What if saving little angels meant becoming the monster?
When Special Agent Nick McFarlane receives news his partner of eight years is in trouble he doesn’t hesitate. Throwing himself into a deep cover operation to expose and shut down The Micahs, a child trafficking ring, Nick enters unprepared for the reality that awaits.
Special Agent Meredith Richards took the assignment fully aware of the consequences. Leaving her life behind, she wouldn’t be able to get out with her life until she shut the Micahs down for good.
When Meredith’s informant is murdered and her contact inside the organization starts to lose control, Meredith is forced to make choices she can’t take back. On the edge of sacrificing herself, her principles, and her life, she begins to wonder if she will survive the case or if she even wants too.
The road was rough, and Nick hung onto the dash for fear of falling out of the jeep. After dispatching the entire force, five teams on the ground and two in the air, they'd lost the signal over half an hour earlier. Being in the middle of the dense jungle made the search almost impossible, but they were closer than they’d been just hours ago.
Nick felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and he lifted it to look, not recognizing the number.
"McFarlane," he said into the phone and there was silence. "Hello?"
He could barely make out a voice and he looked to Jacobs to stop the car.
Jacobs stopped the jeep and Nick waited.
"Meredith?" Nick said.
"Hello?" He heard a small voice say back at him.
"Hi, this is Nick, who is this?"
"Lily," she replied, her voice shaking. "Meredith..."
"Are you with Meredith, sweetheart?"
"She won't...she won't wake up..." she said, and Nick's heart stopped.
"Lily, do you know where you are?" Nick asked, looking to Jacobs, who dialed his own phone.
"In the jungle," she replied between little sobs. "I'm scared...she's bleeding and I can't..."
"Lily, is there anything around? Do you see anything?"
"There is a jeep. I think it’s how the bad man got here," she said into the phone. Jacobs nodded and he started the jeep again.
"Lily, listen to me, I need you to stay on the phone with me. I'm coming to get you," Nick said.
"Please hurry...it's dark, and Meredith..."
"It's okay, Lily, we're coming," Nick replied, listening to the girl panic on the phone.
"She dying," Lily said, beginning to cry again. "Please, I don't want her to die..."
"Lily, it's going to be okay," Nick tried to reassure her—he also tried to reassure himself.
The car wasn't moving fast enough, and he felt like he was going to jump out of his skin. He was telling Lily to be brave, and he was terrified himself.
They had time. They had to have time. This wasn't the end.
He could still get to her.
He could still save her.
"I see lights, is that you?" Lily said to him on the phone and without thinking, he leapt from the car and ran forward, the lights of the car illuminating the path. After a moment, he saw the child seated on the ground, Meredith lying just behind her. Nick reached them in seconds and the child dove into his arms. Hugging her tightly against him, he looked to Meredith, his heart bursting.
"Please help her," she said, sobbing into his shirt.
"It's going to be okay," he said. Jacobs came and took the child from his arms.
Nick moved to Meredith, taking in her injuries. He touched her shoulder to look at her better, and felt the warm stickiness on his hand. Looking at it against the light, it was covered in blood.
"She's been shot," Nick said. He scooped her in his arms, moving back to the jeep as he saw more lights approaching. "You got this?"
"Yeah, go," Jacobs said. "I'll call Henry and have him pick you up. Keep your phone on!"
Nick put her in the passenger's seat, and tore off through the jungle. Every few seconds, he looked over to her pale face. "Come on, Henry," Nick pleaded aloud. His phone buzzed, and he picked up, talking to Henry, one of the helicopter pilots. Henry led him through the jungle to a clearing where he would be able to pick them up. Nick reached the clearing and jumped out of the car, walking around to the passenger's seat. Nick protected her from the slicing wind, hearing the helicopter's approach. He felt Meredith move beneath him.
"Nick," she said weakly, but her eyes were still heavy and they began to close again.
"Meredith...stay with me, Mere," he said taking her face in his hands. "Stay with me, we're getting you out of here."
She nodded and fell against him. Nick lifted her from the jeep. Her arm wrapped around his neck, pulling herself closer to him. He carried her on board, taking a seat with her in his lap. The door closed, muffling the noise.
She opened her eyes, looking up at him.
"Hey, beautiful," he said.
“I bet you say that to all the girls," she replied with a tired smile that lifted him.
"Not all of them, just the ones I can't live without," he replied, hugging her a little closer.
"I wish that were true," she said, and her eyes closed.
He checked her pulse and found it weak and thready.
"Hurry!" He yelled to the pilot, and saw the man nod in return.
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