Kody Walsh gripped the sealed red envelope tightly while his other hand steered around a John Deere. He pulled up to an old farmhouse where lace curtains blew out from an open window. His smart watch alerted him about his increased heart rate but Kody ignored it. He parked his Jeep at a distance behind a set of oak trees, leaving it running–just in case.
Hopefully no one’s home. I’ll be quick.
Kody patted his Glock and hustled past a blue Chevy with a dented-in door. It looked so run down that it probably couldn’t even start.
Good. No one can chase me when I leave.
A tall, broad, lumberjack-looking man with a trimmed beard marched out the side door, out to a barn.
Kody plastered himself against the side of the house, then snuck inside the open window. He scanned the study room, taking inventory of the exit options: one closed door leading to the rest of the house, the window he just came through and a chimney. His gaze darted around the room.
Desk chair—blunt force trauma, non-lethal. Award hung on the wall—one quick slice from a shard of broken glass to the neck could do the trick if needed. Darts in the corner could poke out someone’s eye.
An antique desk stood against a wall in the small room. Kody dropped the red envelope on top of the desk as instructed. Then, he started searching for the item Snyder commanded that he borrow—steal. Kody’s hands were jittery, but he kept repeating the same phrase in his head.
A soldier does anything for the team. Anything.
He sprang across the study and looked in boxes, under books, on top of the shelf, in the cabinets, and rummaged through the drawers. As he slid the bottom drawer out, the rollers got stuck and fell off the track, sending it down at an angle. A girl’s voice started singing from the other side of the door. Kody’s heart raced as he ducked below the desk.
Wait! There it is!
A white marble box was taped underneath. It had a gold compass shape engraved on the front with tiny red specs sparkling like jewels. Kody ripped it off and jammed it in his pocket.
Sacrifices must be made for the team. There’s no other option.
• Tackled her father for a pair of Michael Phelps’ personal goggles