Merciless Charity: A Charity Styles Novel (Caribbean Thriller Series Book 1)

BOOK: Merciless Charity: A Charity Styles Novel (Caribbean Thriller Series Book 1)
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Contents

Merciless Charity

Other Books by Wayne Stinnett

Dedication

Foreword

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Epilogue

More Charity Styles

Afterword

Published by DOWN ISLAND PRESS, 2015

Travelers Rest, SC

Copyright © 2015 by Wayne Stinnett

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without express written permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication Data

Stinnett, Wayne

Merciless Charity/Wayne Stinnett

p. cm. - (A Jesse McDermitt novel)

Graphics by Tim Ebaugh Photography and Design

Edited by Clio Editing Services

Proofreading by Donna Rich

Interior Design by Write.Dream.Repeat. Book Design

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Most of the locations herein are also fictional, or are used fictitiously. However, I took great pains to depict the location and description of the many well-known islands, locales, beaches, reefs, bars, and restaurants in the Keys, to the best of my ability. I’ve tried my best to convey the island attitude in this work.

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www.waynestinnett.com

Merciless Charity Caribbean Thriller:

Merciless Charity

Ruthless Charity (Due in Winter, 2016)

Heartless Charity (Due in Fall, 2016)

Fallen Out

Fallen Palm

Fallen Hunter

Fallen Pride

Fallen Mangrove

Fallen King

Fallen Honor

Fallen Tide (Due in November, 2015)

To my stepdaughter and her husband, Nikki and Jason Ruhf. The support and guidance you’ve provided has been worth far more than I can ever put into words.

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”

-
Emiliano Zapata
, 1911

I
’d like to thank the many people who encouraged me to branch out and start this new series. Writing from a woman’s point of view, even in third person, wasn’t the easiest thing for me. As always, my biggest fan and best critic has been my wife. Without her encouragement, I would have given up after the first book.

A special debt of gratitude is owed to the many writers and writing professionals of Author’s Corner, for all the great ideas, encouragement, and counsel.

Thanks also to beta readers Alan Fader, Marc Lowe, David Parsons, Jeanne Gelbert, Dana Vihlen, Ted Nulty, and Debbie Kokol. Your input has been extremely valuable in making this book better than it was.

A
t first glance, the man appeared youthful, though he was in his fifties. His dark hair, trimmed unfashionably short, was just starting to turn gray around the temples. On closer inspection under the flickering firelight, creases could be seen at the corners of his gray-blue eyes.

He sat at a large outdoor table with a younger blond woman, their faces lit only by the Tiki torches around the table. The tiny island they were on, miles from anywhere, was idyllic, and under other circumstances the woman might find the scene romantic.

“This is the only way this can work,” he told her, sliding a file folder across the table.

The woman sitting across from him was attractive. He’d noted this early on, with some foreshadowing sadness. She was in her late twenties, slim, with broader shoulders than most women, the result of having been an Olympic swimmer seven years earlier. She wore her hair at a medium length, just below her shoulders. Her complexion was flawless, deeply tanned as a result of having grown up in Southern California and spending a lot of her time outdoors.

The blonde looked at the file and gave it only a moment’s thought before picking it up and folding it into the inside pocket of her vest. She’d read the details later, when she was alone.

Right now they had a more pressing concern: protecting one of their own people and his family. She’d arrived with four others, helicoptering to this tiny outlying island in the Florida Keys backcountry. An imminent threat had been received, and the target of that threat was the man who owned the island and occasionally provided transportation for their clandestine group.

The man across from her was Associate Deputy Director Travis Stockwell, head of the Caribbean Counterterrorism Command and her boss’s boss. They were on the island as part of a protection force, whether the target liked it or not.

The blonde was the helicopter pilot and martial arts instructor for the group, comprised of former military special operators and other high-speed, low-drag law enforcement and intelligence assets. Charity Styles was no stranger to situations like this.

Approaching the table was the man she had come to help protect. Charity also found him attractive, though he too was quite a few years older than she was. Over six feet tall, lithe and powerfully built, Jesse McDermitt probably didn’t need anyone protecting him from a Miami street gang, but the group numbered in the hundreds and was known to be ruthless.

Stockwell looked up and spoke to McDermitt as he approached the table. “When the deputy brings your daughter home, it would probably be wise for him to stay here.” McDermitt’s daughter, Kim, had left the island earlier in the evening to go on a dinner date with a local Monroe deputy sheriff.

“Yeah, I was gonna suggest that,” McDermitt agreed. “I know he knows his way around the water down near the bigger islands, but it’s real easy to get lost up here if you don’t know the way really well.”

McDermitt was a retired Marine sniper. Charity had thought him to be some sort of a hermit upon meeting him for the first time a year earlier. He operated a part-time charter service for divers and fishermen, but spent most of his days alone on this island. Over the past year, he’d changed. After inheriting a good bit of money from his late wife’s estate last year and then finding a valuable Spanish treasure six months ago, he’d turned his little island into a staging area for the group’s missions.

They were all a part of a clandestine counterterrorism team under the direct control of Stockwell’s boss, the Secretary of Homeland Security.

A month after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Charity had applied to and been accepted by the Army’s Officer Candidate School. Her father, a Vietnam veteran, had been a crop duster, and had taught his young daughter to fly.

Six months later, while flying a medevac chopper, Charity had been shot down in the district of Dai Chopan in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. She had been injured, but managed to evade the enemy for several hours. Eventually she had been captured by the Taliban fighters. She’d been raped and sodomized twenty-nine times over the following days, until Coalition Forces had mounted a raid in the desolate terrain. She’d been able to kill her one guard in the confusion and make her escape.

After that, Charity had spent several months in rehab, trying to cope with what had happened during her captivity. In the end, she’d been quietly mustered out with a medical discharge.

A year ago, after more than three years as a martial arts instructor for Miami-Dade police, Charity had been invited to join a new counterterrorism team based out of nearby Homestead Air Reserve base. She’d jumped at the chance. Her experiences at the hands of her captors had left a mark, but Charity had learned to turn that part of her brain on and off at will. Unleashing that part of her mind where the demons dwelled made her very dangerous, a fact which hadn’t gone unnoticed.

BOOK: Merciless Charity: A Charity Styles Novel (Caribbean Thriller Series Book 1)
4.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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