Prologue

Daphne. Alabama, USA

I walked down the stairs, listening to the air gently roll through house. a light breeze brought the morning scent of fresh cut grass, and morning dew into my house. The sun was barely over the horizon. As I pulled my gray tuque over my ears and tied my Merrill runners on, my black giant schnauzer, Trigger, started circling the door. As usual, he was more excited to go for my Wednesday morning run than I was. "Hey bud, you ready?" I chuckled, tussling the hair between his ears. He gave a quick bark, and looked at the door. I stood up and opened up the door, and Trigger jetted out, instantly stopping at the tree that I had planted back in high school. He lifted his leg and did his morning business before he trotted back to me. " Good morning Troy!" my neighbor," Mrs. Jackson called from across the street, she was always up at the crack of dawn to water her flower beds.

"Morning Misses Jackson," I smiled,

"You know that tree will never need watering," she chuckled from across the road.

"Yeah well, Trigger does his part." I chuckled as we made our way down the drive.

"Enjoy your run." she smiled before she went back to her flowers.

"Thank you ma'am." and with that we were off. We were just doing a couple laps of the neighborhood. It totaled out to around a mile and a half. When we got back inside Trigger took off to his bowl, which was next to the door to the garage. As I entered the kitchen he met me at the door way. "You out of food?" He made his way into the laundry room, "I'm a slave to my dog." I sighed. I went into the laundry room where he was patiently waiting, I grabbed the scoop that I left in the bag. After dumping two scoops into his bowl, and making sure he had fresh water. I walked back into the kitchen as Trigger started crunching on his food. I opened the fridge door and glanced in, trying to decide what I wanted to eat. "It would be easier just to run to McDonald's and get something." I muttered. I heard the food crunching stop, I looked over and Trigger was sitting in the doorway to the kitchen, he glared at me, then looked out towards the garage, then back at me. "I did not say car ride." I chuckled, a few seconds later the food crunching started again. "Fuck it, car ride." I slammed the fridge and went out to the garage. Trigger fast at my heels. I opened up the passenger side door to my Explorer, and he jumped in. I walked around the vehicle I punched the garage door opener. As I walked over to the driver side door. As the garage door opened, my eyes caught a shadow, I checked the rear view, where I watched the shadow turned into legs, on instinct, I turned around, and ripped out the USP micro, that was strapped inside my waist line out of its holster and my thumb brought the hammer into firing position. When the garage door was open about five feet, I saw the old pair of US Army surplus ACU pants, and the untucked black punisher t-shirt, that covered the large frame of my best friend, I lowered the sidearm, "Jesus Jim, you know better than to friggin walk up on me."

"Well fuck dumbass, if you weren't constantly strapped the guys wouldn't be so concerned about sneaking up on you." he chuckled, "Saw you running the block, and I've been up since six cause of Will, so I figured I'd come say good morning."

"Yeah, one helluva a good morning." I sighed, putting the pistol back into the low profile holster. "Trigger and I are going to McDonald's if you want to join you're more than welcome."

"Am I gonna get stuffed in the back again?" Jim rolled his eyes.

"I'm sorry Jim, dog gets shotgun." I laughed, "Come on get in." I opened the driver side door. "Thanks for being alert there partner." I chuckled looking over at Trigger. Then I heard Jim shut the door, Trigger looked back, and gave a friendly bark.

"Well good morning to you to Triggs." Jim chuckled "You really need to get a girl Troy."

"Why is that," I called, while turning the ignition.

"Cause you spend more time training Trigger, keeping the both of you fit and fed, than trying to find a girl." then Trigger looked back at him again. "And it would be nice if I got in and it was a human sitting shotgun for a change."

I backed out of the garage, closed the door and drove down the drive, "Dogs are unconditionally loyal Jim, and they don't get up on day and decide they don't love you anymore."

"Yeah so is the team," he grunted, "minus the love part, though I'm pretty sure Malark might be gay,"

"Y'all know I ain't like that," I chuckled, as I turned onto the I-181, "What are you saying there Jim?"

"Look, you've been in and out of relationships nonstop since I joined up, then six months ago, Command tells you to shut down a perfectly good relationship, then you move here, adopt Triggs, and you seem perfectly content."

"What are you saying Jim?" I repeated,

"I'm just the messenger here, but the team is concerned brother, cause, even Tucker who's more fucked up than you and I combined, is four months from getting married."

"Point taken, you're still not fully answering my question."

"Look you grew up in these parts, how the hell haven't you hooked up with any of your old high schools friends, like that waitress at the pizza joint?" he gave a slight smirk

"You mean Christine?"

"Yeah, the hot brunette with the really long hair." he snickered

"Yeah, Christine." I chuckled, 'I've known here since sophomore year." I laughed and turned on the Sync, and Kenny Chesney started strumming through the speakers,

"Yep, that's why we set you up on a blind date with her tonight," he paused, "You know how I feel about country music."

"Wait what now?"

"You know I hate country music," he stated again

"No, no, no, you did not set me up on a date with Christine Smith." I sighed, glaring down the road.

"Yeah we did, eight pm, LongHorn Steakhouse," Jim smiled

I chuckled and made the turn on the I-90, "I didn't even know Daphne had a McDick's until now, today," Jim stated in his usual blunt fashion.

"You don't use Google?"

"Dude I have you, you forget that I ride bitch when we practice tails, you get the tail lost then we've already cracked beers at your place by the time they call and ask for directions." He wasn't wrong, having grown up here, I definitely had the advantage, especially when it came to navigating through Lake Forest.

"True story." I chuckled. I looked up ahead and saw the light turn to yellow. I eased off the gas. When we stopped a chromed out 2015 Tahoe rolled up beside us, some weird ass hip hop thumping. The driver rolled down his passenger window. and pointed at the light. I heard Jim chuckled from the back seat as I reached over to the aftermarket auxiliary switches. I revved the engine,which made a lot of noise. This wasn't your average Explorer, I had taken the turbo off of the 3.5L V6, added a reinforced transmission, and then threw in twin superchargers, just for the hell of it.

"This ought to be good." Jim chuckled, adjusting his seat belt. The light went green, and the Tahoe started spinning its tires as my Explorer leaped off the line. I was ahead until the next light., then I slowed down cause of the heavier downtown traffic. The Tahoe was a good six seconds behind As we rolled passed the Jubilee Square Shopping Center, Jim was busting his ass laughing, all the way into the Mcdonald's parking lot. "I still glad you blacked this thing out instead of chroming it,"' Looks a lot better than that chrome shit we just left in the dust." I chuckled as I got out of the SUV, Trigger trotting right beside me, "They let dogs in there now?"

"Hey, he's a service dog." I smiled, giving Trigger a quick scratch behind the ear.

"Well fuck, I think that's for aid dogs there Troy, not bomb dogs," Jim sighed.

"We'll see."

We walked into the restaurant and got into line, as we stood behind a few people waiting to order Trigger calmly sat down so close to my foot I could feel his tail bump against my shoe as it wagged back and forth. Then a uniformed woman walked out from behind the counter,

"Excuse me sir, service dogs only."

"Oh one second ma'am," I pulled out my wallet, and took out my Canadian Military ID, as well as Triggers, "My names Mac, and this lil pup is Trigger." her face lit up when she saw the little fuzz ball that was Trigger when his "ID Photo" was taken when he was officially sworn in.

"Oh my gosh they grow up so fast." she smiled, then looked over at Trigger who was curiously poking at my leg with his nose. "And so well behaved."

"Trigger say hi." He walked over to her, as she extended her hand to pet him, he licked her hand then barked playfully. Then sat down and let her scratch him under his chin. I looked back at Jim, who was trying to control his laughter. She went back behind the counter and continued serving customers, when it was our turn, at a different cashier Trigger remained sitting beside my leg, "I'll take four breakfast burritos , a large orange juice and two hash browns," Then Triggs barked twice, I looked down at him, he made instant eye contact with me. "I didn't forget." I looked back up at the cashier, "and bowl of ice cream for the mutt."

"That comes to eight ninety five." I flashed my debit card and he activated the machine. I quickly tapped, and waited for the beep, and put it away when it said approved. We waited over near the pop machine with Jim who was chuckling about something stupid that probably happened a month ago. When our orders were up and we were on our way back out to the SUV, my phone started ringing, "Hello."

"Hey brother," it was Tucker, one of the team's younger shooters, "Jim fill you in on tonight?"

"Yeah, he did, we're just on our way back from Mcdonald's."

"And you didn't invite me, what the hell man?"

"Well I almost shot Jim this morning so I figured I might as well let him tag along."

"The dog is with you ain't he?"

"Never leaves my side."

"Alright text me when your back,"

"That was Tucker I assume?" Jim asked

"Yeah it was."

The ride back was uneventful, Jim got to ride shotgun cause Trigger was in the back enjoying his treat, I was munching on the hash browns and Jim was scarfing down fries like they were going out of style. When we got back to the subdivision, Tucker's truck was sitting out front of my house, as we drove by I noticed that there was more than one stetson in there.

"Think he brought Jason?" Jim asked, Tucker, and Jason were almost inseparable, if you saw one cowboy hat, the other wasn't far off "If Jason's with him, give me a shout, I'll bring rum."

"Alright, see you in a bit then." I chuckled as I got out. I opened up the tailgate and looked at Trigger, he looked like he was about to attempt to shave, he jet black beard was covered in ice cream. "Did you actually eat any of it?" I laughed, then looked to make sure he didn't make a mess of the back. Which thankfully he didn't cause I spent yesterday detailing the crap out of this thing. I led Trigger over to the house and proceeded to rinse his face off.

"Wow, did he get any in his mouth?" I heard Tucker chuckle.

"I would think so."

"You ready for your date tonight?"

"Oh would you fuck off with that?" I laughed, I turned my attention back to Trigger. "Alright bud you're clean." I walked him over to the get and set him loose in the backyard.

10 Hours Later.

I finished brushing my teeth and then buttoned up my brown shirt. "Can't believe I'm actually going through with this." I sighed, as I looked in the mirror. Trigger was over at Jim's for the evening so I wasn't distracted from getting ready. As I gave myself on last look over, my cell phone started ringing. "Troy here."

"Sergeant." it was the division CO, General Blaine, he rarely communicated with me, but when he did, I was on a direct line for trouble.

"Good evening sir,"

"Have you read the weekly brief Sergeant?" called a female voice, it was my commanding officer, slash ex-girlfriend, "Yes ma'am."

"What emergency ramp up have you been doing?"

"In regards to the Russians showing aggression in the Soviet fall out states? Nothing over the top ma'am."

"So if the Russian's dropped on Daphne tomorrow you're team will wind up dead or worse, captured."

I started walking down the stairs and ran my hand through my hair, "No ma'am, the team is heavily armed, and you know they are exceptionally well trained, we've got more than enough ammo to maintain a guerrilla war,and we know the area off the back of our hands."

"So you didn't read the report." Yeah when she said that I knew I was blown, "Or did you just read the back page."

"I may have skimmed the comics." I chuckled, knowing joking wasn't going to get my anywhere.

"Hawk,I've had it up to my neck with your shit." the General called,

"Sergeant, I'm sending Lieutenant Johnson down there to square your team away." Sousa sighed,

"Fuck," I thought to myself, "Fun time over,"

"We'll call you when he's on his way." The line went dead, I wasn't a fan of Blaine, and I know Sousa hated my guts because I chose to maintain my career over her, but she obviously become General Blaine's pawn.

I walked out of the hallway and across the kitchen, as the line went dead. "What was that about?" Tucker called from his position on the couch, he was finishing watching the Texas A&M versus Louisiana State Football game."

"Tuck while I'm out you mind sticking around and prepping one of the extra rooms?"

"Why, we getting a new guy?"

"Nope, their sending Fox down."

"They got sick of you dodging their calls and not reading the briefs thoroughly huh?" he chuckled

"Yeah," I called, picking up the keys, "Told General Blaine, I only read the comics." Then I opened the door to the garage, and walked out to the Horns was about a five minute drive, and when I pulled in, I saw a slightly curvy girl wearing tight blue jeans and a white blouse leaning against her car. After I parked, I gave myself one last look in the rear view. "Here we go." I got out and started walking towards the door. I was there when I heard

"Hey Hawk!" I heard as I got out of the SUV.

"Hey Christine," she walked up and gave me a quick hug, "You're looking good tonight."

"Yeah, well, I kinda have a date with a nice guy tonight, so I figured why not get a little dressed up for him," she smiled, "What about you, I don't see you wearing collars very often."

"Believe it or not, the guys set me up on a blind date of sorts." I smiled,

"Oh?" she pretended to be surprised,"Who's the girl?"

"Someone I've known since High School, recently reconnected with, always kinda found her attractive."

"Well she sounds like an incredibly lucky woman." Christine smiled, her hair slightly covered her left eye,

"Yeah well, hopefully I'm an incredibly lucky guy and this goes good."

"I'll tell you one thing," she giggled, "it's a good start."

"Well shall we then?" We walked in and grabbed a booth off to the north side of the restaurant.

"So what's your story?" she asked, as she scanned the menu "You disappear for eight-ish years, and suddenly your back."

I had already thought this answer out, "I work in security consultation, our company figured that the oil rigs in the Gulf might need to up their security contracts."

"Troy, come on, you know I've overheard your guys' conversations at the Mushroom." she was definitely smart, and could quickly see through the BS cover story we had made up before shipping down here.

"Oh fuck." i thought, I leaned in close, "We work in JSOC."

"Joint Special Ops huh." she leaned back, "That's why I hear so much about Africa, the middle east."

"I forgot you were a Guards woman at one point." I smiled, "How far did you go with that?"

"Not very, standard infantry stuff, nothing special, but I can tell the Tier One Type from a mile off, especially you."

"How especially me?" I was started to get intrigued.

"Come on Hawk, I've seen your Facebook, I've seen the pictures of your scars." she stated, "Don't be so closed, it's not going to get you anywhere with me." she paused, "Either that or I will pry you open like a clam." she chuckled.

"Fair enough," I smiled, "And how do I get you to stop calling me Hawk, and actually call me Troy?"

"It's what everyone has referred to you as since high school," before she could say anything else, I cut in.

"Enough about me." I smiled, "What has Christine Smith been up to for the past six years"

"Hanging around Daphne, tried my hand in Florida, didn't get very far. Came home, now I'm the head waitress at the Mushroom."

That's pretty much how the conversation went for the next three hours. Honestly the guys did something right by setting me up with her. She told me about her exes and everything she had been through, since the last time I saw her when I graduated high school. Eventually, we were kicked out. "So what's your deal Troy?" she asked, as we walked toward her car, "Lover, Flinger, Keeper?"

"Honestly depends on the first date." I looked at her and our eyes locked, and I noticed a twinkle in her eye, and a smile being held back, she looked up at me from her five foot three stance, her eyes went big. (Play: First Chorus: Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not: Thompson Square)

"You know how I tell?" she whispered, that was my green light, I leaned in and gave her a long, passionate, kiss, which she welcomed, followed by my arms wrapping around her thin waist. After a few minutes, we came up for air, our foreheads still pressed together. "Mm, definitely a Lover," she whispered, "with a hint of keeper."

"We should do this again sometime." I smiled.

"We should." she smiled, "And please don't let it be another eight years." Then her eyes locked back onto mine, she stepped back in. She held the kiss for a few seconds and then let go and smiled. "Good night Hawk Eye."

"Yeah, I'll call you." I stumbled a little bit before I opened her door for her, "Night!" I beamed. I stepped back, closed the door, and watched her car disappear out to the road. I headed over to my Explorer.

I was awakened the next morning by my phone blaring the obnoxiously loud ringtone that I had set for when Headquarters called. I picked it up, "Hello." I called

"Fox plus two is arriving at Edwards Field South, via JZA700. thirteen hundred today, usual security procedure." then the line went dead.

"Perfect." I sighed. The fact that I heard plus two had just ruined my day before it even started. I opened up my contacts list and called Malark, it rang about four times before a not even semi awake Tucker answered,

"Mm-mph?"

"Briefing at eleven thirty, bring your truck."

"Do I have too?"

"Fox plus two from Edwards, get the other country bumpkin your bunked with up and at em as well."

"He already went for his morning mile."

"Fuck it's what four thirty?"

"Yeah something like that." I reset my alarm on my phone and put my face back into one of my pillows.

1130 hours: Hawk's Garage

"Alright we're going to be running a type two template." I called opening as the guys took their usual positions around the garage. Jim was sitting on a lawn chair, Malark and Jason were leaning on the tool box, Bug and Spaz were propped up against the garage. "Fox is packing his family, so were going to have cargo, Jester, Malark, that's your job, I think ya'll can handle that."

"As long as Malark doesn't get sucked into a turbine." We all chuckled at the shot made by Jason

"Alright, comms up on one six,, any other questions." No one said anything, "Alright, no move for fifteen minutes, I've got chow and bevies in the fridge, fuel up quick."

After the boys had grabbed a snack of some kind we mounted up, conducted a comms check and rolled out. It was an uneventful forty minute drive down the interstate to Gulf Shores. Hell it wasn't like we were expecting trouble. This wasn't Libya, or any other shit hole where a threat could develop to a full assault in a matter of minutes. Our only Major threat was a nuclear attack on Mobile, or a sea and air assault, and currently Russia and the US were seemingly friendly, meaning that the Chinese were not even contemplating anything. As we rolled into the airport, a CRJ 700 with Air Canada Jazz markings touched down at the East end of the runway. We were using Jazz Airlines as a front so we weren't moved with a government receipt, thus making any domestic movement pretty much non-existent, for the non existent, we would use common Air Canada International routes if we were overseas.

As the jet taxied up to the apron, Tucker took his position as the traffic marshal. "Jazz Eight Six Four One, this is X-Ray four, I will be you're designate taxi marshal."

"Copy X-Ray Four"

We all looked on as Tucker did his thing. I leaned against the front of the Explorer. Jason and Jim joined me as the jet rolled in. (Play First Chorus Play That Funky Music) "Hey Malark!" Jason called into his mic, "Twerk it girl!" I was half way through a sip of Gatorade, and that half a sip, wound up spat all over the hood of the truck. Then I looked back out at Tucker. It honestly looked like he was doing the Napoleon Dynamite dance, which made me laugh even harder.

"Dance Napoleon dance!" I yelled. Jim, Jason, and I were killing ourselves Jason queued up the song from the movie on his phone and blared it into his speaker I took my ear piece out and bent over we could even hear the pilots chuckling. I was so glad our open comms weren't tied in with headquarters, or I'd get another tongue lashing from the Captain. When the jet came to a stop. Malark started laughing so hard he fell into the nose of the aircraft, which made it all the better. When I righted myself, and kind of got it together, I chuckled, "We are so dead," to myself and made my way over to the plane. "Alright square this shit away boys, opening door!" I called as I reached up for the handle. I felt the latch click open and let the door come down with a little bit of guidance and control.

"Opening cargo hatch!" Jason called, "JDAM, roll up the truck."

"Roger."

Then I saw Adam walking down the stairs, "Welcome to Gulf Coast LT!" I called over the whining of the powered down jets.

"Glad I could finally make it."

"Yeah how's second Platoon?"

"Coming along, Holiday is doing alright figured that it was time that he took over, and I rejoin my Fire Team partner in paradise."

"Copy that, we'll talk more once we're underway." I switched my radio back on, "Edwards ground, this is X-Ray one, ground crews are cleared on Jazz One X-Ray."

"Roger."

I rushed Adam, and his wife and toddler over the Explorer, and got them secure inside. "Malark, status?"

"Cargo offloaded, just securing the cargo hatch,"

"Ya'll have one minute until civilian ground crews take over." I watched from in front of the Explorer as Tucker's truck started pulling away from the jet. "Y'all good?"

"We're good Chief."

I switched my comm to the secure line. "HQ this is X-Ray one, package received, air frame is clean, we are departing the area now."

"Copy that X-Ray one handing Jazz six four one back over to civilian control."

I switched back over to the open freq as I got in the SUV. "How's it going brother?"

"Eight minutes from the time of touch down to the time I'm in the car and leaving the airport, has got to be one of the fastest airport times I've ever seen." I turned the key and rolled up behind Malark's truck.

"So what did Command tell you when they told you to pack your bags."

"Make sure that I get your shit together are the Captain's exact words." he chuckled, "I told her that if the Reg Force couldn't do that, what makes her think I could."

I chuckled, "Look, we've been following every order and job they've handed us since we landed six months ago. They're just upset that I'm not reading the weekly briefs."

"Yeah well, if you had read it, you would've understood that I was originally coming on Friday." he saw that I now felt like an idiot. "Look Troy, it's still your team, I have to run X-Ray and Delta, and in a few months you'll have to send someone from this detail to train Echo."

"I have some thoughts on that." I smiled, "Send em, Malark and Jester."

"God help those trainees, and the command center."

"Ahem." I heard his wife call, as we pulled out onto the highway.

"How's it going Manda?"

"Good now that you finally acknowledge me, am I going to get anytime with my husband?"

"Well that's up to him." I chuckled, "How's little Sarah doing?"

Adam turned back, "She's already asleep." he chuckled, "Yeah she didn't sleep on the flight down."

"Sad about leaving her friends huh."

"I bet you know the feeling." he sighed, "Speaking of which, you seeing anyone lately?"

"Funny you should ask that," I smiled, thinking about the night before, "The guys set me up with an old friend from high school last night, date went rather well."

"You think it's going anywhere?"

"She gets along with all the guys when we are at the joint she works at, she's hasn't met the most important person though."

"And how is baby Trigger?" Manda asked.

"He's doing great, he's got a well rounded personality now and he's the best roommate ever." I smiled as I unlocked my phone to the main screen and passed it back to Manda.

"He's gotten big."

"Yeah, he runs with me twice a week, then we take him tracking in the backwoods, he doesn't bark much, and he'll go over to the neighbors when I'm out mowing the lawn and he gets munchies, Sarah's alright with dogs if I remember correctly."

"Heck when I mentioned that we were moving here, she got all excited to see Trigger." Adam smiled, I had gotten the pup right after Sarah's fourth birthday, the two were instant friends when I introduced them.

"Cause I've got y'all set up in the master bedroom and Sarah just beside the kitchen, I've got almost everything upstairs, minus the kitchen, which we are sharing."

"What do we do for vehicles?" Sarah asked.

"I've got the Explorer and Hennessy APV, those y'all can't have, we've got an armor plated Expedition and a pursuit Mustang." I chuckled. "Adam, I'll trust you with the Mustang"

"Pursuit?" Manda asked

"We took a five liter Mustang, and ripped out the five liter, replaced it with a supercharged Hennessey six point two, replaced the transmission and chipped it, We dynoed it, we've got four hundred foot pounds of torque and about five hundred fifty horses." I smiled, "It'll beat Paul Walker's Supra off the start line every time."

"So that's why you all have fords, except for Malark's beater truck."

"Easy to work on, and Ford builds the vehicles we need down here."

"What about the Bronco."

"I lost it to Jim in a card game, that's why I have the Explorer." I was still a little sore about losing that thing, it was by far the baddest vehicle we had. Just for the look and the amount of work we had put into it.

"So what's the general threat analysis." Adam asked,

"Straight to work and we ain't even half way home?" I chuckled,

"What you don't have a team BBQ planned?"

"Yeah maybe,"

"So brief me now."

"Oh I missed you brother." Adam wasn't just the Platoon LT, he was my Fire Team Partner, and the one shooter I would never say no to having him on an op. He was also my common sense booster. "Alright so we're in a low threat environment, the political scheme is eighty five percent Republican. With the current unrest as a result Trump Presidency, we've tied in with local law enforcement and the Alabama National Guard. JSOC know's they've got Canadian QRF team on the ground. We've got Fort Rucker to the North East, Maxwell AFB directly north, NAS Pensacola, to the east. We've told the US brass that we are strictly an emergency QRF unit. SO if anything gets fucked up south of the equator we go, we do not do local bullshit, so if a riot breaks out, we batten down the hatches and wait."

"Sounds like paradise."

"Yeah, it's one long paid vacation."

"Extraction and Evasion plan?"

"Edwards is our primary in and out field, backup one is Bay Minette Air Field, which is a National Guard airfield secondary is Mobile Brookley."

"No third."

I got quiet, and the air around the front seat got heavier, "Fox if the situation warrants a third option, each member is to load up his family, and head north to Nashville, no convoy, every man for himself."

"Why so far?" Manda asked,

"Cause if we are forced to call tertiary, Eglin, will not be an option because it'll be covered in burning aircraft, there is a reason why all of our vehicles are modified for speed, we need to outrun anything chasing us," I rolled up to a red light, and looked at Adam, if I call for a tertiary, I want you to take Manda and Sarah, load them in the mustang, grab, ammo and food, and get the hell out of here, Jim has the same orders."

"Why, where will the rest of the team be?" Manda asked again,

"Either dead or in the fight of our lives."

She didn't say a word for the rest of the ride to the house. When we pulled into subdivision, I could see Jim holding Trigger's leash out front of the house while Bug and Spaz unloaded their bags.

"Trigger!" Sarah cheered, "Look mommy its Trigger." I turned the Explorer around at the corner and pulled up behind Malark's truck. As soon as I stopped, Sarah was out the door and embraced with Triggs. "So what's the neighborhood like?" Adam asked,

"It's quiet, we're here, Jester and Malark are one subdivision over, Bugs down the road, and Spaz is a little further down,"

"I see the Bronco, I'm assuming that's JDAM's?"

"Yep."

""We're almost done Troy." Jim called, "Couple more bags and we will be good, still making steak tonight?"

"I special ordered it from Alberta, came in that black cooler,"

"Is that what you use custom free landings for?" Adam chuckled.

"Trust me, we've done way worse than a few Angus sirloin." I smiled, "Come on I'll give you the tour."

"Sarah honey, why don't you take Trigger into the backyard." Manda called,

"Okay mommy, come on Trigger!" the young one cheered as she took off towards the gate.

i led Adam and Manda inside. "Alright so office, fax machine, computer ,printer, and secure line is immediately to your left. I keep the right window open, Trigger likes sleeping in the sun there. Adam, you're creds are on the computer. Now to the left is y'alls bunk, You get the grand master suite and master bath. Manda walked into the bathroom.

"I've never seen anything this nice." she smiled,

I led them back out to the main living room. "So this is the family room, satellite TV with programmed DVR, I made sure I've got history and military channel, and all major sports stations, topped off with a few kids channels for Sarah." Then I walked into the kitchen and dining room. "So this is the chow area. Through that hall way next to the far counter is the laundry room and garage. I do mine on Tuesdays, while Alabama State plays." I led them to the bottom of the staircase. "This is Sarah's room. has a walk in closet, and her own bathroom just to the right of it." Then I looked up the stairs. "This is where public access ends and my personal space begins."

"What do you mean?" Manda asked.

"Top of the stairs, closet on the left is a gun closet, access code which only Adam and myself will know. Then it's the SCIFF, which is also my personal gaming area. If you go left, my bathroom is first door on the right and the end of the hall is my bedroom, and access to the attic, which is where I go to find a little bit of peace and quiet."

"Understood."

"Well," I smiled, "Welcome to paradise."