Porter wasn’t the only one closely watching Rhiannon’s entrance: Sebastian Cortez’ eyes glowed in appreciation.
“There you are, Senorita Philips. See, that is much more civilised, Senorita.” He brought her hand to his lips.
Bile rose in her throat and she struggled to keep her expression neutral.
“May I introduce my guests, Senor Becker and Senor Kendal.”
She looked at the men coldly.
“Now, would you care for an aperitif before supper?”
“Just water…thank you.”
“Come now, Senorita Philips, I have an extensive wine cellar and well stocked bar. I must be able to tempt you with something a little more adventurous than water.”
“No, thank you, just water.”
Porter watched as Rhiannon raised her chin slightly. Was Cortez aware, he wondered, that this was a sign of defiance by the young woman?
“You insist? Is that like one of your orders? Will you threaten to kill some innocent maid if I refuse?”
“I might kill you,” he said silkily as he grabbed her wrist in a vice like grip.
He was close enough to sense her fear but Rhiannon was damned if she would let that intimidate her.
“I don’t think so. If you were going to kill me you would have done so when your men brought me here. No, I am more valuable to you alive.”
“Do I look like I need the money?”
Rhiannon looked around.
“No, but you would like the… let’s call it, the prestige of being the man who extracted a vast ransom for the PM’s daughter. This is a game to you, and we’re not at the end of it. So I ask again, is it an order?”
Cortez laughed and turned to face his other guests.
“She is magnificent, is she not? I am sure a woman like this would be an exciting lover.”
Rhiannon shook slightly; it hadn’t occurred to her that she might be sexually assaulted.
“Maybe if our business is concluded satisfactorily, you might consider allowing me to find that out – sweeten the deal.”
Rhiannon stared at the man who had spoken, sickened by his words.
“Ah, Senor Kendal, you are a man after my own heart. The Senorita doesn’t seem so keen on the idea though.”
“Surely you wouldn’t let a little thing like that stop you – if you wanted the woman.”
“No, and I don’t suppose you would either. Shall we sit down? Miguel, bring some water for Senorita Phillips.”
Rhiannon sank down on the chair nearest to her. The discussion the two men were having had terrified her and she was beginning to shake. She was more scared of being raped than murdered.
A tray appeared at her elbow with a beautifully engraved crystal glass tumbler of water on it. She gratefully accepted it and took a sip of the cool liquid, glad to moisten her mouth that had become as dry as sandpaper. As she lowered the glass she realised that the man who had requested her as a deal sweetener was watching her intently. She shivered under his intense scrutiny.
The conversation turned to business. It seemed that the tall Englishman was a drug dealer in London with a supply network that spread throughout Europe. Sebastian Cortez was hoping to become his main supplier. The other man had set up the meeting. Her disgust rose with every word they uttered. It was as if they were discussing buying stocks and shares.
YOU ARE READING
This is a story based on Strikeback starring Richard Armitage. John Porter returns from Iraq having travelled accross the middle east avoiding the Americans. On his return he discovers huge changes in section D. However he has little time to get to...