Captive of Fate

Captive of Fate by Lindsay McKenna Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Captive of Fate by Lindsay McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lindsay McKenna
smiled benignly, hesitating. “Just wake up?”
    Ignoring his genial tone, Alanna frowned darkly and turned her back toward him. She heard him walking over to her and tensed as he halted at her side.
    “I thought you might like to know we got the kids down off the mountain. They’re probably in San Jose by now,” he said, checking his watch. “It’s nearly eleven o’clock.”
    “I’m surprised you’re concerned about them at all,” she stated icily, standing and folding the blankets. Fervently, she hoped her ruse would throw him off the track. She didn’t want to discuss the kiss or invite further advances on his part. If she pretended not to understand their uneasy truce of the night before, it might keep him stymied so she could complete her investigation. He was much safer to deal with as an enemy. This morning, logic would dictate her decisions.
    “What do you mean?”
    Alanna stole a glance at him. He looked and sounded puzzled by her accusation. “That radioman was right, you’re all crazy!” And she gave the last blanket a tight fold, throwing it on top of the sleeping bag. “You men remind me of boys who never grew up, Colonel. Little boys in uniform. Well, the uniform might fool some people, but not me.”
    He frowned, his gray eyes darkening with an indecipherable emotion. “Of course we cared about the kids,” he snapped back. “What the hell do you think we made that trip up there for?”
    She stuffed her feet into her shoes, pointedly remaining silent. Today she intended to count the rest of the supplies and then go up to San Dolega and find out if they were all arriving from the base camp. She heard him walking toward her, and Alanna spun around, cringing away from him, her back against the wall. “Don’t touch me,” she warned.
    He halted, glowering down at her. “What’s gotten into you, Alanna? One minute you’re warm, responsible. The next—”
    “A bitch,” she finished, grabbing her coat and shrugging it on. “And you’re going to find out the hard way, Colonel. I’m through with all your tricks. I’m only going to say this once—I want to go up to that village later today. You had better provide me with transportation.”
    “It’s out of the question and you know it. You’re stuck here whether you like it or not.”
    She felt her fury slipping as she watched the puzzlement grow in his eyes. Good, let him get into a quandary. It was his turn. “You’re going to find out just how much political clout I’ve got behind me,” she gritted coldly and walked quickly out of the room, wanting to be as far away from him as possible.
    *
    The rain began again at two o’clock, just as she finished counting the crates in the final building. Resting momentarily, she felt the weariness but ignored it. It was time to confront Colonel Breckenridge. In the makeshift building that housed Costa Rican police personnel, she was provided with dispatches she had been expecting from Washington. Armed with them, she went directly to the Colonel’s quarters, feeling the tiredness slip from her shoulders to be replaced by a sense of power.
    She found the Colonel back at his desk poring over several bills of lading and attempting to handle an argument between two Costa Ricans who were squabbling noisily. Alanna leaned back against the door momentarily, a grim smile on her face. He looked absolutely frustrated. Finally, he looked up, his eyes lighting with pleasure at the sight of her.
    “I need your linguistic ability,” he coaxed. “Come over here and interpret for me, will you? Either that, or I’m going to throw both of them out the front door.”
    She hesitated, thinking of the fiery kiss he had placed on her lips the day before. She hadn’t forgotten it for one hour or one minute since then. “It will cost you, Colonel,” she warned as she sauntered over.
    “If you can get these two off my back,” he answered grimly, “you can have the moon if you want.”
    “What I want will be

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