Even on the toughest op, there’s always time for love.
If you don’t get killed first.
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Paranormal, Bisexual and More,
Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Vampires
Length: Box Set
This collection contains the previously released Pret Ops novellas Familiar, WarWolf, Infiltrator, and Identity.
In a world where preternaturals work behind the scenes to keep men and supermen safe, the Recondite Corps is the CIA, FBI, and Armed Services all in one.
Familiar: In the wilderness of Siberia, the past will resurrect itself and secrets will be exposed. There’s only one way to defeat The Veil, but can Stas and Nat do it, alone?
WarWolf: All Jeremiah has to do is convince Joshua that in order to stop the mounting violence between the human mob and the Heteroclites, they’ll need the help of the only female the Ascendant vampire can’t forget.
Infiltrator: Brian O’Connor has been in the office too damn long. Rescuing the President’s daughter from guerillas sounds like the perfect op: a little action, a little fresh air, an exotic locale.
Identity: After building the newest branch of the Corps, Cyber Operations, John and Cole Marshall are ready for a real test of their new unit’s skills. Being called in to track down a stalker turned murderer targeting one of their own sounds right up Cy Ops’ alley.
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emma Ray Garrett
Excerpt from Pret Ops 3: Infiltrator
Charlie groaned, lifting a hand to her aching forehead. “What the hell have you gotten yourself into now?” The sickening pound in her skull didn’t provide an answer.
Charlene Thompson, First Daughter, was stuck in a shit hole, somewhere near the equator based on the oppressive heat, with no idea who’d cracked her on the skull and brought her to this place. It was safe to assume it had to do with her father and/or politics, but beyond that…
The acrid smell of wood smoke and the sickly sweet stench of decomposing plants clogged her nostrils. Her skin felt grimy, sticky, where sweat had partially dried and mixed with the dirt of the floor beneath her. Charlie ached for a hot bath for about a half a second. You can bathe when you’re free.
Weak sunlight drifted in through tiny, irregular holes cut high into the walls of the room. Her vision blurred and her stomach pitched, but Charlie choked down the bile. Blinking to clear her sight, she struggled to her feet. Her entire body protested each movement, but Charlie fought through the pain and staggered to the nearest wall.
She stood on weak legs, breathing slowly, and pressed her shoulder to the wall, completely focused on staying upright. She stayed there for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes. Finally, the thumping in her skull ebbed to a dull throb and the triple vision cleared to a muzzy, but coherent, single sight.
“Now what?” Charlie looked around the dimly lit space. A wooden door faced her, but she didn’t see any handle or knob. “Great.”
From outside she heard voices speaking, though she couldn’t make out the words. The rapidity of the speakers’ cadence reminded her of Spanish. Having grown up in New Mexico, and despite the situation she was in, the sound of the language comforted her.
The earthen room blocked out the dialogue. Thinking the door might offer better eavesdropping, Charlie straightened from the wall and made her way toward it. Getting there took all the strength she’d mustered and she slipped to the floor beside the rickety entrance. The voices outside weren’t much clearer, but the depth of the tones suggested the speakers were probably male. She caught a word here or there, but three she heard distinctly gave her hope. Rio Orinoco and transportamos. The first words signified the Orinoco River, in northeast Venezuela, and the second suggested they were transporting something.
“Probably me.” Knowing where she was gave Charlie a sense of control. She’d never been to continental Venezuela, but she’d enjoyed the islands off the coast more than once.
She forced her sore brain to think about her college geography. The Orinoco River was one of the longest in South America. Her memory wasn’t the best, but she hoped they were in the Lower Orinoco, near the delta and the Atlantic Ocean. Based on the humidity, it was quite likely. It was possible she was somewhere in the plentiful mangrove forests, the swamps, of the country.
Charlie held onto her hope. Even if she were in the middle of a swamp, she’d rather escape and take her chances with Mother Nature than stay here and wait. Tensions between the States and Venezuela hadn’t been the best for more than twenty years. However, a lot of the country was urbanized. If she could escape, and make her way out of the jungle, if that’s where she was, she had a good chance of getting home.
The voices outside grew louder, approaching footsteps launching her heart into her throat. She couldn’t afford to let her captors know she was awake. Without thinking, Charlie scrabbled away from the door, flopping onto the floor and closing her eyes. Something scraped against the wood and the door opened.
Though her blood pounded, Charlie stilled her breathing to soft, shallow expulsions and inhalations. She rolled her eyes beneath her lids, the action stilling any fluttering that might give away her cognizant state. The footsteps moved closer and she felt a hard, round object pressing into her back. She didn’t react and her visitor shoved at her deeper.
When she remained unresponsive, he must have been satisfied. With a grunt, he shuffled away, the sound of rubber soles on dirt sending relief surging through her body. The door closed with a squeak and a thump and Charlie had to stifle a sob. She had no doubt the man had nudged her with a gun.
“What have you done, Dad?” Anger at her father gave her strength, but Charlie couldn’t sustain it. She needed to formulate a plan of escape. Whether her father was involved or not, Charlie knew it was up to her to get free. Waiting on the US government for a rescue wasn’t an option.
She got up slowly and crawled back to the door. She pressed her ear to it, listening, learning. More and more words became clear, and Charlie felt the beginnings of a plan form.
“…and I — I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
-The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
The last line from award-winning author Emma Ray’s favorite poem pretty much sums up her life. Her tendency to do her own thing is what her friends and family love best, and least, about her. Chaos is a constant in the Garrett home, which currently houses her intelligent, energetic children, a devoted husband, a very large, very lazy, white tom-cat, a very crazy, very small black cat, and a very happy, very healthy rescue pooch — who’s black and white.