The Phoenix Agency Book One
They served their country in every branch of the military—army Delta Force, SEALs, air force, marines. They are pilots, snipers, medics—whatever the job calls for. And now as civilians they serve in other capacities, as private consultants training security for defense contractors, as black-ops combatants eradicating drug dealers, as trained operatives ferreting out traitors. With the women in their lives, each of whom have a unique psychic ability, they are a force to be reckoned with. Risen from the ashes of war, they continue to fight the battle on all fronts.
They are Phoenix.
For Faith and Mark, the telepathic connection they’d shared for years was nothing compared to the scorching physical connection they realized as adults. From the first moment they came together, erotic was too pale a word to describe their relationship. Together they explored each other’s deepest, darkest desires. But now Mark, survivor of an ambush to his Delta Force team, is a prisoner of a terrorist group in the Peruvian jungle, and his telepathic communication with Faith is his only contact with the world. While she searches for help to save him, they survive on dreams that took them beyond all sexual boundaries. Can she persuade the men of Phoenix to undertake a treacherous rescue and bring Mark back to her arms?
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Behind The Scenes
The Phoenix Agency was born in my brain in 2007 at the Romantic Times Booklovers convention in Houston. I was living in Texas at the time and taking my Concealed Carry Licensing Class with a former member of a Delta Force team. He was the epitome of the hero—heroic, self-confident, dedicated definitely someone you want protecting you and your country. After spending a day with him learning all about Delta Force I knew I was making the right choice. When the book became so successful and my readers kept demanding more, I decided to expand on the four original partners, also with military background. Learning a bout Special Operations in the other branches of the military was both exciting and eye-opening. I’m lucky that my sources continue to be willing to provide me with information and answer all my questions.
Launching this series is so exciting for me. I have created a Phoenix Agency Readers Group where you can discuss the books with other readers, read character profiles, excerpts of the different books and information about Special Forces. I’ll also be running contests every month and of course every one who joins the group will be listed as a Phoenix Agency Special Agent. I’m looking into creating identity cards to email to everyone.
Kindle Press is releasing the books and doing a fabulous job with it, so please watch out for all the future release dates.
Faith Wilding stared at her computer monitor in frustration, the screen empty except for the annoying cursor winking at her. The first three chapters of her latest political thriller were due to her agent by the end of the month, and she hadn’t even written the first word. Not once since she’d sold her initial manuscript had she ever been stricken with writer’s block. Today, however, it seemed as if something had swept her mind bare, knocking out every word or phrase that might be taking root.
She looked around her den, usually a place of comfort and inspiration. The warm earth tones of the rug that had been her grandmother’s were an accent on the polished hardwood floor. The couch and chair, covered in navy denim, showed traces of wear from all the times she’d lain or sat there, reading manuscript drafts. The walls were lined with family pictures, faces smiling down on her with encouragement and support.
Usually this room unlocked her mind and opened the gates for her thoughts to flow freely. Not tonight. She could have been sitting in a sterile room for all the good it was doing her.
She rotated her head, easing the tension in her neck and shoulders. Maybe she should fix another cup of her favorite chai tea. Its energy might kick-start her brain.
I need you.
The familiar voice blasted through her mind.
Mark! Oh, God, Mark.
Stunned, she tried to focus her thoughts, but a white-hot pain pierced her body, stealing her breath. She clenched her fists against it, and as it faded an image of Mark’s face, bruised and lined with pain, flashed briefly and then was gone.
Faith leaned back in her chair, using the skills she’d been taught to control her breathing and slow her racing pulse. Running her hands up and down her arms, she discovered a fine sheen of perspiration on her skin.
She tried to recapture the image, but it was gone. Then his voice was back.
Need you . . . captured . . .
Captured! Dear God. He’d reached out to her from wherever he was, but where was that? How could she find him? He could be anywhere. She felt as if a part of her body had been severed. Closing her eyes and pushing everything else from her brain, she concentrated on sending a reply.
I heard you. Where are you?
She sat perfectly still, eyes still tightly shut, blocking out everything else and focusing as she’d been taught, to strengthen her message.
She waited, but the only thing that answered her was the heavy silence. Either his strength had given out, or something—or someone—had blocked him.
“Well, Captain Halloran.”
The acquired British accent punctured his thoughts. Mark looked up at the man who’d come into the tent, the arms dealer who should be dead now instead of standing in front of him. Tall and lean, aristocratic in bearing, his disdain was evident, not only for Mark but also for the men who bought his merchandise. Mark knew he’d have been long gone by now if not for the information he was seeking. Each time Mark was dragged to the center of the camp for whatever torture the men devised, this man stood watching with eyes that glittered, a tiny smile curving his lips.
“No cheery greeting?” the man asked, then kicked the open cut on Mark’s leg.
Mark gritted his teeth and forced himself to show as little reaction as possible. So far he’d been able to keep from saying anything to his captors. They could kill him and they very well might, but he’d never open his mouth.
“Ah, well. No matter. I’d really love to be gone from here, but unfortunately you have information I need.” He deliberately stepped on the injured leg.
Mark ground his teeth and swallowed a scream.
“You could save yourself a lot of pain, you know. I will use whatever means the men devise to find out how you knew about this camp and who organized this little mission of yours. This could seriously jeopardize plans already in place, not to mention affecting my business enterprises.” He nodded toward the open flap, and two men entered. Unshackling Mark from the stake, they lifted him by his arms and half-walked, half-carried him outside.
“Oh, and by the way,” the man called after him. “We counted the bodies carefully. One of your men is missing. Wherever he is, we’ll find him.”
Please, God, keep Joey safe.
Then Mark concentrated on clearing his mind of everything but an image of Faith and projecting one short message before they shut him down.
Come . . . need . . .
Trying to hold on . . .
The words pierced her foggy brain like a knife.
Was she still dreaming? Faith bolted upright, shaking off the images that had danced through her mind. She had fallen asleep, dreaming of Mark, then thinking about the night of her prom. So had she now just imagined his voice, or was he sending her a message again?
There! She heard him!
The sound was sharp, and his voice had a painful edge to it. The unexpected white-hot pain in her leg slammed her again, taking away her breath. She grabbed her leg, rubbing it, and tried to still her pulse.
I’m here, Mark. Please tell me where you are?
She shook off the heavy tentacles of the dream and forced her mind to focus.
Come to me, Mark. Answer me.
Can’t . . .
Mark? Can you tell me where you are? I know you’re in pain. Her throat tightened. Please give me more.
Silence again. Her stomach knotted with fear and anxiety, but she knew she had to block her emotions or she’d never get a message through.
The word was almost a scream, and an intense feeling of pain racked her entire body.
I will. Oh, Mark. Help me find you.
But instead of hearing his voice a sense of menace swept over her, of unrestrained evil. Fear pressed down on her with a heavy weight.
The other telepath. The menace. Whoever he was, he knew Mark was reaching out to her. He was not only blocking her but also sending her his own message. Malevolence and death. Suddenly she felt as if hands were squeezing her throat, choking her.
She leaped up, the chair crashing to the floor, sweat pouring from her in rivulets. Her heart raced, and she shook all over. Then, as suddenly as it came it was all gone, and she collapsed in a heap on the nearby armchair.
God. What horrible things were happening to Mark? She had to find out where he was. And quickly. Her inner senses were telling her loud and clear that there wasn’t much time left.