot of finagling and favors to get the info they needed, never mind resourcefulness and a bit of muscle to find the location. They did it though, and without government support, without funding or assistance, except from friends of theirs who were mercenaries.

Selasi swallowed hard, and Zayn exhaled.

“No matter what, don’t get dead, bro. We get Thermo out and we never have to come to a shit fucking country like this ever again.”

“Agreed.” Selasi heard the signal.

“Game time,” Zayn whispered, and they got up, pulled their weapons to their shoulders, and slowly crossed the darkness of the open area before the building. Mike, Turner, Fogerty, Watson, Dell, and Phantom were on the move and infiltrating the area. A moment later, gunfire erupted, and Zayn and Selasi hurried to the door where they believed their brother was being held. As men came running out firing their weapons, they returned fire.

“We’re coming for you, bro. Just hold tight, Selasi and I are here. We’re gonna take you home.”

Pop, pop, pop.

* * * *

Thermo barely registered the sound of rapid gunfire. He was left to bleed out, like the others before him, his fellow soldiers and prisoners to these monsters. He heard the guards yelling in their language, and it was obvious the fire wasn’t friendly. Could someone be coming in to rescue them? Well him. He was the last one left. All six-feet-five of muscles, steel, had held up against the brutal abuse and starvation. He closed his eyes, his face against the dirt floor as blood dripped from his nose and lips. His chest burned with scars from the blades of knives and the sharp snap of long sticks like whips against his flesh. His nostrils no longer burned from inhaling dirt and the stench of death. His eyes were heavy, not glossy, because he was beyond dehydrated. He was dying, his kidneys failing, and could smell death coming.

His head felt fuzzy, and it was beyond the results of getting knocked around with the butt of guns, slapped, punched and even kicked by heavy, black military boots. His will to live and to fight on was hanging by a thread. As he listened, trying to determine if it was real or a hallucination, the shots came through the door and took one of the guards out.

He watched, still not able to lift his head, still feeling like he was dreaming and this wasn’t real, or willing to put what last bit of energy he had into a hallucination of his mind.

More yelling. Thermo felt about an ounce of hope and attempted to move. He slid his palm along the ground to gain leverage, then lifted his aching cheek up off the floor, but he was so damn weak his head fell back to the hard, dirty surface. His nostrils flared. More gunfire, an explosion, and one of the guys fell back into the area where Thermo lay. He was bleeding from his neck and chest, the gun he held lay right there inches from Thermo. That hope he had grew.

He stared at the weapon. The weeks or months that passed never gave him the opportunity to come this close to a weapon, a means to fight and escape. Now it was here and he was so fucking weak from injuries and abuse, he couldn’t fucking move.

“Mother fucker. I’m not dying without taking some of these scumbags with me. I’m not.” He grunted. He thought of the others. The men who came on the mission with him and who died here. He growled and fought against the pain, the exhaustion, and reached for the AK 47. I’m a fucking Marine. Special fucking Forces. Death before dishonor. Semper Fi.