Thanks for stopping by! Every Tuesday we’ll have weekly snippets introducing you to the Justiss Alliance, the J-Men – hot, hunky heroes – an elite team of men out to do right.
Last week Risk gave you the lowdown on what landed him with the J-men – this week the guys begin their journey – love them!! Enjoy!
The Justiss Alliance is an elite team of heroes out to do right. In Wild on You, one untamable SEAL meets a woman who handles the wildest sort of animals—until she herself becomes the hunted. Read more here
The limo came to a stop, and Risk realized they hadn’t been paying attention to where they were going. He felt all of them snap to attention, the energy bristling in that small space. They were in the back section of a mostly empty parking lot. The driver put the vehicle in park and got out. Rath’s hand was on the door handle, already pushing it open.
The driver pulled the door open the rest of the way, and a man Risk had never seen approached the open door. Risk could feel every one of them tense into fight mode, though the man’s body language appeared nonthreatening. He was tall and lean, dressed as a civvy but with a whiff of military to his bearing. He was probably early thirties and had obviously orchestrated the whole limo thing.
Bracing his hand on the roof, he leaned in, meeting each of their gazes. “My name is Chase Justiss. May I join you, gentlemen?”
“You a reporter?” Risk asked. “ ’Cause we got nothing to say.” Nothing they could say, bound by confidentiality as they were.
The man shook his head with a slight smile.
“Definitely not a reporter.” He lifted his jacket to show that he wasn’t armed or wired. “Or a hit man. Or government. Or military. Did I cover everything?”
“I’m sure there’s something we missed,” groused Rath. “But you’re gonna explain it to us in”—he glanced at his watch—”two seconds, ’cause I don’t like guessing games. Or surprises.”
The dude didn’t seem a bit intimidated by Rath. In fact, his smile grew. “Whoa, soldier, hold your fire.” He slipped into the limo the same easy way Saxby had. Even this farm boy could tell the guy’s clothing was expensive, as if he’d stepped right out of one of those GQ mags Saxby flipped through during their downtimes.
The guy settled in between Julian and Rath, each giving him a wide berth. The driver slid back in and pulled away. “With the press hovering around like a bunch of vultures, we don’t want to attract any attention, and a limo sitting in a parking lot might do that.” He handed each of them a business card with THE JUSTISS ALLIANCE embossed on the gray vellum, and beneath that, Security and Risk Management. Chase Justiss was identified as the CEO.
Julian flipped the card back at Chase, and it landed on his thigh. “I have no interest in being a security guard.”
Chase didn’t react, keeping his expression neutral and his posture lethally relaxed. “My company is a private security firm on the surface. And we do offer security for certain individuals, but that’s not our primary objective. We obtain justice in situations that require maneuvering outside the constraints of the law. Sometimes we’re contracted by governmental agencies that need off-the-record help with cases they can’t crack. We also work with civilian companies and individuals.
Occasionally, we do pro bono work for those who can’t afford our fees. Those end up being our most meaningful cases.”
“And you’re, what, offering to get us justice?” Risk asked.
“Afraid not. Exposing a military cover-up isn’t what TJA is after. I wouldn’t want the agency to come under that kind of public scrutiny—or government retribution. I’m offering you a job.”
Chase’s gaze swept across them. “I need men with your skills.”
“Why would you want the likes of us?” Risk asked. “We went rogue, as the press likes to say.”
Rath stretched out his legs, appearing casual and relaxed. “Or batshit crazy, like some of those politico bloggers are calling it. I like rogue better. Has a certain ring to it.” He dipped his chin, giving them the look Risk often saw right before Rath gave up interrogating and shot the tango—terrorist. “Or psycho. That has a nice ring, too.”
Chase smiled, not looking the least bit intimidated by Rath’s drama. “I know your team didn’t go rogue. You took the fall to save American lives. El Martillo—what’s left of them, anyway—thinks you’ve been punished and humiliated, and we hope that’s enough to appease the leader’s brother.”
“How in the hell do you know all this?” Risk asked, leaning forward. “No one released the information about Jose’s threat.”
“I smelled a cover-up as this whole El Martillo fiasco played out. I know how it works.” Something shadowed the guy’s eyes, there and gone in a flash. “I have a lot of contacts. The people who come to me for help are positioned in high places. Those relationships give me a certain amount of access.”
Chase continued. “As to why I want the likes of you, TJA is a relatively new firm, but word of mouth is spreading fast. I need J-Men—the term my operatives call themselves—on call and ready to head to a job at a moment’s notice. You’re all trained, have experience with weapons and dangerous situations, and you’ve no doubt killed when necessary. TJA doesn’t follow the red-tape road, which is why I need people who can think and act both as a team and independently. Who care enough about a mission to put their life on the line for it. Who believe in justice as much as I do. People who have been on the wrong end of justice usually make the best J-Men. Plus, as it turns out, you’re suddenly available.”
“Is that why you started the agency?” Risk asked.
“Yeah, what’s your story?” Julian asked.
Chase smiled, but there was an edge in his gaze. “I’ve been there, had my name and reputation ruined. I know what you’re going through firsthand. I won’t ask you to divulge your secrets, and I expect the same from you.”
He turned to Julian. “The Justiss Alliance takes cases selectively. No criminals, rock stars, or straight-out security work. Unless there are mitigating circumstances. If you sign on, you’ll be paid well, even for the pro bono work. And TJA will never throw you under the bus. The credo applies: No man left behind. So far I haven’t lost one operative.” He slid them a sly smile. “But it’s been close a few times.”
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