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Tried & True (THIRDS #10)
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Sequel to Darkest Hour Before Dawn
When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….
With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.
Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water….
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HE WAS on his own.
Dex breathed in deeply through his nose, then let the breath out slowly through his mouth. He steadied his heart, his pulse, his breathing. His body answered to him, not the other way around. It was three against one, though there was only the one he had to worry about. He had to stay on his guard with that one.
“You’re going down.”
Dex opened his eyes, his focus on the huge tiger Therian before him. His dear delusional friend had no idea what he was getting himself into. Seb would be the one going down, but first…. Dex curled his lip up on one side as he moved his gaze to Hudson. The good doctor would be the first down but the last man standing. Dex would make sure of it. His most challenging target, however, slowly circled Dex. He could feel his mate’s eyes burning over every inch of him.
Sloane came back into view, the predator inside him looking out at Dex through molten amber eyes, his pupils dilated. His Felid was awake, ready to hunt, and Dex was his prey, or so Sloane believed. Sloane flexed his fingers, the knuckles stretching the blue wraps around his hands. The black racerback tank accentuated his broad muscular shoulders, and Dex allowed his gaze to travel down the thick biceps to his deliciously corded forearms. The tank was snug against his expansive chest, down to his torso and tapered waist. The loose black yoga pants rested low on his hips, and his feet were bare.
“Holy shit, your eyes.”
Dex ignored Seb and kept his gaze on Sloane and the smug smile now on his face. He knew the change in Dex’s eye color was his doing. Didn’t matter. It wouldn’t change what was going to happen. His mate was going down.
“You boys going to stand around all day?” Dex balled his hands into fists at his sides, the orange wraps shifting against his skin.
As expected, Seb charged first. Dex ducked beneath his right hook, spun, and slammed his hands into Seb’s back, sending him reeling forward. Dex lashed out, grabbed Hudson’s arm, and kicked his leg out from under him. He used his weight to flip Hudson over his shoulder and throw him onto the mat. Seb lunged at him, but Dex was quicker. Much quicker. He dropped and rolled out of the way, then popped up behind Seb and kicked at the back of his bad knee.
Seb roared, and Dex smiled.
That’s it, big guy. Get pissed. But don’t get sloppy.
Seb snarled as he pushed through the pain and came after Dex, his Felid half shining through his green eyes. Dex ducked and dodged. He slapped Seb’s fists away from him. Movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention, and Dex brought both fists down against Seb’s arms, then came up with a fierce uppercut and a kick to the abdomen that sent Seb rolling across the mat. Then Dex spun and ducked under Hudson’s right hook, landing a punch against Hudson’s ribs that left him gasping for breath. Dex pulled Hudson’s leg out from under him and brought both fists down against Hudson’s back, slamming him down hard into the mat, knocking the wind out of him. Hudson inhaled sharply as he writhed in pain. A low growl rose through him, and when he tried to get up, Dex put his foot on Hudson’s back and pushed down.
“You’re not even trying,” Dex growled.
“Dex,” Seb warned.
Dex stepped back and motioned for Seb to advance. “I’m not going to baby him, Seb. You want him to be prepared? You want him to survive out there? Then he has to learn.” Dex moved his gaze to Sloane, who was circling him, a barely there smile on his face.
I haven’t forgotten about you, baby. Your turn will come.
Hudson was still on the mat, his forehead pressed against it.
“Get up, Hudson,” Dex demanded. “Get your ass up off that mat right now.”
Seb and Hudson might have been sworn in and were officially TIN, but they were behind in their training. Sparks arranged for them to start their TIN Operative Training Program as soon as Dex and Sloane returned from their honeymoon. Since their recruitment, Seb and Hudson had been doing the same TIN Associate Training Program Dex and Sloane had been doing for months. The two had a hell of a lot to catch up on, and Dex felt for them; he did. Especially Hudson. As a medical examiner, Hudson had never been put through the training as a THIRDS Defense agent, so he had the most to learn. Making him the most vulnerable. Not to mention the most hesitant. Hudson was a wolf Therian, and although he could be as fierce as any Felid, he was soft-hearted and tended to be a nurturer. Hudson was a logical thinker, which was great, but his new role with TIN required instinct and action.