Monday, April 13, 2009

A Little More

So sorry to leave you hanging! We were traveling towards the end of last week and I had no opportunity to blog. Several people have asked for a little more of my book--and I'm happy to post a little more. Hope you enjoy.

Steel tucked his gun back into his waistband, but kept one hand poised on the grip as he listened to the sounds over their heads. Faint shouts and gunfire drifted down to them, but the rioters had not yet entered Hamad’s shop. They wouldn’t find the cellar. But if the worst happened, he was prepared for whatever it took to protect Brad’s wife and son.
He shook his head over the position in which he found himself. He should have been miles from here by now, but when he spotted Jennifer’s red hair gleaming in the marketplace, he couldn’t leave without getting them to safety first. Why in heaven’s name were they in the market today of all days anyway? Brad had known what was coming, and he was supposed to have gotten his whole family out of the country before this. Why were they still here?
A small sound drew his attention back to the two he was protecting. “Quiet,” he whispered. The woman’s breathing was shallow, and he could feel her trembling from head to foot. She had reached out and grasped his hand just after Hamad closed the cellar door. He hoped his firm grasp reassured her, but now he realized her panic was building. With slow, calm movements he stroked her hair until she rested her head against his chest. If she didn’t get some control, she was going to blow their hiding place. She stood rigidly for a moment, but then he felt her slowly relax against him. Apparently she decided to trust him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and clung to him, trembling.
Dirt shifted down on his head. The rebels were in Hamad’s shop. The rebels wouldn’t harm Hamad because, although he was secretly working with Steel, he was publicly known as a follower of the rebels’ cause. He was safe unless they caught him hiding Americans.
Brad would be frantic with worry for Marc and Jennifer. Unfortunately, now it would be hours before either could hope to return to the relative safety of the compound. Why hadn’t he moved his family as planned, and why on earth had he allowed these two out into the market? What had gone wrong?
The walls of their hideout vibrated as a truck rumbled by. The noise of shouting drifted down, but he couldn’t make out the words. No doubt Hamad was complaining about them wreaking havoc in his shop. Jennifer shuddered, but Steel wasn’t sure if she was shaking from fear of the rebels or fear of their hiding place. Eventually the tramp of boots told him the rebels left the shop, but still Hamad did not raise the trap door. Had the rebels taken him with them?
As quiet settled once again, Steel sensed Marc’s restlessness. “Steady,” he whispered. “Not yet.”
Total silence reigned when the sounds of the riot disappeared. Marc started to move again, but Steel stopped him with an outstretched hand. It isn’t safe. If Hamad hasn’t released us there is a reason.
The trio made no further movements as the minutes ticked by. Brad would have trained his family well for such an event as this. Both Marc and Jennifer knew enough about Brad’s activities they wouldn’t take a warning for silence lightly.
A slight shower of dirt rained down on his shoulder, snapping him to attention. Someone was still in the shop. Was it Hamad? If so, why didn’t he open the trap door? More dirt, followed by footsteps. Those weren’t the sliding sound of Hamad’s sandals, but the tramp of boots. Was a rebel still waiting above, hoping his silence would draw them out?

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