There was no way in hell this wasn't going to get ugly. I was in the middle of Nicaragua, the rest of my team was dead and it was two hundred miles to where I had left the lone support member in Costa Rica. I work for Centaur Security. We provide safe work environments in hostile situations, hostage rescue and paramilitary support for corporations around the world. This was supposed to be a little of both the first two. Our competitors had been guarding the oil compound and there had been a massive security failure. A group of guerilla fighters had hit the compound. They wiped out the security forces and took over the compound. There were hostages, including the CEO of the company, his daughter and four geologists.
When I got involved it had been ten days since the attack. I dropped in with a team of six and we took up positions. At three in the morning we made our move and it was a good one. Unfortunately, I had a newbie on my team. He was an ex-military type and thought he was a cowboy. He saw a group of six of the guerillas and opened fire. He got them but it was like kicking an ant's nest. They came boiling out and we killed them like flies for ten minutes. After that we started dying. I shot the cowboy myself when my last old timer went down. Now I was just interested in getting away. I ducked into a building and there were three of them inside. I took a bullet in my left thigh before I got them. When I burst through the door into the last room on my way out the back I saw her. She was handcuffed to the bed and she was alive. I hesitated for a minute. She was gagged and blindfolded and shaking. I unlocked the cuffs and took off the blindfold. I left the gag on.
"I'm here to rescue you," I told her. "Are any of the others alive?"
She shook her head. "What about your father?" I asked. She began to cry hysterically and shook her head again. "Are you hurt?" I asked her. Another shake of her head. I pulled her up and we went out the back door like our tails were on fire. I headed south as quick as I could manage with my bum leg. She wasn't much faster with her hands still behind her and the gag on. When we stopped she began to make sounds. I motioned her to whisper and took the handcuffs off. She pulled the gag off and panted for a while.
"Thanks for coming," she said. "You're a little late for the rest of them."
"What happened?" I asked her.
"They figured out there wasn't going to be a ransom," she said. "They were going to sell me. There was some kind of big shot that was coming in tomorrow they were going to sell me to. I heard the shooting; where are the rest of your men?"
"They're dead," I told her. "We're going to be dead if we don't hump it out of here."
"Is there a chopper coming to get us?" she asked.
"Well, that was the plan," I said. "That went to hell when Jenkins went down. He had the radio and I don't feel like going back to get it."
"Christ, what kind of incompetents are you," she asked. "Are you telling me we're out here in the jungle and we're going to have to walk out?"
"I guess you could still be back there handcuffed to a bed," I told her. "Maybe you'd like to go back. Maybe the slaver coming tomorrow will give you a helicopter ride. Maybe to some nice place where a nice little white girl would be appreciated and given helicopter rides. Then, maybe after she was raped about a thousand times they'd give you a nice comfy grave to sleep in."
She opened and closed her mouth several times. Plainly she was furious and just as plainly she wasn't used to being talked to like that. I didn't give a damn. My leg was hurting like hell and I was going to have to use it. The bullet was still in there and I wasn't looking forward to taking it out.
"Who the hell do you think you are, talking to me like that," she started. "Do you know who I am?"
"Sure," I said. "You're a spoiled, arrogant, ungrateful little bitch that doesn't have a clue how bad this situation is. Now shut the fuck up and start walking!"
I limped off and when I looked back she was sitting down, her arms crossed and every bone in her body yelling stubbornness. I kept walking and when I disappeared into the trees I heard her coming.
"Wait," she called. "Don't leave me here you son-of-a-bitch. Come back here!"
I kept walking. She had quite a mouth on her. She cussed me up one side and down the other but she kept walking. After we had two hours and five miles behind us I sat down on a rock and gave her a drink. She drank half a canteen and I finished it off. I looked her over. She was a cute little thing. Under the dirt and sweat I could see she would clean up nice. She had long, strawberry blonde hair, dark brown eyes that were very large and angry looking right now. She had a cute little nose and full red lips that would have been very cute had they not been pulled into a frown.
She wasn't talking, for which I was grateful, and after we rested ten minutes, I started off again. We walked south the rest of the day and just before dark we came to a small river. It was a fairly clear one and I turned down it. We came to a clearing in the jungle after a few minutes. It had a game trail along one side and there was collared peccary drinking when we came to the edge of the trees. I screwed the silencer on my .45 and shot him twice. He dropped and I ran and cut his throat. I used a cord to pull him up on a limb and field dressed him. She looked like she was in shock.
"I can't believe you killed that cute little pig," she finally said.
I ignored her. She watched while I strung a tarp up to keep off the inevitable rain and started a fire. I found the kind of green sapling I wanted and two more with forks in them. I cut the back straps out of the peccary and impaled them on the sapling. I put it on the two forked branches and we had a nice spit to roast him on. There was a flat rock near the river and I sat on it while I boiled water. When it was rolling I took off my pants. The leg was soaked with blood and the bullet hole was oozing.
"My God," she said. "You've been shot! You were walking all day on that!"
"Yeah, I noticed," I growled. "You know anything about bullet wounds?"
"Actually, I do," she said. "I'm in medical school. I'm going to be a trauma surgeon."
"Good girl," I said. "Will you help me?"
"What do you want me to do?" she asked. "This isn't exactly an operating room."
"No," I laughed. "You're not exactly a doctor and I'm not exactly an emergency room patient. We'll just have to make do." I could feel the bullet on the back of my thigh. "I need you to cut this bullet out. It won't be hard; you can see it. Then I need you to sew me up. I have alcohol. We'll pour that in. I have suture materials too."
"I've never really operated on anything but a dead cat," she said.
"I'm going to be a dead cat if we don't get this cleaned up," I laughed. "You'll do fine. Help me, please."
I got the boiling water and put the supplies on the rock. I poured alcohol on a scalpel out of the medical kit and held it out. I lay on my belly on the rock and she hesitantly made the cut. I could feel the bullet pop out and then there was pain when she cleaned the wound. She stitched it up and I rolled onto my back. There was a lot more pain when she cleaned and stitched up the wound on the front of my thigh. I was lucky it hadn't hit a bone or a big artery. I got up and took my pants down to the stream to wash out the blood. Nothing came out of the water to eat me so I stripped off and walked to my backpack. I could feel her eyes following me. I got a bar of soap out and waded out into the river at a shallow spot. I bathed, washing away the blood on my thigh and washing out my clothes. She stood on the bank and watched me.
"How long since you had a bath?" I asked her.
"Days," she said. "I smell worse than that pig you killed."
"Come on in," I told her. "It's cool, but it's clean."
"I'm not taking my clothes off in front of you," she said.
"Ok, suit yourself," I said. "We're going to be together for weeks. The pig is going to be a delicious bouquet of fragrance compared to you by the time we get there. There won't always be somewhere to take a bath."
"I'll wait until you're finished," she said. "You can turn your back."
"Forget it," I said. "You don't have any soap anyway."
"I can use yours," she said. "I sewed you up and cut out that bullet."
"Yes, and I saved you from slavery," I told her. "I'll call that even. I'm going to protect you until we get out of this."
"You're an asshole," she said. "Are you telling me that you're going to make me take off my clothes or you won't let me use the soap?"
"No, I was just kidding you," I laughed. "I'll let you use the soap, but I'm not turning my back. I'll get out and I won't watch much. I'm going to keep an eye on you though. Something might come up out of the river and eat you. I'm not going to let that happen."
"What might be there," she asked.
"An alligator, a crocodile, a boa constrictor or a jaguar might come out of the jungle," I told her. If you stay in the shallows here you should avoid the first two."
.... There is more of this story ...