Jet Jackson has been a dedicated member of the Squadron. He has gone on rescue mission after rescue mission, but this time the mission is personal. This time it’s life or death for somebody he cares about and he will stop at nothing to save her.
Akira Bowman is a world champion ice skater. Her training prepared her to win trophies and medals, but nothing could prepare her for the situation she finds herself in. After a charity event and a news station interview in Alaska leaves her the captive of men with a score to settle she has only one way out, one man she can rely on, but can she survive long enough to be rescued.
It felt like it took forever to get to her. Never before had he felt this antsy on a rescue mission. It wasn’t as if he didn’t care about the previous rescue missions. He was always alert to the possible dangers and to the possible missteps that could throw his mission off, but this was different. This felt different. She wasn’t a package; she was Akira, sweet, innocent—relatively, he told himself. There was nothing innocent about the things she had written to him. But she was different. She wasn’t a package and for some reason, this rescue felt as if it were the most important rescue mission of his life. He had gone in to rescue Natalia and she wasn’t a package either, but what he felt then and what he felt now was not the same thing. It scared him. He was angry, anxious about getting Akira safe, and he was sad. God, he was sad for her, for what he knew she had to be facing, and for the fear he knew she felt. If he didn’t get to her in time he would never forgive himself.
That sense of urgency is one of the things that kept him moving fast. He had slept little, and that had nothing to do with the nature he knew was surrounding him and everything to do with the fact that he knew he needed to get to her. There was no time for resting because taking a leisurely pace or sleeping longer could mean life or death for her.
Now that he was inside, crawling through the over head shaft to the entry point, he was ready to get her out of there. He secured a climbing carabiner attached to one end of his rope to a secure metal loop over his head. He had to have a way to get her back up, and himself really, after he made the descent into the lower room. He used a small circular mirror, like the kind dentists used when poking around in the patient’s mouth, and he stuck it through the ridges of the gate trying to cautiously see if there was anybody else in the room. He could see Akira. From the limited angles he could reach he didn’t see anybody else. He was going to have to take a chance on moving the gate while presuming the room was clear of the enemy. He eased the gate over, slowly and quietly, before looking down into the room to check the room more clearly. Satisfied that she was alone he quietly entered and quickly made his way to her. The room was darkened except for the single fifty watt light bulb dangling over her head.
He pulled out his knife, ready to cut the bindings holding her in the chair. The moment he touched her shoulder she awakened with a frightened gasp. “It’s okay,” he whispered. He saw the tension in her body ease.
“Jet,” she whispered nearly breathless. “You came for me.”
He cut the binding on one ankle as he stayed behind her chair, watching the door and ready to shoot should somebody enter. “You knew I would come for you.”
“I had hoped, but I wasn’t sure you would.”
He moved to her side, ready to work on the bindings holding her wrists to the arms of the chair. “I will always come for you, Akira.” He placed one gloved palm on her cheek and she leaned into his touch. Her eyes closed and he could see the single tear escaping them. He quickly freed her from her remaining bindings. “We have to go.”