Home > SEAL Next Door (SEALs of Coronado #9)

SEAL Next Door (SEALs of Coronado #9)
Author: Paige Tyler






“Are you sure we’re on the right island?” Petty Officer 2nd Class Sam Travers of SEAL Team 5 whispered into his mic as he used his night vision goggles to scan the darkened beach below the sand dune where he hid. “Because there’s nobody out here. And as far as meeting places go, you’ve got to admit this place is desolate as hell.”

Understatement. He hadn’t so much as spotted a bug since he and his Teammates had gotten there.

“I know it doesn’t look like much, but this is definitely Kepulauan Nanusa,” Holden Lockwood, the SEAL in charge of this mission, announced over the radio—from wherever he was hidden further down the beach. “And if you paid attention during the mission briefing, you would have heard the CIA analyst telling us that the players for this meeting are going to wait until the last minute to show up. Both sides seem to distrust the other and neither wants to be the first one here.”

Sam grunted a noncommittal response. That part about him not paying attention during the briefing was his Teammate ragging on him because he was still the effing new guy—even if he had been on the team for nearly six months now. Besides, it wasn’t like he thought the boat had dropped them on the wrong island. He was more concerned that the analyst Holden mentioned might have had the location wrong to start with. It wouldn’t be that surprising, considering this little postage stamp of dirt they were currently hanging around was one of over seventeen thousand islands in this part of the ocean. Would it be so shocking if the CIA had mistakenly sent them to the wrong place?

“Speaking of CIA analysts,” his best friend on the Team, Wes Marshal, interrupted. “Is there any chance that he told you who the hell we’re supposed to be running surveillance on out here in the middle of nowhere? Because I couldn’t help noticing it never came up during the briefing.”

“No, they didn’t tell me,” Holden admitted. “They said it was need-to-know and we didn’t need to know. They told me our job was straight recon and surveillance. Find a position to observe the meeting, then get all the photos, videos, and audible recordings we can without being seen. “

The other two members of their SEAL Team, Dalton Jennings and Lane Roberts, joined in then with their thoughts about being sent out on a mission with no idea who they might be dealing with.

“If something goes wrong, we won’t even know who’s shooting at us,” Lane pointed out. “Or if we should shoot back.”

That cheery announcement was met with more than a few grunts of annoyance over the radio.

“Well, there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Holden said. “Just make sure your position is as well camouflaged as you can make it. We don’t want anyone seeing us if they happen to wander our way.”

Since they might be there a while, Sam decided to get comfortable where he was on the backside of the sand dune. Lane joined him a few minutes later.

“I figured I might as well move closer,” Lane said, setting down his lightweight video gear, then scraping a shallow foxhole in the sand beside Sam. “That way we can cover each other if this shit goes sideways.”

Sam didn’t bother calling out his Teammate on his utter BS. Lane moved closer because he wasn’t crazy about spending the next three or four hours in silence, listening to the waves and waiting for people who might never show up when he could be talking. Sam supposed he couldn’t blame him.

“So, what’s the deal with you and Noah’s apartment?” Lane asked two minutes later as he checked the image on the night capable camera, then shut it down. “You sign the lease yet?”

Sam realized that Lane’s voice hadn’t sounded in his earpiece, which meant he’d turned off his mic. Sam did the same to his, knowing Holden wouldn’t appreciate the unnecessary chatter over the radio.

The “Noah” in question was Noah Bradley, one of their Teammates. Noah had been lucky enough to stumble into one of those love-at-first-sight kind of relationships with a woman who also happened to be rich as well as beautiful. Or at least richer than a Navy SEAL, which probably wasn’t saying much. Regardless, Noah was now living in an awesome beach front house that was one of the nicest places Sam had ever seen. While he was happy his buddy was living it large with an ocean view, the thing that mattered most was that Noah had given up an apartment in a great part of San Diego with an extremely manageable rent and free wi-fi.

“Damn right,” Sam said, scanning the surf line for the arrival of their targets. “I was there to sign on the dotted line the second Noah turned in the keys. I even agreed to take the place as-is, no repainting or cleaning necessary. I didn’t have time to move in before we got called up for this mission, but at least the apartment is mine.”

“Cool,” Lane said. “If you need help moving your stuff from the dorms, just ask.”

“I don’t have much stuff, but I’ll take whatever help I can get. Moving my bed and couch up those stairs would definitely not be fun on my own.”

Lane glanced his way in the darkness. “Speaking of being on your own, you got anyone special lined up to help you christen the new place?”

“Nah,” Sam admitted. “Truthfully, we’ve been going on so many missions and training exercises lately, it hasn’t been worth it to even try and start something serious with anyone.”

His friend snorted. “Who’s talking about starting anything serious? Just stop by one of the bars outside the gates of Coronado and pick up the first groupie. Or, better yet, ask Dalton where to go. I know he’s married now, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was tapping anything that moved.”

It was Sam’s turn to snort. Having grown up with a dad who used to be a SEAL, he’d learned from his parents that there were plenty of women in San Diego who’d sleep with a guy simply because he was a SEAL. Sam personally had nothing against a woman who wanted to do that. You do you was his motto for life. But he wasn’t interested in any of that for himself. Besides, his mom would have kittens if he ever brought a groupie home to meet the parents.

“No, thanks,” he said. “I think I’ll wait until I find a girl I’m really interested in before I worry about having them over.”

Lane scanned the beach before looking over his shoulder, like he was concerned the bad guys might come at them from that direction, then turned back to Sam. “Looking for the real thing? That’s cool. I mean, it isn’t the way I’d roll if I were you, but it’s your call.”

Desperate to get the focus off of him and his love life—or lack thereof—Sam decided to change the subject. “Speaking of women, whatever happened with you and Noah’s sister, Laurissa? You guys were supposed to go on a date, weren’t you?”

Through his NVGs, Sam saw Lane frown and wondered for a second if he’d hit on a sore subject. Had Lane and Laurissa already broken up before they even got started?

“Laurissa and I have been trying to get together for weeks now,” Lane admitted. “But it’s like the world is working against us. Every time we plan to meet up, something happens. Either she gets dragged off to do something with her family, or I get sent off on some stupid additional duty tasking from headquarters.”

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