A few months passed – time was something that Hannah was often hazy on. Hunter’s death was still a deathly pall over the team, and it was hard on all of them to not look to their side and see their brother there.
But they moved on – the team pulled together and stuck to each other, and as the results of their capture and the betrayal started to fade, Hannah was glad to see them stronger on the other side of the wall.
Aedan’s wrists were still concerning – he could move them normally, but not without a ghost of pain crossing his face. The nail marks had healed and scarred into pinpoint holes in his wrists, starbursts of white and red scar tissue spreading from them. Every time Hannah saw them, she felt another pang of guilt at what she’d allowed to happen.
The others filled back out, as well: the hunted look left their eyes and they gained back the muscle they’d lost over their captivity.
Two months after Aleski’s death, the team was once again called into a darkened briefing room by their CO.
“His name is Boris Voloshin,” Overlord said as they sat in briefing. "Your mission is to eliminate him and his guard. You will arrive on target in teams of two. Kronos and Rosie are team one. Blade and Shadow are team two. Wraith and Blackburn are team three. Infil, kill him, exfil. Once you eliminate the target, you will exfil toward the safe house."
"Rules of Engagement?" Kronos asked.
"Do not fire unless fired upon."
“What kind of security are we looking at?” Hannah asked.
“Civillian top notch, or actual top notch?” Wraith asked.
“Actual. These guys are good – we've lost a lot of men to them already.”
Hannah frowned. “How many men are we taking on?”
"What do you mean, two?" Aedan asked.
"We mean that two of them killed an entire platoon of SEALs, without any kind of backup on their end."
Hannah went pale, and Aedan frowned. “So you're sending us. Six of us.”
"Yes. You guys are our best team. We're hoping that that'll give you an edge."
“You're hoping?” Hannah asked.
“Nothing's certain. Your best bet is to infil as quietly as possible.”
“The slower we come in, the more chance we have to be spotted and for them to raise the alarm,” Hannah muttered.
“We can't run in with guns blazing,” he answered. "For this op, Kronos will have tactical command."
Hannah swallowed down her protest. “Yes, sir,” she said through her teeth.
"You will be leaving in one hour, I strongly suggest you spend in that time prepping your gear."
"Yes sir," they all said as they left. The team spent that time inspecting their gear.
Hannah approached Aedan as he prepped his R9 Assault Rifle and kissed him.
"That's for in case I die," she murmured as they parted.
“Why the sudden concern?” he asked. “You're not going to die, Rosie. Not on this one.”
"It doesn't hurt to be prepared. I've got an awfully bad feeling about this one, Aedan."
“Don't be,” he answered, hugging her close. “I've got you.”
"When this is over, take me on that vacation. We can be together, safe."
Aedan grinned as they both sat, going through the familiar pattern of prepping their R9s. “Where to?”
"Any place with you and a bed."
“Keep your pants on, Angel,” Aedan teased.
“Not for long.”
Aedan brushed the back of his finger along her cheek. "It's a date," he whispered as he kissed her gently.
Hannah smiled into his lips before pulling away and resuming her gear check.