Temporada 3 - Episodio 1
Temporada 2 - Episodio 10
Home > Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10)(8)

Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10)(8)
Author: Maya Banks

“As you are all on my payroll and take orders from me, that makes all of you my men,” Bristow said, his voice not as commanding as it had been a moment earlier. But then he was a coward, always employing others to do his dirty work for him. If his options were to stay and fight with his men or abandon them and run, he’d run. His kind always did. It was precisely why Hancock had his own team here under the guise of having vetted and employed them for Bristow. Bristow had no knowledge of the fact that Hancock’s team had worked together for years and that their loyalty to one another ran deep. That they answered to Hancock and no other. Ever.

In a world where Hancock trusted none but a precious few, his trust was given to Titan, though it was no longer Titan. It wasn’t . . . anything. The very government who’d created them, faking their deaths and then raising them from the ashes like the phoenix, had given them new identities and they were to have no ties to the outside world. The mission was all that mattered. Not people. Not politics or the delicate dance of diplomacy.

The government had created . . . monsters. Killing machines without mercy or conscience, trained to carry out orders at all cost. The good of the many always outweighed the good of the few. And when Titan grew too powerful, when they began to question their orders, their objective and how it aided the greater good, when the missions seemed to grow too personal, too inconsequential for a group of Titan’s training and abilities, they’d been disbanded, branded traitors, loose cannons, murderers. Even terrorists. They’d been labeled the very thing they hunted and it still burned a hole in Hancock’s gut. After living so many years with no feelings, no emotions, turning them off at will and doing his job with cool efficiency, he learned true rage. Not since his foster mother, a woman who’d made Hancock feel that he had worth and had given him the first and only sense of family, had been murdered in retaliation for her husband’s mission, had Hancock felt anger and overwhelming rage. That mission had been personal. The only one. Big Eddie, the man who called him son, had come to him for help. Revenge. And even if Big Eddie hadn’t asked, Hancock would have hunted Caroline Sinclair’s murderer.

But things had changed since then. That was years ago, when Titan operated under the authority of the U.S. government, though only a select few even knew of Titan’s existence. They had much freedom then to ferret out those who were a threat to national security, to take out any threat at will. And then, their own government turned on them, thinking them expendable and easily disposed of.

Even now the hunters had become the hunted, and any number of classified military groups had orders to kill on sight. Having gained access to a shadowy CIA operative’s computer files, Hancock had learned a hell of a lot about the country he’d sworn his allegiance to.

No, not everyone charged with the defense of America and its people was evil and self-serving, betraying the citizens they were sworn to protect and defend. There were men and women who tirelessly took up the charge. But any one of those would kill Hancock on sight, thinking him a traitor to the principles they followed, lived, and would die for.

Titan had refused to die. They had evolved far beyond what their trainers in the beginning had taught them. And now, they not only fought to protect even those who’d betrayed them and countless innocent American lives but they had expanded their reach into a world filled with the same good and bad reflected in the U.S. government and military.

Innocence had no boundaries. No one nationality. One wasn’t good or bad simply because one was a certain nationality or held a different belief system. Innocents died every day simply because there was no one to fight for them. Not even their own governments. Titan couldn’t save the entire world, but they saved pieces of it. One piece at a time.

Taking out Maksimov—finally—would save a lot of lives. The sheer time it would take for someone else to pick up the remnants of his empire, to pick up the reins and take over operations, would enable other countries, other special ops groups to infiltrate and shut it down before it ever got back off the ground.

Because after Maksimov . . . Hancock shut his mind down, returning to the issue at hand, before Bristow truly understood the depth of Hancock’s lack of respect and the fact that he in no way feared this man, that he was so confident of his superiority that he knew he could get to Bristow at any time and end his miserable existence. Despite his attempt to silence the many voices in his head, all replaying past events and ensuring his absolute focus on this mission above all else, a whisper slid insidiously through his mind, tracing each pathway so he had no choice but to hear it. It settled deep within him, taking root as it had done so many times before, and this time Hancock didn’t even bother to uproot it, push it away, force it free so he could forget it was ever there.

After Maksimov you will be free of this life. It will be time for you to rest.

He nearly gritted his teeth. The whisper bothered him when so little else did. When so little else had the power to affect him. Rest could mean many different things to a man like him. But the one prevailing thought, the suspicion that took hold when nothing else would, was that in this case, rest meant eternal rest. And worse than the thought of it being final was the fact that he didn’t fear it, didn’t feel sadness or regret. All he felt was . . . anticipation. He didn’t share his acceptance of this with his team or with the four people he considered family, the only people in the world who mattered to him. The only people he felt real emotion for. Love. Loyalty. Respect. And the knowledge that he’d die for any one of them. No, if they knew, they’d make it much harder for him. They’d never understand. They’d want him away from this life. They’d want him to live. For them. With them. They’d never understand that he could never adapt to civilian life—normal life. He didn’t even know what normal was. He didn’t fit into a world where everything was black and white, where gray wasn’t accepted. He couldn’t live or exist in a life where if something happened to someone he loved he couldn’t go after the people responsible, couldn’t make them pay. He would be expected to rely on and trust law enforcement and then the justice system to get justice for the person he loved. How fucked up was that?

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)