Chapter 1

Elizabeth Fox, aka Liz, was not your average woman, she did not like to do things that most girls want to do, such as shopping, salon appointments and self papering, but she learned to conform to her crowd in school and try everything to be involved. It was not until she graduated that she genuinely knew what her passion was when sneaking into bars with her fake ID. One day she managed to sneak into The Bulkhead, where her eyes finally opened; she was meant to be a pipehitter. A true-born door kicker with a craving for action and bullets. It was not normal or even a thought for a woman to be a SEAL, let alone a Tier-One operator, but that would not stop her. Liz was determined to make history, so her stubborn attitude won her internal debate, and she packed up and enlisted in the Navy the next day; the rest is history.

Today:

Liz was sitting in her cage waiting for the boys to arrive, reminiscing on her time in DEVGRU and Green Team and how it has been a year since she was drafted onto a team by non-other than Jason Hayes himself. Bravo was the team to be on, and everyone was in straight competition to be picked in the draft as Bravo had the first-round pick, but Jason was not someone that conformed and always lived outside the box, and he always was looking for ways to make history. Liz was his golden ticket and became Bravo 8 (She was a bit superstitious and had a weird hate for the number 7, so Blackburn decided to jump ahead and provide her with the Bravo 8 position. Anything to keep his team safe, and if a number would do that, then so be it). The famous Jason Hayes of Bravo was the first team to draft a woman as a Tier-One operator, and he was damn proud of his decision still a year later. Never a regret was thought of when they were being paraded as the failure team going from top status to getting all the crappy ops because their newest girl member would be unable to hack it. Liz was the excuse from the brass to nock Bravo down a notch, as they were the top team for far too long in their eyes as they needed a newer approach to DEVGRU, and Jason was known for being an old dog that refused to learn new tricks. But Bravo proved them all wrong repeatedly when they took each mission with a grain of salt, never faltered, and had success after success. Having Mandy, Blackburn and Lindell on their side was the icing on the cake to keep their top team status as they fought for equality, and their team proved they were worth it. Liz was not a fault but an asset as she was a fantastic sniper, equal to Clay and surpassed Ray and another mind that could see the matrix and have multiple views for any outcomes and the ability to be a ghost within most societies. Being a woman had its perks as she was able to fly under the radar and get into situations others would not have been able to, as much as they tried to blend in, having a bunch of burly, overly muscled men trying to blend in as tourists on recon missions did have a way of standing out. Having Liz on the team and being two years younger than Clay and only a few years younger than Brock, it was easier to have a couple out on recon and blend in. The team figured this out early on, and Liz and Clay got super close pretending to be in a relationship ship for many ops, and no one questioned Clay Spenser when he supported mission ideas and his teammates. Clay has gained a valuable reputation working under Jason Hayes and is being groomed to be the next Bravo 1, as Jason can not think of anyone better to fill his shoes once he is forced to step down. Clay has a few Admirals and Generals in his back pocket, working the scene and parties with Rebecca, and this gave him another benefit padding his resume for the Bravo 1 title.

The rest of Bravo slowly started to come into their cage room with their usual banter and jokes. Cerb and Trent, Brock came in first, and Cerb bolted straight to Liz for his morning kisses and hugs. Cerb took a fast liking to Liz when she was brought onto the team, and he treated her like Clay, one of his pups. He was always in protect mode when she was around and assessing threats towards her. Sonny came in next, holding a little pastry box. He thought of Liz like a little sister, yes, the team is like family, and they are each others' brothers, well sisters now as well, but he took an extra keen liking to Liz and treated her like his little sister that he was always looking out for and teasing. But when push came to shove, he was a force to be reckoned with to anyone that messed with her. Only the team was allowed to tease her, and the rest better watch out as Bravo was overly protective of their rookie.

"Well, lookie here! Trying to show us up by being early on the one day you are allowed to be late, being your anniversary with the best team out there and all," Sonny drawled in his lazy Texan slur.

As Liz was about to reply that she was in the area for her morning run and didn't want to head home to return again, Ray and Jason sauntered in with big smiles.

"Case of beer for your first year with us!" Jason joked.

"Well, I'd say it should be a case of beer on top of that one for your first anniversary and beating everyone here. That's just wrong." Sonny pipped in. "And non of that hoppy crap Clay always tries to sneak in."

"He only makes sure to give you that hoppy crap Sonny." Ray laughed as Brock and Trent snorted in the corner.

"Well, Pebbles, I brought you a little something for your happy day, but make sure to share with me, ok? None of these other ass-hats should get any if they are going to joke about the all-mighty beer." Sonny brought the little pastry box to Liz and stood there waiting for her to open it like a boy on Christmas morning.

Liz took it and had some reservations about opening it as Sonny was known to enjoy his pranks and teasing, especially towards rookies, but she slowly peeled back the lid. Inside was a mini black forest cake with extra whip cream and cherries on top with a small amount of scribbling in the middle. On top, written in chocolate, was "Congrats for dealing with us for a year. No returns." Liz couldn't help but laugh as everyone came over to hug her and peek at the cake; they hoped she would share. Sonny pulled out seven forks from his pocket and slowly handed them out. As they all dived into the cake at the middle table, everyone was stuffing their face; at that moment, Clay slowly walked in, wearing the same clothes he was in yesterday after they left their cages for the day.

"Oh, nice of you to show up, Princess," Jason mumbled with his mouth full of cake.

"Yeah, Bam Bam, you almost missed this delicious cake I baked for Lil Pebbles here," Sonny mentioned as he turned around to watch Clay walk to his cage to put his bags down. "Oh, doing the walk of shame, hey? Rebecca, making you drive to DC for the overnight visits and making you run late?"

"You and baking a cake should not be in the same sentence." Brock joked, leaning down to give Cerb a lick of whip cream.

"HA Ha. Nah, we were at another party, and I didn't feel like driving back after." Clay said as he slowly walked over to them all gathered around the cake. "Oh crap! I'm sorry, Liz, I forgot the little something I saw when I was in DC last that I got for you for your one-year Anni and dealing with my stubborn ass. A husband has to get something for his wife, or else he will be in the dog house, and I'm scared to see what your dog house is like with your attitude." Clay joked and winked at her; he loved to tease her and call her his wife from all their various ops on recons.

"It is ok; I don't need anything. With you realizing dealing with your stubborn ass needs recognition is enough for me, and I didn't expect to have a cake from Sonny. I think he just used it as an excuse to have cake for breakfast." Liz laughed as she forced herself to look away from Clay's baby blues staring at her. She didn't want to admit it to herself, but Clay forgetting her over Rebecca stung deeper than it should have. She would not let her heart open up and let him in, but he seemed to dig his way in anyways without either of them knowing.

Liz and Clay became very close from day one. They were paired up on ops as Jason felt Clay needed to show leadership and help the new rookie, as well as their likes, interests and skills meshed so well it was like they were one cohesive unit. The team vibes perfectly together, but Clay and Liz seemed to be on another level. Everyone had a hidden idea that there was a blooming romance and more than the solid friendship they always claimed to have. Even some of the team's nicknames connected to the two: Bam Bam and Pebbles, Wonderboy and Wonderwoman, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. But there was one flaw in their theory… Rebecca. She and Clay seemed like oil and water, and the team always felt uneasy about her trying to use Clay and his SEAL background and connections to get higher on the social platform in DC. She walked around like she had a hidden agenda, and Clay was her stepping stone; she was not afraid to trample from time to time. Rebecca always gave Liz the cold shoulder whenever the team was together; she was threatened by her and Clays' friendship and got the same romantic vibes as the team. Liz was her bug that needed to be squashed to get what she wanted. Clay was always protective of his team; nothing could stand in his stubborn-headed way when there was a threat, and Liz was no exception. Still, if it was possible, he seemed a little more protective of her as he even went after the team, especially Sonny, if the teasing went too far.

The team joked and teased each other as they finished the cake and waited around for the call to start their day.