He beckoned her forward and helped her step over the body of the guard. Rhiannon watched as he bent down and took the weapons from the dead man. The hand gun he slipped in the waist band of his trousers and the rifle he slung over his shoulder. She was glad he’d ordered her not to speak because she didn’t think she could have spoken coherently. Was it all so easy for him, the killing? When she looked at him, his brilliant blue eyes showed not one shred of remorse, not one ounce of doubt. She shivered – it scared her. He was making the OK sign at her. She had no time to think, to analyse, all she could do was keep moving. She nodded briefly and they made their way along a passage way towards the rear of the house.
They were about two thirds of the way along when the man, Becker, appeared.
“Good to see you. Any problems?”
“No, but Cortez is short of two guards.”
“OK, there are two more guards in the kitchen. Try to disable, not kill them because then my being found unconscious won’t look suspicious.”
“I’ll do my best,” Porter smiled.
“I take it you know each other?”
“Becker’s our ally on the inside, so to speak.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Miss Phillips.”
Porter glanced at his watch.
“We have to go. Layla can only jam the CCTV for fifteen minutes.”
“Give her my love.”
“I will and sorry.” Porter swung the butt of the weapon he held across the side of Becker’s head.
If Becker saw the blow coming he didn’t show it. Rhiannon stood shocked as he collapsed to the floor, unconscious.
“He’s undercover with the DEA, I was protecting his identity. Come on, this way.”
They were about to enter the kitchen when the maid who’d served them the night before came out of the door.
She would have screamed but Porter placed his hand over her mouth.
“You speak Spanish, explain what’s going on,” he whispered.
Rhiannon spoke quickly, praying the girl understood.
Porter felt her nod and he lowered his hand.
“Ask her where the guards are.”
“I speak English, senor. They are eating at the big table, senor.” The maid turned to face him. “It is not possible to go in there with the senorita.”
“Is there somewhere she can hide while I deal with them?”
Rhiannon shivered at his words.
“Si, the maids change in here,” she whispered and opened a door to the left of the kitchen door.
“OK, Rhiannon, wait in there until I have taken care of them.”
She shivered again; his words were so devoid of emotion.
“And you go to bed, senorita. Just pretend you never saw us,” he whispered. “And thank you.”
“You’re welcome, senor. Buena suerte.”
Rhiannon watched the young woman run lightly away and then Kendal nodded to her and she walked into the cupboard.
“I won’t be long,” he said, shutting the door, leaving her in darkness. She shivered yet again. Alone in the dark with just her imagination for company she couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing. Becker had told him not to kill the men if he could help it. So how would he neutralise them? A bubble of laughter rose in her throat – neutralise them? That sounded like he was the hero in some science fiction or spy novel – but he wasn’t and the cold reality of what he did was injury and death, not entertainment. She understood now what he meant by “ask no questions”, “don’t think, just do” and “it won’t be pretty”. It wasn’t pretty and if she thought about it, even a little, it would be easy to believe that the stench of death was on her. She sighed. He was right, she shouldn’t think but it was impossible not to.
How long had he been gone? It seemed ages but in reality it was only a minute or two. She strained to hear anything but all was silent. All she could hear was her own breathing. Suddenly and without warning, the door opened and she shrank back into the shadows as light from the corridor spilled in. She sighed in relief as his unmistakable silhouette filled the doorway. He made the OK sign with his hand and she responded in the same way and walked towards him.
The kitchen was quiet and deserted except for the two guards who were both lying immobile on the floor. Rhiannon ordered herself not to look and she didn’t ask if they were dead or not. She just followed Kendal across the kitchen and out of another door to what must be the pantry and kitchen stores area.