Chapter Nine

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            Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Rhiannon had to admit that the grounds of Casa de Marguerita were as beautiful as the house itself. Lush, green lawns were flanked by towering, exotic, heavily perfumed shrubs. The terrace at the back of the house led down to a marble pool, where she now paused to watch the water sparkle in the sun light. Her guard was not very far from her but even, if she were alone, she couldn’t see how she could ever escape. The walls that surrounded the Casa were high and topped with fiendish looking barbed wire. She’d also noted that guards were positioned all around and there were security cameras in abundance, recording her every movement. She shivered, despite the heat of the sun. It might be a beautiful place but it was still a prison, no matter how aesthetically pleasing it was.

“Do you feel like a swim, Senorita Phillips? I’m sure we will have a swimming costume that will fit,” Sebastian Cortez said, as he descended the steps from the terrace.

Rhiannon turned at the sound of her captor’s voice.

“I think not, Senor Cortez. As beautiful as your home is, it is still my prison. I’m not on holiday here.”

“Please, you must call me Sebastian.”

“No, I must not and for the very same reason as I won't take a swim. I’m the prisoner here.”

He walked towards her, his face inscrutable. Stopping in front of her, his hand reached up to brushed her hair aside.

“The bruise it begins to fade. You don’t strike me as a fool Senorita Phillips so you would be wise to follow orders or… there could be more bruises.”

“I didn’t realise that you were ordering me to call you Sebastian. I thought it was an invitation – one that I could refuse.”

“And so you can but there will be others that you cannot. Rhiannon – that is an unusual name. Does it mean anything?”

It means scared stupid at the moment, Rhiannon thought.

“It’s a Welsh name. I believe it means great queen.” She thought it wise not to mention that it was also linked in mythology to being a goddess of fertility.

“Sebastian means revered, which is apt, don’t you agree?”

Rhiannon glanced at the guard who still stood a few paces away.

“Well…your men certainly have… a healthy… respect for you.” And if they don’t, she thought – they die.

Sebastian Cortez laughed, aware of what she was thinking.

“You are a very astute woman, Senorita.”

Rhiannon shivered again. Was it usual to get compliments from your kidnapper, she wondered?

“You should return to your room now, Senorita Rhiannon, the midday sun it is relentless.” Sebastian nodded at the guard. “Ricco will take you back to your room.”

“Exercise hour over, is it?”

“Exercise hour? I’m not familiar with this expression.”

“Prisoners in prisons around the world are let out to exercise at least once a day, are they not? It stands to reason that this one will be no different.”

Sebastian looked at her for a moment.

“True, but, other prisons are not surrounded by so much beauty,” he said quietly.

“No, I suppose not.”

“I will see you at dinner and today you will attend. There is a dress in your room you can put on. I’m expecting guests.”

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