Hostage | Chapter 11 of 33 - Part: 1 of 8

Author: Kay Hooper | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 4037 Views | Add a Review

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FOUR

Luther Brinkman realized he was waking up even before he could force his eyelids to open, because he smelled coffee. It smelled wonderful.

He had no idea how long he’d been out, but his stomach felt empty and when he was finally able to open his eyes, the lids practically scraped across his corneas.

He’d been out a while. Quite a while.

“More than twenty-four hours. It’s around dawn. On Wednesday.”

He blinked several times, staring up at rough-hewn beams, turning her voice over in his mind.

Ah. The woman in the woods. The one with the shotgun.

Suddenly wary, he began to push himself up onto his elbows, biting back a sound of pain as his leg throbbed a protest. He was covered with a blanket but could feel the constriction of a bandage around his upper thigh.

A pillow was stuffed behind his head and shoulders, and a steaming cup placed in his hand. “You shouldn’t move very much just yet. You’d already lost a lot of blood, and I had to dig pretty deep to get that bullet out.”

She had to dig?

“You’re lucky, though. The bullet was right up next to bone but hadn’t damaged it as far as I could tell. And, luckily, it missed the femoral artery.”

When he was able to focus, he found her back to him as she poured herself a cup of coffee. All he could tell was that she wasn’t nearly as tall as he remembered but was nevertheless a tall woman, was slender in a thin, ribbed sweater and close-fitting jeans, and had long, very pale hair almost silver in color.

Tearing his gaze from her, he looked around to find himself in what appeared to be the main room of a log cabin that was less rustic than one might expect out here in these woods. He could see a hallway, so assumed a bathroom and probably a bedroom. A couple of oil lamps as well as battery-powered lights scattered around testified to the absence of electricity. This main room was on the small side and was divided by a long, narrow table into roughly two halves: cooking/dining and a comfortable living room.

Luther was on the couch. A comfortable couch.

The place was spare, but rather cheery, with a brisk fire in the big stone fireplace and thick, colorful rugs scattered on the wide-planked wood floor. Plain linen curtains covered a couple of small windows. A hunting trophy, the head of a ten-point buck, was mounted above the fireplace, but it was the only sign this might be a hunter’s cabin. On other walls, innocuous prints of peaceful mountain landscapes provided the decor.

Beyond the table where his rescuer stood, he could see a compact kitchenette that looked clean and well organized. Something that smelled good enough to make his mouth water bubbled in a pot on a gas stove. Stew, maybe, or soup. Whatever it was, his stomach growled a longing.

Remembering the coffee cup in his hand, he lifted it and took a cautious sip. As he savored the strong taste he preferred, he caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of his eye and turned his head.

A dog lay on a thick rug near the door, watching him fixedly.

A very big black-and-tan dog, heavily muscled.

A Rottweiler.

“His name is Cesar,” she said. “You should thank him. From here, it’s an almost continuous climb to Jacoby’s cabin. I never could have gotten you back down here without him. He’s trained to pull a litter.”

Luther thought the dog could probably have pulled a semi, but he didn’t say so. Instead, he looked at the woman, now facing him.

There was something curiously . . . unreal . . . about her. The pale hair that wasn’t platinum blond or gray or white but truly silver, almost metallic. The heart-shaped face with delicate features, not beautiful but somehow infinitely memorable. Dark, dark eyes. Hypnotic, those eyes.

He guessed she was in her early thirties, less because the few lines in her face hinted at maturity than because there was a curious stillness and serenity about her that could only have come with a certain amount of years and experience.

“I snooped while you were out,” she said, her voice calm and as unremarkable as her face was remarkable. “Checked your ID, assuming it’s real.”

“It is.”

“Okay, Luther Brinkman, your wallet and gun are in the drawer of that end table beside the couch. Your jeans are soaking in the washtub; I managed to get them off without doing any more damage than the bullet had already done, but they were blood-soaked all the way down to the hem.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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