Ice-cold water woke me, allowing me the pleasure of feeling the axe that pierced my brain. Oh, it’s not an axe? Just where that bastard managed to have me hit the corner of the Goose’s radio when he rolled the plane, you say? That’s right… ouch. A musky blindfold blocked out most of what I could see, but I could feel my chest was strapped to a chair with a thick belt and wrists were bound behind my back. I was surprised that my legs weren’t secured, All in all, it felt like a hasty job.
Another bucket of the Himalaya’s finest ice cold spring hit me full on in the face. This time I shivered and was wide awake. “Where am I?!” I coughed. I started working at my bonds immediately.
A fist grabbed my hair and yanked my head back. It was Meang.
“You've become a thorn in my side, Yankee! I should have slit your throat when I had the chance!”
I coughed and spat. “If there’s mouthwash is in those crates, help yourself to it.”
I could see Meang’s silhouette raise a hand to backhand me when a bark came from behind him. He shuffled backwards to the wall. Still working at the ropes, I managed to loosen them a bit more.
Lithe fingers danced across my shoulders. A long leg came over and stradled my lap and luscious lips plunged down onto mine.
“Meang, I sure hope that wasn’t you.” I snorted.
The blinding overhead lamp light burnt my eyes as the blindfold was ripped from my head. She had locks of long blond hair, the tip of her tongue on her top lip twisted into a wicked smile, sultry eyes beckoning down on me.
“I should have known,” I huffed. “Grace Harlow. You and your cronies dealing arms now?”
She slapped me good across the kisser. Then she plunged another kiss, only to follow it up with another slap hard enough for me to see stars.
Grace squeezed my cheeks with one hand, and came in very close.
With a rhythmic beat, she tapped on my nose. “You. Cause. Me. So. Much. Trouble. Carver. It’s getting to be that a girl can’t have fun with you sniffing around.”
“Listen honey,” Time to turn on the ol’ charm, “I don’t care what you do with those peashooters. Just let me and my buddy go and we’ll gladly get out of your hair.”
“That won’t be necessary,” a gruff voice came out behind me. I turned and looked.
“Reggie!” I couldn’t believe my eyes! Then… I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Aww… Regg, tell me you aren’t in with this rabble.”
“Sorry, Carver.” Reggie hobbled on a crutch and sat down on a crate. “Business is still business.”
"Greed is greed." I countered.
Grace was still on my lap when my bonds fell. I grabbed her and threw her into a strangle hold.
“Reggie!” Grace coughed.
“I’ll brake her neck! I mean it!” I screamed.
Reggie and Meang laughed. He gestured for them to leave. Just as Reggie was out the door he turned.
“Go ahead. She’s given us what we need.”
“You!” Grace wheezed a grunt. With a blow of a kiss, Reggie closed the heavy steel door with a lock. With that, the crate Reggie was standing against fell open, and a sleeping Siberian Tiger began to stir.
I let Grace go.
“Untie me! Untie me!”
With a snap to attention, the Siberian looked up and glared at us with hungry eyes.