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M. L. "Matt" Buchman

Midnight Trust (+audio)

Midnight Trust (+audio)

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Two sharpshooters, a sexy drug cartel leader with a thirst for vengeance, and the wilds of the Colombian jungle.
The shooters:
- Chad Hawkins – Delta Force sniper
- Tanya Zimmer – Israeli Mossad operative
Three years ago, they took down a fleet of narco-submarines. Today? Chance and the Colombian Drug War throw them back together. But going undercover and befriending a sexy cartel leader threatens to tear them apart.
With jungle rivers, midnight parachute jumps, and illegal gold mining operations filling the mission, finding time to themselves isn’t happening. But in the stolen moments they do carve out, the raging heat of their attraction threatens to burn them alive.
Feelings? The last thing either of them want to talk about—ever!
[Can be read stand-alone or in series. A complete happy-ever-after with no cliffhangers.]
Buy now to join the military romantic adventure.

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It wasn’t his sniper rifle, but Chad could easily be talked into having an M134 minigun of his own to play with now and then.
He short-bursted two to three seconds at a time, which at four thousand rounds per minute was a daunting couple hundred rounds each time he hit the trigger. When he was on the hustle with his combat rifle, he might shoot a round or two per second. With his sniper rifle, he only ever had to fire it once per target.
The minigun might not hit with every round the way he did, Delta Force training wasn’t about wasting ammunition, but…
“Hoo-ee doggies! Just lay down now, dudes. Daddy’s got a brand-new toy.”
“Easy, hotshot,” Carmen, the way-cute redhead on the big Chinook helicopter’s other gun laughed.
“Suppressive fire. That’s what I’m talking about! Suppressive, hell. This thing is a shredder.”
The twin-rotor helicopter was making its second pickup of the night.
He’d been the first: out doing solo recon deep in the Colombian jungle. Ten minutes before sunset, dead on schedule, the Night Stalkers’ MH-47G helo had swooped in. He’d strolled up the rear ramp and twenty tons of twin-rotor helo had flitted away with no one the wiser. A couple of other helos had circled high above on guard duty but weren’t needed.
Their second pickup, twenty minutes later and well to the south in the last of the failing dusk, wasn’t going so smoothly. Masses of groundfire ripped through the humid, cloying air. One of the joys of the jungle: a man got wetter standing still than he did running around in most other places.
On the even worse side of the list, the Chinook’s starboard gunner had taken a hit straight through the gunner’s window. It had to be pure luck; the old put enough lead in the air and you’re bound to hit something method—their current enemy’s rather boring tactic. Had to be, because none of these cocaine-running Colombian hillbillies could shoot that well on purpose.
No fountains of blood sprouted from the gunner’s upper arm, which meant the dude’s arteries were still flowing in the right direction. Chad had slapped a compression badge on the arm, then tossed it in a sling when it was clear that the bone had been shattered. “Better have someone look at that when you get back to base.”
“Ruddy hell yeah!” The guy agreed weakly with a posh British accent.
Then Chad had stepped up to the swivel-mounted, six-barrel Gatling Minigun himself and patched into the intercom before giving it a try.
Su-weet!
He’d never fired an M134D except during weapons familiarization on the Fort Bragg range. And certainly not from the vantage of a hovering helo. This weapon delivered a whole new level of hurt to the bad guys.
The extract being run by the 160th Night Stalkers was a textbook setup. Hover at the edge of a steep canyon with sixty feet and twenty tons of monster, twin-rotor helo hanging over a whole lot of nothing. Lower the three-meter-wide rear ramp onto the edge of the cliff, and wait for the cavalry to come trotting out of the jungle. To add some spice, the pilots were facing out over the canyon and couldn’t see shit behind them, but they were Night Stalkers and had it nailed.
Pure textbook.
Except, like all such scenarios, Chad knew full well why they ended up in textbooks—because they always went wrong. This time proved to be no exception.
Except for a few scattered trees, the jungle ended a hundred meters away. Those had forced the helo to hover out at the cliff edge to avoid catching a rotor blade on some wax palm or giant mahogany with helo-crashing in mind.
The good guys had appeared at one end of the clearing while the bad guys were shooting madly from the other.
And from the side.
And from behind the friendlies. Which was very unfriendly of them.
Normally an MH-47G Chinook didn’t fight; it was the cargo van of Special Operations Forces. They left the dirty work up to the big hammer of the Black Hawks. Except there was so much going on tonight, the two Hawks they’d brought with them were too busy to defend the Chinook as well.
Chad leaned out as far as the gun would go and blasted showers of lead into the jungle’s verge. The Minigun did a good job of making would-be shooters keep their heads down. Thankfully, these guys weren’t exactly quick learners and he kept picking them off in groups of two and three.
“If I was on the other end of this, I’d be diggin’ a hole.”
“Wouldn’t stop me from finding you,” Carmen called back as she, too, blasted away. She wore a ring, but maybe it was one of those phony Keep Away signs that a guy could sometimes talk his way around.
“I dunno. When I dig down, I go deep.”
Didn’t earn him the right kind of laugh, so maybe the ring was real. He never messed with them if they turned out to be real.
He picked off someone with a heavy machine gun and his ammo monkey. Good to have that out of play. The guys potshotting with 5.56 mm were a pain, the little shit rounds that most of these guys were throwing. But the half-inch .50 cal stuff could really hurt, punching holes in people and helicopters, until it suddenly wasn’t anymore because he’d blasted it out of existence. This gun was baaad-ass!
The friendlies were approaching in an MRZR. The four-person military ATV was fast, but not fast enough. They were getting hammered on the long crossing through the sparse trees.
Chad went to unleash his new toy on another section of the unfriendly types.
Pull trigger. Electric motor spins the barrels up to seven hundred RPM, and it starts throwing an impressive line of 7.62 mm rounds into the night. Every fifth one a tracer that shows up brilliant green in his night-vision goggles. It was the strange half-light at end of day where his NVGs were better than nothing, but not by much.
Might as well be firing blind.
For half a second, sweep right.
At a full second, shift and sweep left.
Second and a half—
A hellacious grinding noise from the machine and the ammunition belt stopped moving. The barrels still spun, but the comforting buzz-saw roar of sixty-six supersonic rounds per second wasn’t happening.
He let the electric motor spin down.
When he grabbed the barrels and gave them a test spin, they moved fine. Hot as hell, but he wore gloves, so it was okay. Hot barrels were normal on a Minigun.
He looked down at the wounded Brit leaning with his back against the hull.
“Sounds like you sheared the pin in the delinker. Two-dollar part, but takes ten minutes to replace it.”
“We’ve got, like, thirty seconds.”
The guy shrugged, and even in the NVGs, Chad could see him wince at the pain in his arm.
“Got a jam here. Starboard side. Not clearable,” Chad reported over the intercom.
“Shit!” Carmen was not happy. “Damn Delta Force operator comes aboard and breaks my hundred-thousand-dollar weapon system.”
“This ‘damn Delta Force operator’ didn’t do it to you out of spite.”
“Like I’m gonna believe that shit.” Too bad she was taken. Woman had a mouth on her and kept her sense of humor even when things got bad.
Without comment, the pilots twisted the big helo on its tail. They kept the ramp on the ground and rotated the nose around until Carmen’s weapon had almost a full sweep of the jungle, which meant she had to work twice as hard.
“You guys are so damn good,” he called out to the pilots as he unlimbered his HK416 rifle. Twenty-round magazine and he only had two spares on him. He’d now switched from a loaded four-thousand-round kicker-case bolted to the deck…to sixty.
As the view on his side was now over the night-shrouded canyon, he strode over to join Carmen. Maybe he could get some shots out the edge of her gun window.
He was halfway across the eight-foot-wide cargo bay when it hit him.
Literally.
The MRZR raced aboard, shot up the length of the cargo bay—and slammed into him.
He heard a scream and a curse, but he wasn’t sure which one was his as he was thrown forward.
Chad landed on his back between the two pilot seats and his helmet smacked hard against the main console.
“Nice one, cowboy.” Captain Roberts looked down at him. “You shattered our central screen with your head. Haven’t you broken enough already?”
“Guess not,” Chad managed to admit and wondered about his own body. Was he in shock? He wasn’t feeling any pain. Had his body armor saved him…or not? Experience told him that if he was hurt, he would be feeling it soon enough.
“Well, it’s not getting any better. They’ve knocked out one of our engines.” While Roberts flew, the copilot’s hands were moving fast. First he pulled the engine fire T-handle and then did more of whatever it was helo copilots did during a crisis.
Chad lay on the radio console that ran between the pilot seats and wondered if he should try getting up. It seemed as if perhaps he should.
He raised his headfirst. Good sign, his neck still worked.
He could see his left foot was caught between the MRZR’s bull-bar bumper and its winch.
He could feel his foot! Another good sign, implying that his spine had remained intact. Attempting to twist his foot free transmitted loud and clear that there was nothing wrong with the nerves in his knee. Fuckin’-A that hurt!
The driver was looking at him in some surprise.
Even being dressed like a Spec Ops solider—in armored vest, helmet, and enough weaponry to suppress a riot—couldn’t hide that the driver was seriously female.
Woman drivers.
***
The MRZR’s brakes had worked before Tanya had entered the battle, but she hadn’t used them much since then.

Publication Details

Initial Publication: October 30, 2018
Print Pages: 374
Audio length: 10:18
Narrator: Read by Author

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