Read Operation Swift Mercy Online

Authors: Karlene Blakemore-Mowle

Operation Swift Mercy

 

 

 

 

 

Operation Swift Mercy

Copyright © Karlene Blakemore-Mowle, 2012

First published 2012

Published by Karlene Blakemore-Mowle

2 McLennans lane

Macksville, NSW,2447

Email:
[email protected]

URL:
http://karlenebm.blogspot.com.au

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All rights reserved.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission
in writing from the author. Please contact the author
at [email protected]
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, events, and places portrayed in this book are products of the author’s imagination and are either fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

For more information on the author and
her
works, please see
http://karlenebm.blogspot.com.au

 

 

 

To Karin, Chase’s number one fan
;
this one’s for you.

Prologue

 

She knew she was about to die.

She knew it. He knew it.

Looking over her shoulder, her heart sank. Below her was a terrifying drop- as he moved toward her, his evil smile taunting
—a
lmost daring her
. S
he did the only thing she could
—s
he stepped back and let herself fall.

Chapter
One

 

Chase Maloney stared out at the tranquil beauty before him. He looked like the perfect
man
at peace, with his fishing rod, a beer and
only
the sounds of nature, for company. Inside though, he
was
a
man
contemplating his future.

The gentle sound of the
water
flowing before him,
only
added to his restlessness today. Everything

it seemed,
was
moving on, even the damn
water
.
Everything
but him.

He
was
thirty-f
our and for the first time ever he was
not content with his life. At the end of the year
he'd
have to decide did he re-up for a further four years of military service
? O
r
take
the le
ap and move on to a new venture?

A day out up in the hills behind the flashy lights of the Gold Coast
had
sounded like a
great
way to
take
his
mind
off things.
Finishing
his beer, he crushed the can and tossed
it
into his back pack, along with his fishing gear. So
much
for taking a brief respite between gro
omsmen duties to clear his head, there were t
oo many thoughts crowded
his
mind
today to concentrate on relaxing.

Truth
was
, as
much
as he loved his old friends,
he was feeling more like the
odd man out.
He'd
decided against staying at the same motel they
were
all at
,
for
that
reason
—h
e needed his space and a break from having to
watch
everyone else so damn, contented and happy.

Tate and Summer
had
been married now for five
years
with two kids, and Del and Willow
were
finally
tying the knot after being together a little over three. Never
was
his future
more
relevant than when he
was
amongst his friends. They
were
more
like family than friends—God
knew
they'd
been through
hell
and back enough times to
warrant it.
They all
knew
where
they
were
headed, but
where
the
hell
was
he going?

Rounding
the bend in the river, he
noticed
something
that
hadn't
been
there
earlier. A dark form lay on the bank, and
immediately
his brain registered what
it
was
.
Moving
across the short distance, he scanned the area around him
—m
ore from habit than
any
real fear, but
there
was
nothing to indicate any danger lurking.

As he approached, he clicked into medic mode. The definite human shape from a distance
hadn't
prepared him for the realisation
that
it
was
a
woman
, deathly pale and
badly
injured, judging by the faint-barely identifiable pulse rate
he'd
crouched down to take.

Digging
out a thermal blanket from his well-prepared kit, he covered her and
quickly
assessed her condition. She
had
some
nasty
bruising, and
her
wrist
was
swollen—indicating at best, it was broken. She
was
bleeding from a
nasty
cut on
her
skull and for these few things he could do something about, wrapping
her
wrist
and covering the wound on
her head
. For the rest, he withdrew his cell phone and called for help.

He talked to
the
operator
and gave her his coordinates, wondering how they
were
going to
get
into this remote place.
He'd
hiked quite a distance from his vehicle earlier this morning and realised
there
was
no
way
they'd
get
an ambulance in, and with the dense tree cover above
it was
unlikely
they'd
be able to use a medivac chopper. He stayed on the phone, being placed on hold while
the
operator
coordinated with the rescue team.

Getting
back to his feet, Chase once more scanned the area. What
was
a woman like this doing out here in the middle of nowhere?
There
was
no
sign of a boat or vehicle nearby. Not even a sound of anything other than the birds and the babble of the river.

She
was
dressed in
what
remained of some slinky evening dress, something women wore out to a special event, he thought. His limited knowledge of women's wear came from
what
he caught on the cover of tabloids in the supermarket. The
watch
she still wore on her uninjured hand seemed expensive. So
what
was
she doing
here
?

He would have liked to have a scout about to check for any other victims, but
there
was
nothing within sight, and he didn't want to leave her alone until the paramedics got
here
. She needed to be in hospital—who knew what internal injuries she may be suffering from.

His gaze went to
her
face,
and something kicked, low in his gut. She
was
beautiful. He lifted her good wrist and
checked
her
pulse
once
more
. Not much of an improvement, he thought, but relieved to see the blanket seemed to be warming her up a little.

The dark ash blonde colour of her hair, caked in mud and soaked, contrasted
starkly
against the paleness of
her
face
, although he
was
sure she
wasn't
normally
so fair skinned. Her full lips
had
lost the slight blue tinge
she'd
had
when
he'd
first found her.
He'd
noticed
earlier
when
he'd
checked
her
pupils with his small light from the medical
kit that
her eyes
were
green
,
and the
long
dark lashes
that
now rested against her the pale face, seemed
impossibly
long
. She
was
definitely
a looker, he thought, with a healthy dash of male appreciation mixing in with professional concern over her medical wellbeing.

When
the
operator
came back on the line,
there
wasn't
any good news. They would be
a
few
hours
away at best.
He'd
picked a
great
place
to escape the hassle of his life for a while—but a lousy
place
for a rescue team to reach in a hurry.

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