Authors: Marcus Wynne
By Marcus Wynne from Tom Doherty Associates
Brothers in Arms
No Other Option
Warrior in the Shadows
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are either
fictitious or are used fictitiously.
BROTHERS IN ARMS
Copyright © 2004 by Marcus Wynne
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
A Forge Book
Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brothers in arms / Marcus Wynne.—1st ed.
“A Tom Doherty Associates book.”
ISBN 0-765-30782-0 (acid-free paper)
1. Special operations (Military science)—Fiction. 2. Torture
victims—Rehabilitation—Fiction. 3. Terrorism—Prevention—Fiction. 4.
Minneapolis (Minn.)—Fiction. 5. Washington (D.C.)—Fiction. 6. Assassins—
Fiction. 7. Twins—Fiction. I. Title.
First Edition: February 2004
Printed in the United States of America
0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
This book is dedicated to the men and women of the
US special operations community, especially those who lost their
lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I’d like to thank, as always, my literary agent, Ethan Ellenberg, my foreign-rights agent, Danny Baror, and my film agents, Kevin Cleary and Josh Morris. Special thanks to my great publicist, Elena Stokes, her assistant, Jennifer “Buttercup” Hunt, and to Jennifer Marcus, Brian Callaghan, Tom Doherty, Linda Quinton, and Kathy Fogarty.
As this is written, we are still at war in Iraq. While the outcome is not in doubt, many of the particulars I’ve mentioned about Iraq may have changed by the time this book sees print. I’ve made revisions to reflect the most likely course of events. There’s a military acronym: OBE, overtaken by events. That’s what happened in the writing of this book.
Godspeed to our military, and good hunting.
LINDEN HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD,
When the bodyguard team pulled up across the street, Dale Miller thought of a ballerina he once dated. She didn’t care that he couldn’t tell her what he did for a living; she enjoyed the intrigue and the edge it gave to their sex. Dale taught her to shoot and to street fight and she taught him how a ballet was built to a single vision and how each element of the dance reflected that vision. Later in his career, when he was introduced to the discipline of VIP protection, he found, to his surprise, that his girlfriend’s lessons had prepared him for the intricate moves a bodyguard team makes to protect the principal.
So on this fine Minneapolis summer morning, comfortable in the tree-shadowed outdoor courtyard of his favorite coffeehouse, Dale was able to appreciate the complex moves of the bodyguard team moving into place across the street. He watched a tan four-door Ford sedan pull up in front of the Linden Hills Art Store and disgorge four large men in business suits, their jackets unbuttoned. One went immediately into the art store. The other three took up positions in the street, ignoring the cars that slowed to watch them, while the driver pulled the sedan forward. Seconds later, a black BMW sedan pulled up between the three men. The man on the street side blocked the rear driver’s side window with his body, while the two
men on the curbside blocked the rear passenger door and the back window.
The right front door of the BMW opened and a lean greyhound of a man in an expensive black suit got out. He went to the rear passenger door and stood there, his hand on the door handle, while he scanned the street thoroughly, first close, then far, left, then right, and let his hard eyes roam over the windows of the buildings that overlooked the store. Then he looked over his shoulder at the art store, where the first bodyguard stood in the open door, his right hand extended with the thumb up. Only then did the lean bodyguard open the BMW’s rear door.
A short plump man, dark skinned, his suit carelessly folded around him and wearing a dusting of dandruff that was clearly visible from across the street, got out of the car, catching his toe in the door well and nearly falling. The lean man, the bodyguard team leader, caught his client and eased him out onto the sidewalk, where the plump man stood hesitantly while the other bodyguards closed in around him, forming a tight protective cordon that blocked him from any interference—or gunshot. The plump man looked down, as though embarrassed by the display, then at the ring of men, and then at the team leader. Only when the team leader nodded did the plump man move, the mobile barrier of big men surrounding him as he went into the art store. When they entered the store, two men peeled off the formation and remained on guard at the door.
At the table next to Dale’s, a dark-haired woman in a T-shirt and Calvin Klein shorts said, “What’s going on over there?”
Dale lied with the ease of long practice. “I don’t know. Looks like somebody important just went into the art store.”
“Two cars of bodyguards?” she said. “Someone should tell him that that many is tacky.”
Dale laughed. “It is conspicuous consumption.”
He sipped his latte while he studied the protection detail. They were well practiced and sure in their movements, but they weren’t policemen. Cops had a way of standing that set them apart. Even in plainclothes they looked as though they were in uniform and wearing
bulky pistol belts. This was either a high-level private crew or the feds. But who would go to an art store with a full bodyguard detail? There were plenty of wealthy people in the Twin Cities who could afford what it took to field a team like this, but Dale had done many threat assessments here and there was little to justify such a high level of protection. It could be a visiting diplomat or foreign businessman used to that much protection.
Dale set his tall coffee cup down and shifted cautiously in the metal chair, careful not to bump the pistol he wore concealed beneath a baggy Hawaiian-pattern shirt against it.
A small crowd of onlookers formed on the sidewalk outside the courtyard, blocking Dale’s view. He slid his chair first one way, then another, then settled back, content for the moment with brief glimpses of the stone-faced men standing across the street.
A college-aged man, tanned in a tank top and shorts, said to his friend, “Why don’t you go over there and see who’s in the store?”
“Look at those guys,” his friend said. “You go look.”
“Not me,” the other said. Both men laughed.
The crowd scattered suddenly as two young women on a moped pulled up on the sidewalk. They were both blond and wore short summer dresses they kept decent by tucking the front hems tightly beneath their legs. They each had a Patagonia courier bag slung across their back.
“What’s going on?” the driver said. She had brilliant blue eyes and a pixie haircut framing a squarish face. Her passenger had green eyes that shimmered in a long, aquiline face; her hair was pulled back in a braided ponytail.
The young man in the tank top nudged his friend and said, “Somebody important’s in the art store. Those are his bodyguards.”
“Who is it?” the moped driver said.
“We don’t know,” the hopeful young man said. “Why don’t you go ask those guys?”
“What, are you afraid?” the moped driver said. She had a faint accent. “It doesn’t hurt to ask. Maybe we can get an autograph.”
Her ponytailed companion laughed, a deep and throaty laugh
that made her seem older than she looked, and said, “Let’s go over there and see who it is!”
The two college boys looked at each other and grinned. They followed as the moped riders swung their bike in a wide U-turn, crossing the street. The other onlookers followed. Their departure left Dale with a clear view of the protection detail parked in the street. He had to stifle a laugh at the look on the faces of the two bodyguards outside the store as they watched the herd of curious pedestrians, led by the two blondes on the moped, come across the street at them. The two drivers, sitting in the idling cars, scanned their side and rear mirrors constantly, trying to keep an eye on the crowd.