Alex had no intention of letting this go on much longer. Screw the mission!
Whoa...did I just think that?
Alex thought about Corkie, and, Yes, I did. Something wasn't right here. This smelled strongly of a trap, and he had the feeling he and Corkie stumbled blindly into it. He had to protect her. If anything happened to her...
Don't...don't think it.
Concentrate. Focus. Alex left the library at Espinoza's demand—reluctantly, unless he wanted her dead right then and there—and scanned the main hall, planning to use this opportunity to his advantage. A set of winding stairs led to the upper floors. There were two guards there. One just outside the front door, and further toward the back of the house, he spied two more. He casually wandered toward what he thought would be the kitchen, peeking into rooms as he passed. Three more guards.
How the hell was he getting Corkie out of here? He needed five minutes with a phone, and Captain Mans could have a team here in two hours. If they survived two hours.
In the kitchen, he startled two cooks, but he grinned innocently and asked where the bathroom was. One of the women pointed to a small hallway and a set of doors beyond. Alex thanked her. He passed by a counter, where one of the ladies left her purse, and sticking out of a side pocket was a cell phone. Perfect. Alex snatched it as he passed, and went into the bathroom.
He didn't have time to secure the line. He dialed straight to the ranch, demanded to speak to his commander, using the code word for an emergency, and when the captain came on the line, he explained the situation as quickly as he could. As it turned out, Colonel Davenport already figured out where Corkie was, and an extraction team was being assembled at that very second. The call lasted two minutes. The rescue for himself and Corkie would arrive at 13:00 hours on the dot, and they had to be outside in the open, when that happened. Alex hoped they could manage that. Both their lives depended on it.
Alex hid the phone under the sink, behind rolls of toilet paper, and exited the bathroom, walking casually down the small hall and out of the kitchen. In the main hall, he came face to face with Pancho.
"Buenos dias, fucker," Pancho repeated his greeting from earlier, his grin wider and spiteful.
Pain exploded in the back of Alex's head...and everything went black.
"I don't understand," Corkie said, gulping and breathless. "That's not Niro Sultanovich?"
Hibram Espinoza angled his head at her and smiled. "You are an intelligent woman, Miss Brooks. I am certain you can decipher your confusion, if you relax and think about it. Tell me...what do you know about the Sultanovich family?"
Well...everything. Niro hadn't been married or sired any children, and he was supposed to be the only child of Anton Sultanovich. But then Niro died two years ago. There had been no twin.
Corkie glanced up at "Luka". He picked his back teeth with his pinky finger as he stood there. He looked just like Niro...right down to the mole over his left eye. How was it the whole world did not know he existed? A second Sultanovich son would have been news. But Anton Sultanovich had four ex-wives. The first was Niro's mother, estranged and bitter. Just the type of woman to keep a grudge...in the form of a hidden son.
Frowning to herself, Corkie allowed those thoughts to gain strength. Did Anton know about Luka? She recalled parts of that family history and vaguely remembered Anton being absent during the birth. If Luka existed, then Anton must not have known about it. Anton valued his son, Niro, over all his children. It had been the wedge that drove Niro's mother out of the picture.
YOU ARE READING
Crazy Enough (originally titled "Black And White Rainbows")Romance
It was supposed to be an easy job. Get to Mexico, get photos of that bastard, Niro, and get home. But photojournalist Corkie Brooks did not account for a lone Army Ranger kidnapping her, stealing her photos, and then protecting her. Lt. Alex...