Commandante Ivana Cantora felt the eyes of everyone in the compound follow her as she stepped across the bloody and broken ground. Her men, pumped from combat, silently lusted after her. They wanted her, their hunger sharpened by the knowledge that they could not have her. She pulled her shoulders back, straining the worn fatigue blouse as it tried to contain her generous bust, and strode through the smoking ruins. Two hours ago this compound had housed a school and clinic operated by a missionary group. Now the clinic was in flames, its doctors dead or taken prisoner, and the school a smoldering ruin. The mission at Agua Dulce was closed.
A scruffy but heavily armed man shuffled quickly toward her and saluted stiffly. "Si Commandante?"
"Did you get the girl?"
"Si, Commandante. We have sent her back to San Isidro as you ordered."
"Good. Make sure she stays in isolation and notify the Revolutionary Council."
The prisoners watched her with fear. She stopped in front of a small cluster of prisoners. They had been the clinic staff, doctors, and schoolteachers. Now they huddled, wrists bound behind them, coughing from the smoke and sobbing. She fingered the safety switch on her sub-machine gun as she looked over the pitiful group. Fear and power. Two powerful aphrodisiacs.
It had been a good day and Ivana was very pleased with herself. The girl was the only one that was important. The gringos would pay handsomely to get her back. The rest weren't worth what it would cost to truck them back to town.
She looked over the group. Wrinkling her nose, she picked several of the men. "Not much to choose from today." Addressing the soldier in charge of the group, she gave him her orders "Bring him. And him... and him, " she said pointing to three prisoners. "Have the rest dig graves. Then make sure that you use plenty of lime this time, Domingo. I don't want any mistakes."
A soldier hustled the three men the Commandante had selected to one of the trucks. One of the prisoners, his eyes wide with fear, was nearly hysterical as he was pushed into the bed of the truck.
"Wha... Where are we going?"
The guard silenced him with a slap.
"Shut up. One of you lucky boys will get to fuck Commandante Ivana." The soldier braced himself as the truck lurched forward. "The other two will get to die quickly."
The morning was already bright, hot, and humid. Ivana walked from the shower. Her light brown skin glowed from scrubbing. She looked at the handcuffs hanging from the rail at the head of her bed and smiled. He had been a school teacher and a more than adequate lover. The guards had taken him away while she bathed. The knowledge that they would be spreading the lime over his body didn't bother her a bit as she tied her robe's belt snugly around her slim waist.
She was already thinking of the Claxton girl as the orderly brought her coffee. The girl's family was said to have offered over twenty million dollars for her return. It was her ticket out of San Isidro and into the halls of power, possibly all the way to the Council itself.
"Bring me the gringa," she ordered.
Within moments she was looking down on the cringing slip of a girl. Ivana walked around the girl and let her fingertips trail over the girl's short blonde hair, slender hips, and small round breasts. Returning to her chair, Ivana crossed her arms and fixed the girl with a hard look.
"Strip." Ivana smiled as the girl took off her clothing like an automaton. "Until I tell you otherwise, your name will be Anastacia and you will help me in a little plan of mine."
The girl stood naked in front of the desk. Her skin was pale where her clothes had shielded her from the sun. She shivered despite the heat and she rubbed the goosebumps that covered her arms.
"Stand up straight," Ivana commanded. She slipped a hand inside her robe as she admired her captive's pert nipples.
"Beautiful," Ivana said, half to herself. "What is your name?"
The poor girl never saw Ivana's coffee cup as it sailed across the room to strike her shoulder and spray hot coffee all over the side of her face.
"Nooo," Ivana screamed. "You are Anastacia Claxton, rich Yanqui cunt and counter- revolutionary whore."
The girl shook like a lab animal, trapped and alone.
"And if you don't want to join your friends, you'll do you what you're told until I tell you different."
The girl nodded numbly.
"In the meantime." Ivana's smile died before it reached her eyes. She pulled her robe open. "Come over here. It's time you learned some of your other duties."
Simon woke to his alarm's blaring bell. Slapping the clock into silence, he stared at the ceiling in the dim light. The house was as quiet as a tomb. He didn't look at the empty half of the bed were Arabella should have been. She'd left without a word or note almost a month ago. Standing at the bathroom sink, he looked at his bleary reflection. He kept telling himself that he'd get used to being alone again in time. The question was when the time would come. He figured that he was still in pretty good shape for a desk pushing bureaucrat in his mid-thirties. He'd gone through his morning routine in total silence and was just about to leave the house when he found himself staring at three policemen walking up to his doorstep.
The shortest cop spoke first. "Excuse me Mr. Woodsman. Can we ask you a few questions?"
Simon looked at their police cruiser blocking the driveway. "I guess so," he said, stepping out on to the porch and shutting the door behind him. He felt vaguely uneasy as he looked at their rumpled uniforms and bad shaves.
The short cop spoke again. "Do you live here alone sir?"
"Right now I do."
"Where are the other tenants?"
Simon watched as the other two cops left them and walked around the house. "Please ask your men to stay out of the flower beds." Shorty, as Simon thought of him, didn't react. "My fiancé has gone to stay with her grandmother for a while."
As silently as they had left, the two cops reappeared at Shorty's flanks. "Thank you sir," Shorty said as he turned and walked back down the drive.
Simon waited until they had left to check around the house. He saw by their tracks that Shorty's companions had looked into windows and tried the back gate. His shirt stuck to his back and his collar felt tight as he climbed into his car. Somebody was looking for Arabella. He needed some help. The first thing Simon did when he got to work was to phone Juliet.
"Hey fairy godmother, I'm buying lunch in exchange for a little advice."
Sitting in a little coffee shop Simon told Juliet about his encounter with the three false cops. She watched him without saying a word. Putting the mug down, she ran her tongue around her dark red lips before speaking.
"Sweetie, I think you're right," she said, digging through her purse and retrieving her cigarette case and lighter.
"But why? Why now?," Simon felt bile rise in the back of his throat.
Juliet leaned back to light a cigarette. Not for the first time, Simon was reminded of the old film-noir vids; the voluptuous femme fatale using her lush beauty to distract the hero. Blowing a cloud of blue smoke over her shoulder, Juliet waved her hand as if discussing something inconsequentially simple.
"The Provisional Government is trying to go legit. Clean up its act. Hide the embarrassing little blemishes like gun running politicians and local rebellions." She paused to consider her immaculately manicured dragon-red nails. "Sounds like someone wants to make sure that Arabella doesn't show up on the evening news saying something that might upset the little people."
Simon squirmed in his chair. A young lady appeared at Juliet's shoulder and handed her a note. Distracted, Simon only noticed the visitor as she was leaving the table.
He changed the subject. "I didn't realize that you'd gotten a new assistant. What happened to Dee?"
"Oh, you know. She moved on. Charlene's been with me for about two weeks now." She put her cigarette out. "But look, sweetie, why don't you take a vacation? I've got a little job you're perfect for down in Puerto Grande. Go someplace warm and sunny and take your mind off this shit for a little while."
Simon's eyes followed Charlene's svelte form around the room. "No. I've got too much work to do here." He got up to leave. "Thanks for coming to lunch and listening to me bitch and moan."
"You watch out for yourself. And try to relax a little. Get laid for Christ's sake. You look like you need it."
"Yeah. Sure. Thanks," Simon mumbled as he picked up the check.
Back at work, Simon shrugged off Juliet's advice and occupied himself with the details of his job for the rest of the day. Finally, at almost seven o'clock, the cleaning lady's appearance reminded him that he needed to go home, for sleep and food if nothing else.
He made his way to the parking lot and tossed his briefcase into the passenger seat. He had just sat down behind the steering wheel when he heard a noise, like a car backfiring, and the driver's side window shattered. His instincts took over and he dove out of the car. Another spider web grew on the windshield, right where his head had been seconds before.
Scuttling backward on all fours, Simon stayed behind the parking lot's low brick wall. He hoped that the sniper, whoever and where ever he was, would still be watching the car. Simon crawled, painfully scraping his elbows and knees on the asphalt until he could run behind the cover of the building. His heart thumped against his rib cage as he caught his breath, a feeling that he hadn't felt for months. Not since the end of the war.
It took almost an hour for Simon to make his way through back streets and dark alleys to Juliet's office. He knew that she lived in an apartment in the rear of the building but he had no idea if she'd be home. The door opened after his second ring. Simon stumbled through his welcome, his relief tempered when he saw that the woman on the threshold was too slender to be Juliet.
"You must be Charlene," he stammered. "I'm Simon Woodsman. Is Juliet home? It's an emergency."
Charlene stepped back and let him in without comment, even if she did raise an eyebrow at his stained and disheveled appearance. Juliet was lounging in the living room in a short satin robe, obviously fresh from the shower.
"Charlie, pour the man a drink." Juliet leaned back on the couch and exposed a generous amount of one of her tan thighs. "Simon, you look like you've crawled to hell and back. Take off that jacket and tell me what's going on."
Simon tried to tell the story but, not for the first time, he was drawn to Juliet's amazingly lush body like a moth to a flame. Her long, tan legs seemed to draw his eyes upward to the dark junction between her thighs, barely covered by the short robe. He tried to look at her face but the collar of her gaping robe funneled his attention down the deep valley between Juliet's melon sized breasts.
Juliet laughed at him. "Shit, Charlie, there's a man for you. He's just escaped death. Nearly had his head blown off, and before he can catch his breath, his dick's taken control." She took a sip of her drink. "You're either going to trip over your tongue or your pecker if you keep staring at my tits like that."
Simon blushed as Charlie giggled. Juliet ran one of her long, red fingernails under her robe, teasing a nipple until it dented the satin coverlet.
"I've still got that vacation trip down to the islands. Puerto Grande's beautiful this time of year," she said in her familiar husky whisper. "Just do me this favor and go. It'll get you out of town. I'll find out what's going on and then you come home. No sweat."
Simon took a gulp of his drink. The whiskey lit a warm trail down to his stomach. He felt driven, like an animal into a trap. He looked at the caramel color liquor and swirled it around his glass. Finally he smiled.
"How can I refuse such a beautiful lady? When do I leave?"
"Right away, sweetie. Charlene will take care of you and see that you've got everything you need. After you've cleaned up, she'll take you to the airport and you'll be on your way."
The matter settled; Charlene scooted Simon into the next room to let him clean up. She came back in a few moments and looked at Juliet expectantly. Juliet poured herself another tumbler full of scotch.
"Charlie, after you take Mr. Woodsman to the airport, be a dear and clean the rifle."
Simon looked out at the dark city as Charlene drove him to the airport. She had started talking about finding lost girls and jungle rebels as soon as they had pulled on to the highway, but Simon's mind was elsewhere. His eyes kept returning to hers. They were dark blue, almost purple, and her willowy body was tantalizingly close.
Simon choked back a laugh. "She looks like a college co-ed driving her old uncle to the airport," he thought.
"You're not laughing at me, are you?" she asked.
"No no," Simon caught himself before he patted her leg in some sort of benevolent way, "Just thinking about something."
Thinking that maybe Juliet was right, he said to himself. Somebody's trying to assassinate me, and all I can think of doing is getting into some sweet young girl's pants.
Charlene smiled toward him and said, "It's OK. Everything is in the briefing packet. You can read it on the plane but you'd better not try to carry any weapons. The customs folks might start asking questions you'd rather not have to answer."
Simon turned the thin brown packet over in his hands. Weapon? Hell, he was a tourist, with one carry-on bag and a suit torn at the knees, going for a vacation in a war zone. Christ, anybody with half a brain would be asking questions.
Five hours later, in Puerto Grande's capitol, Paulus Hooke stepped out of the air- conditioned building and stood next to the busy tropical street. Humidity descended on him like a blanket and he felt the creases in his starched shirt melt as he waited for his ride. The noise of the traffic enveloped him.
"Paradise," he thought, "hot, sticky, and loud."
A big American SUV pulled up; dominating the street like a small tank with tinted windows. Paulus got in and adjusted the vent, turning the air conditioning up to full blast. He preened in the mirror, mopping his forehead with a pressed linen handkerchief and checking that his slicked-back coiffure had survived his stay on the street. The driver, a skinny, swarthy man with a ponytail and a pair of gold teeth, nervously tapped his fingers against the steering wheel in a vaguely samba beat.
"Stop fidgeting Ramirez. Our friends in the Revolutionary Council haven't forgotten us," Hooke said with a cynical chuckle.
"We got another job, boss?"
Ramirez's eyes shifted between Hooke and the road. "Like a rat caught between a block of cheese and a hungry cat," Hooke thought.
Ramirez chattered on. "After we had to dump that load of guns I figured we'd be mining bird shit for the rest of our lives."
Hooke brushed off the comment as if he was picking lint from his silk sleeve. "Favors, dear boy, favors make the world go round." He checked his cufflinks. "I made a few phone calls. Got us a nice gig. A nice, relaxed job this time," Hooke said as he inspected his fingernails. He sat back, satisfied that, for the time being, his impeccable attire was intact. "We're going for the big score. I'm through running guns or capping fat politicos in front of their mistresses. And once we're set up, maybe we'll go back to the States. Plenty of opportunities left there for a man with my talents."
Ramirez drove and watched the gringo mercenary out of the corner of his eye. They'd been working together for over a year and he knew better than to interrupt his dapper boss when he was talking weird gringo shit.
"We're going up in the mountains to save some rich gringo's puta hija." Hooke sounded as if he was planning a day at the beach.
"What's our end?"
"The cream off of 20 million gringo do-lar-ayes."
"And the girl?"
"She's playing Florence Nightingale in the mountains above some shit hole called San Isidro. You have any idea where that might be?"
Ramirez stopped tapping on the steering wheel and looked at Paulus. "Yeah, boss. Rough country. I used to fly the narco planes in and out of the valleys. Now it's run by a woman named Ivana Cantora."
"She's the one that likes to kill those foreign doctors, isn't she?"
"Yeah, una loca. Crucifies some of them. Shoots the ones she fucks in the back of the head. But the Revolutionary Council loves her. She's crazier than they are."
"Stop worrying, compadre. We'll be in and out of her little corner of hell so fast she'll never know that we were ever there."
Hooke had been working his deals when Simon had arrived in Puerto Grande. He walked through the dusty, almost deserted airport. Bearded men with automatic weapons stared at him as he walked through customs, one of only five travelers to get off the plane. The terminal was changing, just as the city had changed. Revolutionary slogans and pictures of dead communists were crowding out posters of old tourism campaigns. Once upon a time, Puerto Grande had been known for beaches and fun. But the Troubles had come to Paradise, he thought as he drove himself inland from the capitol city to the mountains. "Vacations suck," he muttered.
His new clothes felt stiff, as if they still weren't his. The jeep's air conditioning hadn't made it past the city limits and the warm air rushing in through the window felt like he was sticking his face into a hair dryer. Simon struggled to read his map while navigating through the chaotic traffic. If the city had been bad, with its rivers of traffic flowing and swirling without benefit of traffic lanes or stop lights, the countryside that he had driven through for the last three hours was worse. Overloaded trucks, buses with every manner of livestock hanging from windows, and the occasional animal cart all jockeyed for position on the narrow pitted asphalt. He queued for a checkpoint and watched a bus negotiate a narrow bridge.
He used the "evening rush hour" delay to review the information Charlene had given him. From the brief, Simon knew that Ambassador Claxton and his family were dead, killed in a rebel ambush during the Troubles. All except for the girl. Her name was Anastacia. She had been volunteering at a church-run clinic when her family was killed by a car bomb. The picture showed a slender blonde girl standing with her family. For the last two years, the girl had been thought dead as well but a recent report placed her in the mountains, near a village called San Isidro. His job was to find the girl and make sure she stayed safe while Juliet arranged for a gift - a ransom really - to be delivered to the counter-revolutionaries that held the girl prisoner. Twenty million dollars in gold.
Juliet's vacation plans had him driving into the mountains. Once he had located Miss Claxton through a search of the missions and clinics that dotted the countryside, he just had to make a call and give the code phrase. A little military airstrip near Anastacia's hospital would be where the cargo would be delivered. All he had to do was find her.
Lights in the rearview mirror caught his attention. An army convoy came up fast from behind and he waited off the road to let them pass. Simon watched as the two trucks full of soldiers bounced past him, their heavy axles making rough work of the unpaved surface. Behind them, a dust and mud covered SUV kept pace. Its darkened windows kept its occupants anonymous.
The convoy had just cleared the other side of the bridge, but Simon hadn't had a chance to pull back on to the road when the first explosion shook the ground. The first truck had turned into a fireball. Troops jumped out of the back of the second truck and tried to get organized but were easily dispatched by the staccato fire of assault rifles. The SUV slid to a halt and was quickly surrounded.
Before Simon could react, his jeep was also surrounded. Simon carefully kept his hands in plain view as he climbed out of the vehicle and was hustled across the bridge to join the other two prisoners. Some guerillas started shooting the wounded government soldiers. Simon started to get worried.
Joining the little group of prisoners, Simon stared at the tall blonde man that the soldiers had pulled from the SUV. The man's pressed linen suit shone amid the grubby faded green fatigues that the rebels wore. Something in the back of his mind told Simon that they had met before and he struggled to place the other man's face. Suddenly, Simon remembered where he had seen the man before. His name was Hooke and the last time they'd met the police had been carrying him away on a stretcher with a head wound.
Hooke returned Simon's stare, his eyes like two chips of broken glass. "How's your girlfriend? Red head wasn't she?"
Simon started to reply when the second truck's gas tank exploded. Everyone flattened themselves on to the ground and small bits of burning canvas and metal rained down on them. One of the guards shouted. Simon tried to crane his neck, but another guard pinned him to the road with a boot on his neck. From what Spanish he understood, Simon realized that the third prisoner had escaped. Unfortunately, that made the guards angry, and he and Hooke were beaten with rifle butts as they were searched.
Their hands tied in front of them; Simon and Hooke were marched into the jungle. They were forced to climb the steep, slippery tracks, often helped along with a rifle butt between the shoulder blades. As they worked their way up a steep ravine, they saw a cluster of canvas tents arranged in rows on either side of the path. Their escort stopped them in front of one of the large tents and forced Simon and Hooke to kneel.
Simon looked up to see a dirty, tattered flag draped on a pole in front of the tent before his escort cuffed him behind the ear and forced his head down into a more submissive position. There was an exchange in rapid Spanish. A pair of canvas combat boots stopped in front of Hooke.
"You are a mercenary." Hooke didn't reply and was rewarded with a rifle butt in the back, leaving him sprawled on the ground. "Traje a la arbol."
Without knowing why, Simon heard himself speak. "Wait. He's worth more to you alive."
He was knocked flat with a kick to his kidneys. Looking up from the mud, he saw men drag Hooke away. Their leader looked feverish, a far off light dilating his eyes. Those eyes turned to Simon with a disdainful look.
"He is an enemy of the Republic and will die for his sins against her people."
The man dismissed the topic and posed in front of Simon with his hands clasped behind his back. Despite the military costume, Simon saw a skinny youth. His thin, patchy beard made him look more like a college coffee shop philosopher than a counter-revolutionary guerrilla. Simon noticed that the leader's eyes looked bloodshot, his face haggard and sweating.
"And you se-or. What are you and why are you here?" The young man continued to use the tone of a teacher giving a lecture.
The look in his eyes made Simon consider his words before the escort could apply their usual persuasion.
"I am here as an agent of the Claxton family and the US Provisional Government. My job is to find Anastacia Claxton, secure her release, and return with her to the US."
"And why should I let you live? You were traveling with the rebel pigs and their hired killer."
"I was driving to a place called Agua Dulce when your men ambushed a passing government convoy. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am working alone, trying to contact Miss Claxton. When I find her, her family has authorized me to offer a $20 million reward for her safe return." The young man didn't answer immediately but stared off into the jungle. Simon pressed on. "That sort of money could do a movement like yours a lot of good," he said.
The man nodded to the escort. The guerrilla leader walked back into his tent as Simon's bonds were cut. Simon followed him inside the tent. An ornate brass crucifix dominated the small room.
"We don't need your money, senor. It always comes with too many strings. I am Colonel Raul Javier Dominguez Santosa of the Army of the Republic of Puerto Grande. I represent the island's legitimate government, not the communist pigs that have taken the capitol."
The guerrilla sat behind a field table, his eyes fixed on the cross.
"I will not be bought. You will not find your Miss Claxton here."
Simon felt acid pour into his stomach. "Colonel, I can offer your army and your republic a number of benefits in return for your assistance."
"Yesterday," Colonel Raul spoke in a rush, "the Marxist rebels destroyed a clinic at the village of Agua Dulce. I believe that Anastacia Claxton worked there with the missionaries. If she is still alive, she would have been taken to the commandancia at San Isidro, a prisoner of the debauched bitch that calls herself the commander of this area."
Simon nodded. "With your permission I will go there tomorrow." He noticed Hooke's billfold that the Colonel had pushed to one side of his desk. "Could I also notify the rebels of the deaths of their soldiers?"
Raul tossed the wallet at Simon dismissively and stood to pace around the tent. "The mercenary will take days to die on the tree. I find that watching a man dying of thirst has a remarkable effect on their men as well as my own."
Simon watched the Colonel like a man eyes a rabid dog; disgust mixed with an equal part of fear
Colonel Raul puffed out his thin chest, his hands clasped behind his back, again acting the part of the teacher. "We are fighting a revolution, senor. It is not the place for the weak hearted." The Colonel rang a little bell and a female soldier appeared at the tent's door. "Theresa will take you to your tent. You can leave tomorrow morning. Until then I would not recommend that you leave your accommodations."
Simon tossed his shirt on the end of the cot. "Glad I'm traveling light," he said to the slender woman Raul had assigned to guide him around the camp. She stood quietly, watching him with her hands behind her back.
"There wouldn't happen to be a place to take a shower around here, would there?" he said.
Silently, she poured some tepid water from a pitcher into a basin and arranged a threadbare wash cloth on a field table.
Instead of leaving to let him bathe, she reached for the buckle of her web belt. "Would you like my help, senor?"
Her invitation was unmistakable. Southern hospitality was never like this, he thought as he looked at the small, curvy, woman. She looked as if she didn't have an ounce of fat on her body but all the curves were still in the right places. The result was that she looked womanly, rather than like an adolescent girl.
"You don't have to do this," he said half-heartedly.
Her face showed no expression. "The Colonel told me to make sure you had everything you need."
A twinge of guilt flickered through his mind, but it was quickly smothered by the memory of the empty side of the bed. Arabella's side of the bed. And then there had been Saffron's shrill accusation that he was imprisoning Arabella, trying to chain her to him with a wedding ring. Shaking the past from his mind, he took off his sweaty T- shirt and dropped it on the ground.
"Well then, thank you. I'm sure I wouldn't mind some help. Especially in those tough to reach spots."
Her web belt hit the tent floor with a soft clank. Any pretense of bathing evaporated as soon as she unbuckled his belt. Simon gently held her head in one hand, keeping her dark brown eyes locked on his blue ones. They stood standing, so close to each other that his prick, thick and stiff as an anchor cable, rubbed against the rough fabric of here trousers.
They pulled each other's clothes off unhurriedly, arranging themselves on to the camp bed. Simon spread her legs in a wide vee and entered her without preamble or attempt at gentleness. He fucked like a machine, silent and relentless. His body moved on autopilot; his brain in neutral. He watched her respond to his deep steady thrusts, almost mesmerized by his guide's taut brown breasts and the rhythmic slapping of their bodies as they collided. He was tireless, driving himself into her wiry black thatch like a pile driver. His thrusts reached her innermost depths and he felt his cock collide with her womb.
She babbled in Spanish, urging him on as she craned her neck to watch his thick pole as it plunged in and out of her body. Her fingers clawed at his biceps, pulling him into her.
Simon gritted his teeth as he felt his control start to slip away. His cock swelled and his hips moved like a trip hammer. He felt sweat roll off his face on to his neck and felt raw, masculine power surge through him. The force of his orgasm staggered him and he grabbed the edge of the cot for support. Theresa clamped her legs around his waist and held him inside her.
They lay still, their bodies sticking to each other, without saying a word. When she finally let him roll off of her sweaty body, he stood at the side of the cot and felt a surge of pride as she scooped the remnants of his cum from his cock to taste his seed.
Simon made his way back to the washstand on shaky legs. Returning, he started with her face and gently bathed her body, silently soothing her tender flesh. She returned the favor, still without a word spoken, before she dressed and left Simon alone in the tent. The tent reeked of sweat and sex, trapped by the canvas and the night's humidity.
He lay back on the cot. Tomorrow, he thought, he would go visit the local commandancia and, disguised as Captain Hooke, look for news of Anastacia Claxton.
Simon slept soundly that night, not knowing that the missing heiress he sought was closer than he could have imagined.
"Raul? Where are you?" Anastacia breezed into the tent peeling layers of filthy clothing off with every step.
Raul emerged from the tent's antechamber, his bare chest shining from his interrupted bath.
"Where have you been?" he said.
"Santa Antonia. Difficult birth." She moved past him and splashed water on her face, still talking about her day. "The family had walked almost ten miles to find me. I don't think the mother will make it. I wish we still had the clinic."
Raul hadn't heard a word that she'd said. "Two gringos arrived today." Anastacia spun around.
"What did they want?" she asked as she stripped off the dirty work shirt and used it to mop the sweat from between her breasts before tossing it into a corner of the canvas walled room.
Raul handed her a damp washcloth. He sat on the edge of the cot to watch Anastacia bathe, ignoring her question. She cupped her breasts and offered them to him but, when he leaned forward to taste her pale pink nipples, she covered them with her hands.
"What did they want?" she repeated.
He pulled a fake pout and leaned back on the cot. "They were both looking for you. Headhunters." She raised an eyebrow and let one nipple show through her fingers. He sat up on the edge of the cot once again, like a child eager for its favorite treat. "One was a mercenary for the communistas. The other a Yanqui federalista bounty hunter sent by your family."
Anastacia slipped out of her field pants and stood in her panties, watching Raul. She wrung out the washcloth and washed below her belly button. His eyes watched the cloth trace the elastic line.
"Where is the mercenary?" she asked.
"I had him crucified. He was one of the murderers that killed the Chief Justice. His picture was in all of the papers."
She slid out of her underwear and put her foot on the cot beside his leg. The washcloth dipped into the crease between her thigh and her body and spiraled around her furry mound.
"What did you do with the American?"
"He's with Theresa. I was waiting to talk with you before deciding what to do with him."
She put the cloth aside and crawled on to the bed beside him. She burrowed her face into his neck.
"When are you going to tell them that I'm here? You know I won't go with them." She kissed his cheek. "I'd never leave you."
She kissed her way across his chest and slid between his legs, her hand caressing the bulge in his well worn fatigues.
Raul pressed his hips forward, almost involuntarily. "They didn't seem like the type to ask. They were paid to bring you back." He groaned as she pulled his swollen member from its confines. "I didn't want you to get hurt."
Raul leaned back against the canvas wall; his arms quivering as Anastacia expertly worked her mouth over his long, thick cock. She tried to swallow his entire nine inch length but the angle prevented it from entering her throat and she gagged slightly. She looked up at him with a watery-eyed apology but he lifted her up and kissed her tears away.
She climbed up his body and straddled his lap. Leaning forward to kiss Raul, she guided his fleshy spike into her willing body. She rode him slowly at first so that she could feel the ridges of his cock as it spread her sensitive nether lips. But soon she was swept up in the feeling of pleasure and she plunged up and down his entire length. Her orgasm crashed through her and her entire body stiffened; her being focused on the wonderful feeling inside her. Anastacia collapsed on to Raul's chest. He held her close, kissing her gently as she caught her breath.
"Naughty boy," she teased. "You didn't cum yet." She climbed off his still hard pole with a throaty groan. Crouching between her knees, she grasped him by the base of his cock. "I know how to take your mind off those two gringos."
She put her mouth over the tip of his cock and hummed. Her right hand made a tight ring around his shaft and jacked him off with quick jerks.
"Cum on me," she used both hands on his pole. His balls contracted and his body went board stiff.
"Dios mio," Raul cried out.
Seed erupted from his purple headed hose. Anastacia stuck her tongue out to catch his spraying seed. Once the initial rush had subsided, she milked the last dribbles of cum from his cock, all the while telling him how good he tasted.
"You know that I'd never leave you," Anastacia murmured.
"The mercenary will die on the tree but I'll let the Yanqui go to San Isidro tomorrow and look for you there. The communists might not kill him but he'll still go home empty handed."
The tropical heat had almost overwhelmed the SUV's air conditioner by the time Simon, armed with Hooke's papers, arrived at the outskirts of San Isidro. From the way the guards bowed and scraped as they checked his papers at the police checkpoint, he was sure that the "debauched bitch" at the commandancia knew that he was coming. Acknowledging the guards' salute with a casual hand wave, Simon didn't have long to wait for his first look at the "bitch" herself.
A tall, well built, young woman in snug-fitting army fatigues waited to greet him at the main gate of the commandancia. Simon, remembering his role, stopped his vehicle in front of the stairs and casually tossed the keys to the soldier that held his door open. Simon studied his adversary as his climbed the stairs toward her, noting the aura of complete self-confidence about her.
"Welcome to San Isidro, Comrade Hooke. I am the district commander, Ivana Cantora."
Simon hesitated, remembering that this beautiful, black haired, woman had built her reputation by killing her lovers.
"I beg your pardon. Capitan, I knew of your reputation for efficiency but had not heard of your beauty."
Ivana took a second to calculate her response. Simon, sensing that he might have stepped too far outside of his assumed persona, quickly added, "I meant no offense. It was simply a compliment between comrades. You can be assured that I will tell the Revolutionary Council how impressively your district is run."
Ivana smiled, a calculated look. "Please allow me to offer you some refreshment, Comrade Hooke."
Simon followed her into a small conference room, quietly appraising her shapely rear end. Ivana offered him a toast of strong, raw tasting rum. By the time they had been served lunch, Ivana had downed three more shots of the fiery liquor. Along with the rum, Simon noticed that Ivana's blouse was losing its battle to contain her firm bosom. She watched him, hints of amusement playing around the corners of her doe-like eyes, as he ogled her big tits.
Simon tried to change the subject. "Tell me Comrade Cantora, are you aware of the details of my mission?"
There would be time enough for fucking later. He was afraid of making another mistake and had let Ivana do most of the talking. Now, he had to find the Claxton girl before Ivana got too drunk to tell him what he needed to know.
"Please call me Ivana, comrade," she said with her leering smile. She toyed with her shirt buttons, exposing her tan breasts. Satisfied that she had his attention, she sounded very proud of herself as she answered. "I have baited the trap with a false hostage and the Revolutionary Council has contacted the girl's family. The ransom will be paid here," she stabbed at a map on the wall with a fingernail.
"The Claxton girl is with a counter revolutionary cell in the mountains near the air strip. Rather than risk killing her in a direct assault, I will wait for the gringos to send the ransom. When the ransom comes the contras will try and take it, but my men and I will be waiting. We will capture the real Anastacia Claxton and then my men will accompany the two of you back to the capitol." Simon noticed that Ivana was watching him. "Until then, I will see to it that you are comfortably accommodated here in the commandancia."
She leaned forward and Simon noticed that her nipples had escaped from their confinement inside her blouse. His eyes were drawn to the dark brown circles lying on top of her coffee latte colored skin. She leaned closer to give him a better look. "My troops will be ready. Tomorrow."
"What the fuck do you want?" Hooke croaked, his parched throat protesting.
The young girl held up a canteen and a sponge.
"To give you some water."
She soaked the sponge and held it to his lips on the end of a stick. Hooke sucked hungrily at the life-giving liquid.
Seeing him sated for the moment, Anastacia stepped back and looked him in the face.