Chapter 13

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Chapter Thirteen

Rhiannon stumbled along behind Kendal, resolutely staring at a point between his shoulder blades, praying she didn’t collapse. She wasn’t sure how long they’d been on the move – hours though. She’d gone beyond pain. Her muscles no longer burned and screamed at the unaccustomed exercise; now they were heavy and leaden with each step, feeling as if she had five stone weights attached to her ankles, wrists and draped over her shoulder. It wasn’t so much the pace he was setting that was killing her but the humidity. She’d no idea what it was measuring but even at night it was beyond oppressive, sapping every ounce of her energy. Sweat coated her skin – it was nothing as ladylike as perspiration. It trickled in rivulets down her face and neck, pooling in her cleavage, causing her unsuitable clothing to cling to her skin and her hair to be plastered against her skull.

Kendal’s clothing was damp as well. When she’d started to concentrate on the centre of his shoulders it had been because a sweat stain had appeared there but now it had spread over the whole of his shirt. She’d been relieved to see that sweat; it had proved he was human. She wasn’t sure why that was important to her – that he should seem human – but it was. So much about him didn’t appear to be – from the cold, calculated way he killed to the unremitting pace he was setting as they ploughed on through the night. How could he see where he was going, she wondered? She’d never seen darkness like it – she could only make him out because of his white shirt. Beyond that was nothing but deep, inky blackness and the noise of the jungle. She shivered despite the heat, willing herself not to think of what lay in the dark.

Kendal could sense that Rhiannon was tiring. She was stumbling more and for the first time he felt as though he was pulling her along. He couldn’t stop. As much as he would have liked to, they had to keep moving. They were close now to the point where the supplies should have been left – four klicks away, no more than that. At least then she could have some water and change into suitable clothing. No, unless she told him to stop, he would keep going.

The rain came out of nowhere – as it was prone to do in this part of the world. No small raindrops to warn of its coming, just a torrent of water like a curtain falling from the sky. Kendal knew it would be over quickly but they’d have to stop until it did. He turned and faced her.

“We’ll have to wait it out,” he shouted above the noise of the thunderous rain and pulled her off the path he was following towards a fallen tree.

She nodded and lowered herself down to sit on the tree trunk, cupping her hands to catch some water.

“Use your bra, you’ll catch more water in it than your hands.”

His tone was serious, so she slid her hands under her top and removed it and placed the cups inside each other and held it out in the rain to collect the water. When she’d quenched her own thirst she handed the underwear to the man at her side.

“Sorry, about the size, you’ll have to fill it more than once.”

He smiled in the darkness, aware that the humour was to cover her embarrassment.

“At least it’s more than if you were Keira Knightly.”

She turned at his words, realising suddenly how close he was.

“Is it much further to where your gear has been left?”

“About five klicks or so.”


“Means kilometres. So, I guess about three miles.” He didn’t ask if she could make it, she had no choice. And once there they would get kitted up and move on.

The rain stopped as quickly as it had started.

He stood and hauled her to her feet.

“Stick close, the ground is going to be treacherous.”

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