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Blue Moon II ~ This is Reality by Via, A.E. (1)


Chapter One



Pierce – code name Backhander – watched the fierce and calculated leader of the Beastmasters ready his team. He and Call were secured in a command center on eighteen wheels issuing orders to the Beastmasters. There were technically seven ex-Special Forces SEALs who made up the team, however there were eight present, because if Shot was going to be on assignment there was no way that FBI Special Agent Fox wasn’t going to be assigned to the mission to back up his lover.

When Pierce came out of retirement after a lengthy career with the DEA to help his best friend retrieve his kidnapped lover from a deadly drug lord, his former boss had pleaded with him to work one more job with the team of his choosing.

But it was never just one more job. The war on drugs was a war that would continue for centuries with an ever-rising casualty count. When one drug lord fell, another would immediately and violently rise to reign in his place. Pierce didn’t want to strategize takeovers for the government anymore, he just wanted to fully retire, travel and see the world, enjoy lighter, stress-free days – hell maybe even have a relationship. Pierce returned to duty as a Lieutenant with the Drug Enforcement Agency – an extremely high-ranked strategic intelligence agent with a secret identity. All the raids and sieges that Pierce had single-handedly orchestrated made him a very high-value and wanted target.

He’d come to the aid of the Beastmasters and made the take down of the notorious East Coast drug lord Pedro Valenzo a success – which of course now meant he was back on the radar, and no matter how hard you tried to lock down classified information – shit still leaked out. Word across the country was – Backhander was back and he had one helluva motherfucking team.

“Hawk has a visual. Look alive Beasts.” The deep voice came across everyone’s earpiece, including Pierce's. He tried not to shiver in response to the baritone whisper, but goddamnit. Their long-range eliminations specialist wasn’t always a pleasure to work with – quite the contrary. The man was an arrogant prick.

Call checked and received confirmation that all men were in position before his own melodic voice came across the feed – their commander and leader. “Either men will learn to respect us as conquerors or they will die by the Beast.”

That was their go. When the two SUVs came around the bend, Fox and Shot fired their M39s from two-hundred yards away. Their bullets hit in perfect sync, starting a few feet in front of the first vehicle and traveling up the asphalt toward it, the bullets destroying the concrete like it was paper – a clear warning to the driver – stop or die. Fox and Shot's enhanced rifles were firing a rapid sixty rounds per minute. They let several rounds hit the front bumper and hood before they eased off the triggers.

Pierce shook his head at the Agent and SEAL, smiling to himself. Bad asses. Pierce brought his binoculars back up. Inside one of those vehicles was Pavlo Sherminsky, former Russian mafia lieutenant; a drug smuggler who was currently so far on top of his game that he’d even begun trafficking in women and children, selling them right here in the United States. The DEA and FBI couldn’t even get a jaywalking charge to stick on this sonofabitch; he was more lawyered up than a politician caught in a bath house – that’s where Backhander came in.

His job description had changed since his return to duty. He no longer went for the clean bust and arrest. Criminals were getting smarter every year and finding ways around the law, some of them suing the state and wining on claims of false arrest when the prosecution failed to convict them.

Pierce’s job was to issue a stern and severe warning – either stop your crimes against the U.S. or be buried in a shallow grave. Deportation was sometimes used for foreign drug smugglers and traffickers, but many of them didn’t go so easily.

Pierce’s intelligence team could do everything from initiating a tax audit to revoking U.S. citizenship, but his muscles – the Beastmasters – were his extraction team. Criminals like Pavlo and Valenzo were like a disease plaguing the country. Sometimes you had to completely eliminate the cancer or else it would continue to spread regardless of any preventative measures.

Pierce could see movement inside the darkened SUVs but there was no way he could confirm that their targets were in them. Only one person could see that. “Groundsmen hold your positions,” Pierce instructed.

“What do you see Hawk?” Call asked.

“There are four in the first vehicle and two in the second one. Sherminsky’s in the second vehicle in the back seat. Blow the first vehicle, Shot and I’ll take out Sherminsky’s driver. Groundsmen you move in and take him after we hit the driver,” Hawk commanded.

“Negative. That’s a negative, Hawk,” Pierce hissed into everyone’s ear. “That is not the plan. There will be no casualties. I want Sherminsky apprehended and the others detained for questioning.”

Before anyone could respond, shots rang out in the night, muzzle flashes coming from the first vehicle as they fired rounds in Shot and Fox’s direction. There was no way they could hit them – hell there was no way they could even see them. It was night and Shot and Fox were too far away, crouched down on the roof of a deserted store. The road was completely abandoned, and the couple of local businesses that were still operational were over fifteen miles away and were closed for the night.

Pierce dropped his binoculars and looked at Call. Although Pierce was first in command, Call was the leader of the Beastmasters, so he tried to respect that. If he needed to override the intense man’s decision he would. “I need those men alive, Call.”

“Shot, give them another warning,” Call instructed.

“Ten-four,” Shot replied.

Shot aimed at the front driver side tire and squeezed the trigger. He demolished the tire and continued to spray bullets into the concrete; traveling up the sides of the vehicles, stopping only after taking out the back tires of the second vehicle.

“This is fucking ridiculous. This man is selling young girls to pedophiles and forcing children to run smack for him… take his ass out, or I will,” Hawk added.

“He has a point, Pierce. Now we’re under fire. These guys are not going to come quietly and spill their guts to you. Our job is to help you take these guys out, we’re eliminators, not interrogators,” Call pointed out.

“They have information that I need to acquire for my superiors. We need to know how the drugs and the women are getting in and out of the country,” Pierce stated combatively and got back on the coms line.

“Hawk stand down. groundsmen move in,” Pierce instructed.

“Ten-four,” Toad’s dark voice confirmed. Toad was one of the Beastmasters whose job was to move in on foot and apprehend suspects. He was a hulking two hundred and eighty pounds of solid muscle with biceps that could snap your neck if he got you in his chokehold.

Pierce brought his binoculars back up and watched from their trailer up on the hill. He saw Toad’s large frame emerge from behind an abandoned building with two other Beastmasters, Shade and Lucky, on his six. Moving like SEALs, their Glocks aimed at the back windows, approaching the vehicles from the rear.

“They’re readying weapons in the first vehicle,” Hawk supplied, not waiting for a response as he lit up the front windshield of the first SUV with his 50Cal sniper rifle. The armor piercing bullets exploded inside the first vehicle, demolishing any and all bodies that were inside.

Pierce’s hand was squeezing the binoculars tight as he watched with his mouth hanging open at the accuracy and precision of Hawk’s massive weapon. He was firing from over five football fields away. The blasts were contained to the front vehicle only. Shade, Lucky and Toad never even ducked as they yanked Pavlo and his terrified driver out of the second vehicle and onto the ground, confident that Hawk’s bullets would never stray from their intended target.

“Target secured,” Toad announced.

“Load ’em up. Lucky and Shade, dispose of the vehicles,” Call instructed. The large man turned back to Pierce. “Is there a problem Backhander? You look as if you just had a root canal done without meds.”

“There has to be order when carrying out these operations, Call. We had a plan and in a matter of seconds it was shot to hell by your cowboy, who likes to get his gun off,” Pierce hissed through clenched teeth.

“We don’t question what Hawk sees. If he says the men in the front were about to make a move and had weapons at the ready, it’s his job to neutralize that threat. We learned not to second-guess his sight a long time ago… and you shouldn’t either. It might save your life one day.” Call turned to the other Beastmaster in the eighteen-wheeler with them, manning the controls. “Viper, nice job. Bring in Shot and Fox from their position.”


Pierce hopped down from the trailer and looked out over the deserted landscape. They were completely secluded, and honestly they could’ve taken out Pavlo and his men and rid the United States of a menace to society. The Beastmasters had done well in gathering the surveillance, knowing when and where Pavlo would be making his detour to get to his meeting site. Pierce’s main objective for this mission was to gather intel and information. He wanted to know who Pavlo was meeting with and then find out who their bosses were. Now he’d have to question Pavlo and hope the Beastmasters could apply enough incentive to make the man talk and then scare him out of the country. Shade and Toad had a very unique set of skills. Ways of making a man feel things he’d never thought he’d feel in his lifetime. Only a small percentage of those feelings was pain… the rest was unadulterated fear.

Pierce watched as Shot and Fox walked up to the back of the trailer, their sniper rifles draped over their backs. Agent Fox was with the FBI and had been specifically requested by Pierce to assist with any operations that would involve him needing a sniper. Fox’s jet black wavy hair had grown just a few inches longer and his face was more than a little handsome but always appeared deep in concentration. He had on dark cargo pants and an FBI t-shirt underneath his vest. His gold shield was attached to his belt along with his regular service weapons. The man was the best in the bureau, but when he was put next to Shot, they were a force to be reckoned with.

Isadore DeLucca – SEAL name, Shot, was father-in-law to Pierce’s best friend, Max. His son Angel married Max a year ago after Pierce, the Beastmasters, and Max had rescued him from the clutches of a drug-lord. Angel was not an easy target, that’s why it took ten men to subdue and take him. Angel was a spitting image of the handsome man in front of Pierce now. Shot had his long, thick ponytail braided down his back, mixed in were a few strands of gray which made him look distinguished; but it was his was his dark brown eyes that made him look deadly. Shot wouldn’t think twice before putting a bullet in your head – the bigger the hole the better. Beside him was his lover, Special Agent Fox. No one labeled the two of them a couple or in a relationship. Men like them had a hard time dropping their guard and trusting someone enough to fully let them in. Shot had definitely suffered too many knives in the back and most were from so-called friends. Fuck partner was more of an accurate term, and holy hell, when they came together... The men sounded like they were coming through the damn ceiling. Most of the time, the entire team stayed in Pierce’s headquarters back in DC. Resting only short periods of time in the large rooms located on the upper floor of the gutted, abandoned warehouse, everyone ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“Nice work guys,” Pierce said when they got into range.

“You pissed?” Agent Fox smirked at him.

“Should I be?”

“No,” Shot spoke up. “You’ll learn to trust Hawk. He made the right decision. Taking out the first car was smart. Was there really a reason to make this a firefight? They weren’t going to come willingly, so Hawk took them out. If Fox or I could’ve seen inside the vehicle, we would’ve done it first.”

“It was my call to make, not his. I think he just likes getting his gun off,” Pierce huffed.

Shot and Fox exchanged knowing glances and climbed up into the back of the truck without another word. Pierce shook his head at them, he had no clue how the hell those guys made it work.

While they all waited for the groundsmen to clean up the mess, Pierce stood for a while looking up into the sky, contemplating what the fuck he was even doing out here. All he wanted to do was retire and live a peaceful life on a secluded lake somewhere, maybe with a Great Dane and a parrot. What-the-hell-ever. Anything would be better than this shit. Pierce turned around and bumped right into the man that had made his last few months a living hell. Fuck. Was he that deep in thought that he hadn’t heard Hawk’s own SUV pull up?

Pierce didn’t say a word. He stared into Hawk’s majestic eyes trying to appear as if he didn’t care and wasn’t affected by them. He watched the purple flecks dance around Hawk’s multi-colored irises. The array of browns, hazel, green, and even gold could put you in a trance at his will. Or maybe it only affected Pierce that way. The colors seemed to change with the man’s mood. Viper told Pierce that when Hawk was aroused, the purple was more vibrant, it was the man’s own personal aphrodisiac – and it fucking worked. Not only could Hawk’s eyes give you instant wood, his vision was impeccable, like nothing Pierce had ever seen in his thirty-five years. His comrades said Hawk was blessed with sight and perception by a witchdoctor in a Quimbandan villiage when he saved the woman’s daughter from being raped by rebel insurgents. However, Pierce had a hard time believing in that type of thing – witches and warlocks – but hell, he did believe in what his own eyes could see. The average naked human eye can see the faint glimmer of light from thirty miles away. Hawk could easily quadruple that – so explain it, he could not.

“Something on your mind, Backhander?” Hawk’s eyes stayed on him, locking him in place.

Stay cool.

“Yes. I commanded you to stand down. I wanted those men alive for interrogation. Dead suspects can’t help me,” Pierce said while staring at Hawk’s forehead.

Hawk raised one corner of his sexy mouth and stepped in closer to him. “I follow no one’s commands. My allegiance is to the Beastmasters, not the DEA, not the FBI, not the CIA, and for damn sure, not you.” Hawk accented each statement with a step closer to Pierce. “You’re fooling yourself if you think by running off a few high-ranking smugglers and traffickers that you’re making a difference. When you cut off the snake’s tail, he grows another one.”

After repeatedly backing up from Hawk’s advances, Pierce’s back was up against the side of the eighteen-wheeler. It was just him and Hawk, the dark stillness of the night, and one massive-ass gun at his side. The rifle was over half the length of the man wielding it.

Pierce looked down at the weapon and back up into Hawk’s eyes. “Do you have the safety switched on on that thing?”

Hawk snorted at Pierce’s comment. “Safety? No. Why? Are you afraid of my weapon, Backhander?”

Damn this man has no respect for personal space.

“You need to back the fuck up.” Pierce tried to inject some venom into his voice. Hawk had his entire body pressed up against him, his six-foot four inch height making his shoulder length brownish-blond hair fall down onto Pierce’s face, cocooning him from the cool breeze coming off the mountains of Roanoke, Virginia.

“First, I want to clarify a couple of things, Backhander. This sexy beauty beside me is my weapon, and don’t you worry, it would never be used to harm one hair on that pretty little head of yours. Now this is my gun.” Hawk thrust his cock hard into Pierce’s front, making him grunt at the pain and holy fuck, the pleasure.

“You keep accusing me of ‘liking to get my gun off’, right?” Hawk smiled down on him. He lowered his plush lips to Pierce’s ear and groaned against it.

Pierce closed his eyes. God help me.

“You keep shooting of that sexy mouth of yours Backhander, and I’m going to show you just how I get my motherfuckin’ gun off,” Hawk hissed.

Pierce pushed at Hawk’s much larger frame but of course he didn’t budge – he never did. “Back-off damnit. I told you I’m not interested,” Pierce argued weakly.

“I see differently, beautiful. But that’s okay.” Hawk backed up. “I’ll leave you to it, and watch you come around.”

Hawk made his way to the back of the eighteen-wheeler and hoisted himself and his weapon into the trailer. Pierce tried not to look at Hawk’s ass in the loose army fatigues, or the way his back muscles rippled underneath his army green t-shirt. Pierce didn’t look away fast enough and he knew he’d been caught ogling. Hawk flashed him a shit-eating grin, and winked at Pierce right before he slammed the metal doors.

Cocky bastard.



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