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With Key West less than thirty miles ahead, Brittany cut through the keys, passing beneath the Overseas Highway. Checking her watch, she noticed she’d estimated her time pretty close. Rob should be waiting at the marina for her. The late afternoon sun sparkled off the water surrounding the Keys as she continued on, slowing her speed as she incurred more boaters.
Finding an open berth at the marina, Brittany eased the powerboat up to the dock. Shutting down both engines, the thundering exhaust pipes gave way to the serene quietness of the marina. A few of the boaters on the dock came over to get a closer look at the Nor-Tech catamaran powerboat.
Tying off the boat’s bow and stern to the dock, she looked up to see Rob rushing towards her.
“Wow! That’s some boat!” He exclaimed.
“Yeah, it sure is.” Brittany responded. “I had to keep throttling her back to keep it under sixty miles per hour.”
“Guess what?” Rob said. “Thunder in the Caribbean” is at the bookstores.”
“I know.” Brittany stated. “The service manager at the marina had a copy. He asked me to sign it for him.”
“Woohoo! You’re becoming quite a celebrity!” Rob remarked, grinning.
Rob helped Brittany snap the boat’s cockpit cover in place before they proceeded up the pier. Putting his arm around her, he pulled her close to him.
“I got us a nice room at the Hampton Inn.” Rob stated. “Thought we might grab some dinner and see a few of the sights.”
During dinner, Rob talked about the book, his excitement evidenced in his voice. Brittany let him ramble on, not wanting to crush his enthusiasm. After dinner, the two walked along the streets lined with bars, nightclubs and shops. The warm evening seemed to have brought everyone out, especially the tourists.
At one of the shops, a small crowd had formed near the entrance. Stopping to see what all the commotion was about, Brittany managed to get a glimpse of a display on her book “Thunder in the Caribbean”. People were actually buying the book!
“Looks like its gonna be a bestseller!” Rob exclaimed. “Glad I bought mine when I did.”
“You bought one!” Brittany responded, surprised.
“I sure did. I can’t wait to read it.“ Rob replied, grinning. “I especially like the cover artwork.”
“We need to talk before you read the book.” Brittany said.
“Why? Is there something wrong with it?” Rob inquired, confused by her statement.
“No. There’s nothing wrong with it.“ Brittany replied. “I just want people read it for the adventure and the documentary value. Not just for the sexual connotations.”
After stopping at a nightclub and having a few drinks, the couple headed for their hotel. Brittany opted for a shower as soon as she got to their room. Getting comfortable sitting on the bed, Rob opened up his copy of the book. Brittany dried herself off, then wrapped a large towel around her before exiting the bathroom.
Lighting up a cigarette, Brittany sat down on the bed, pulling the book from Rob’s hands.
“I want you to remember that the events documented in this book are factual.” Brittany stated. “And what’s happened in my past is my business, not yours.”
“This book will probably change how you feel about me.” She added. “I’m prepared for that. But it won’t change how I feel about you. I want you to remember that while you‘re reading.”
Handing the book back to him, Brittany slipped into bed pulling the covers over her. Her tired body and lack of sleep the night before allowed her to drift off immediately. Waking sometime much later in the night, Brittany glanced over her shoulder. Rob was still sitting with his back against the headboard, reading the book.
“What time is it?” She muttered, barely coherent.
“1:00am.” Rob murmured, resting his hand on her hip. “Go back to sleep.”
A couple of hours later, Rob slipped beneath the covers with Brittany, pulling her naked body against his. Grasping his arm, she held him close, feeling his warm, gentle breath against the side of her face. Cuddling together, Brittany returned to her sound sleep.
Waking the next morning, she found herself still in Rob’s embrace. As she pulled his arm from around her, she accidentally woke him.
“Go back to sleep.” Brittany said. “I’m gonna grab another quick shower and get dressed.”
“Did you really shoot that woman in the face?” Rob muttered. “The one who tied you to the table and raped you.”
His question caught Brittany a little off guard but she kept her composure.
“Yeah. Yeah, I did.” Brittany replied, clearly remembering the incident.
“Why?” She inquired.
“Didn’t that bother you?” Rob asked. “Taking someone’s life like that.”
“It was me or her.” Brittany answered. “I actually felt exhilarated that I got my revenge.
“What about the guards at the house.” He questioned. “Did you feel the same way killing them?”
“With them, it was a matter of escaping and saving Evelyn and her daughter, Tanya.” Brittany replied.
“Although, I did want to make sure we killed everyone.” fatih escort She added. “I wanted to burn everything at the scene, including the bodies. That’s why we burned the Scarab boat tied up at the dock.”
“To cover your tracks, evidence that you’d been there?” Rob surmised.
“To cover up the awful memories.” Brittany responded. “And, to leave a message to any others who might be involved in the sex slave business.”
Rob ceased asking questions. His demeanor changed, causing her to be concerned. While she fixed her hair and put on her make-up, Rob picked up the book and continued reading.
“Bathroom’s all yours!” Brittany exclaimed, putting on her bikini.
“I put some coffee on while you were showering.” Rob stated. “Figured you’d want a cup.”
Brittany lit up a cigarette and fixed herself a cup of coffee while she waited on Rob to get ready. His questions about the killings were not what she had expected from him.
“Maybe he skipped over the sexual connotations in the book.” Brittany thought. “He doesn’t care what I’ve done or who I’ve been with. It‘s all those damn shootings that‘s got him upset!”
Sitting at one of the many sidewalk cafes, the two watched as the tourists milled about buying souvenirs and taking pictures with their digital cameras. Directly across the street was a little bookstore just opening its doors for the day’s business.
“You gonna buy one of your books or wait and read mine?” Rob inquired, grinning.
“I’ll buy one for Evelyn and one for Kimmie.” Brittany replied. “I don’t need to read it. Remember, I wrote it.”
“Then I need to get back to the base camp.” She added. “I’m gonna top off the fuel tanks and fill up the cooler at the marina. I should make it to Yellow Cay in about four hours.”
“What’s at Yellow Cay?” Rob asked.
“Not much.” Brittany answered. “A small store, bait shop and fueling station is about all I remember being there.”
Leaving Brittany at the marina, Rob proceeded on to the airport. Brittany removed the cockpit cover on the Nor-Tech catamaran. Firing up both engines, she let them idle while she stowed the cover in a storage compartment. Pulling up at the marina’s store, two attendants tied the powerboat off for her. While they topped off the fuel tanks, Brittany ran into the store to get some soft drinks and snacks for her lengthy trip back to the base camp.
“The little lady’ll pay for our fuel!” A familiar voice shouted from behind her.
Quickly turning around, Brittany spotted Richard rushing towards her. Picking her up, he hugged her tight to his muscular body.
“What are you doing down here in Key West?” He asked, smiling from ear to ear.
“Oh, I’m just down here picking up a boat.” Brittany replied, trying to think of a quick excuse. “Actually, I’m just trying it out.”
“Great!” Richard exclaimed. “Jake’s out on the dock with a couple of customers. We’re going out for a day of fishing.”
Escorting Brittany down the dock, she saw Jake standing with two other men. His eyes bulged when he saw her approaching, holding Richard’s hand. Jake hugged her, shaking her side to side.
“You never know who you’ll run into down here!” Jake exclaimed. “Why don’t you go out fishing with us?”
“I’d like to but I’ve got to be going.” Brittany replied.
“Can’t wait to get back to base camp, huh?” Jake said.
“Base camp?” Brittany asked, trying to remain cool.
“Evelyn called us.” Richard stated. “Told us all about you working for Langley and the DEA.”
“She told us everything.” Jake added. “You don’t need to hide it from us. Although, I oughta spank your butt good for getting involved.”
“I should’ve known Evelyn wouldn’t keep it a secret.” Brittany said. “She worries about me way too much.”
“Hon, we all worry about you.” Richard stated.
“Hey! Since you’re here, how about signing a couple of your books for us?” Jake asked.
Rushing down to the lower cabin area of the boat, he came back with two copies of “Thunder in the Caribbean”.
Brittany eagerly signed both copies, happy to oblige two of her former teammates and lovers.
“Are you the author, Miss?” One of the fishermen asked, his eyes scanning Brittany’s bikini-clad body.
“She not only wrote it, she lived it.” Richard replied.
“We all lived it.” He proudly added.
Back onboard the catamaran, Brittany steered a course for Andros Island. Cruising along at sixty miles per hour, she relaxed in the comfortable form-fitting seat, enjoying the warm sun. She was anxious to get back to the base camp and prepare for the rest of the team’s arrival. The weekend was quickly approaching, not much time to relax and finalize plans.
Passing by Williams Island, a small rocky outcropping with dense overgrowth, Brittany spotted something suspicious a few yards above the shoreline. Slowing the boat’s speed, she turned the powerboat around to have a closer look. Spotting a sandy beach between the small island and Andros Island, she eased the boat into the shore. Securing escort istanbul the boat to some nearby rocks, Brittany trekked through the overgrowth. Her suspicions were well-founded. Beneath a large dark green canvas were six drums of gasoline and two fueling hoses. It had to be another fueling depot for drug runners. Brittany wasted no time in getting back to the boat. Tossing the mooring line to the rear floor of the boat, she continued on her way to Yellow Cay.
Arriving at the small village, Brittany topped off the fuel tanks. The base camp was a little over an hour away. The sun was directly overhead, the temperature already approaching ninety. The breeze blowing over the top of the streamlined windshield of the Nor-Tech powerboat cooled Brittany as she drove the last leg of her long trip.
Rob, Kimmie and Evelyn were standing on the rear deck of the houseboat as Brittany made her approach. Rob had a mooring line ready to tie off the catamaran to the stern of the houseboat.
“Now that’s a boat!” Evelyn shouted.
Kimmie grinned as she admired the wild paint scheme and the catamaran’s sleek styling. Brittany grabbed her purse and attaché, walking across the front deck of the boat. She noticed Evelyn was dressed as if she were leaving.
“You going someplace?” Brittany inquired.
“Yeah, afraid so.” Evelyn replied. “Jared phoned. I’ve got to get back to LA for a political fundraiser. Rob’s gonna fly me to Nassau to catch the jet back to the mainland.”
“I wanted to wait till you got back before I left.” She added. “I couldn’t leave without saying good-bye.”
“You gonna make it back before the weekend?” Brittany asked, disappointed by Evelyn’s departure.
“No. Jared’s got some publicity meetings he wants me to attend.” Evelyn answered. “I’m not sure when I’ll get back. It’ll probably be after the May primaries.”
“I understand.” Brittany said. “I just hate to see you leave.”
“I do have something you can read on the plane though.” She added, handing her a copy of the book.
“Great! Rob said it was out on the newsstands!” Evelyn exclaimed.
Brittany and Kimmie helped Evelyn with her luggage as she and Rob made their way up the hill to the plane. Waving as the Piper aircraft took off; Brittany felt more disappointment in her friend’s sudden departure.
“We had some boats go by late last night.” Kimmie stated as she and Brittany returned to the houseboat. “They must have really been flying!”
“Powerboats or cruisers?” Brittany inquired.
“I’m not sure. We couldn’t see them.” Kimmie replied. “They sounded just like your fancy boat though. Like thunder.”
Brittany knew from Kimmie’s description that the boats had to be powerboats, more than likely drug runners making their trip under the cover of darkness.
“They didn’t slow down when they went past, did they?” Brittany asked.
“No. They zipped right on by.” Kimmie answered. “They were at least a half mile or so away when they went past us.”
“You know. It might not be a bad idea if I showed you how to handle a handgun.” Brittany said. “Just in case. I just don’t want you accidentally shooting someone.”
“Ok. I promise, I’ll be careful.” Kimmie responded. “I don’t know if I could pull the trigger if I had to is all.”
Back on the houseboat, Brittany handed Kimmie the copy of “Thunder in the Caribbean” that she’s purchased for the young woman.
“I’m gonna change clothes.” Brittany stated. “Then we’ll get you familiarized with the handguns.”
Kimmie followed Brittany into the master stateroom. Sitting on the side of the bed, she watched as Brittany slipped off her bikini, tossing it into the hamper. Brittany noticed Kimmie’s eyes looking her up and down, admiring her body. After dressing in jeans and a t-shirt, the two exited the stateroom.
In the stateroom designated for temporary storage, Brittany opened up one of the aluminum cases containing Glock .45 caliber handguns. Taking one pistol from the case, she released the clip and carefully checked it to make sure it was unloaded. Grabbing a box of cartridges from one of the ammo boxes, she sat down with Kimmie to explain how the gun worked. Kimmie listened intently to every word.
“Let’s go up on the hill and I’ll show you how to fire it.” Brittany suggested. “We’ll grab some soft drink cans to take with us.”
Brittany set the cans on several fallen trees and rocks along the crest of the hill. After showing Kimmie how to fill and load the clip, she engaged the gun’s safety. She went over the details of the gun one more time, making sure Kimmie fully understood the gun. Taking careful aim, she squeezed off several rounds, hitting two of the three targets. Kimmie flinched each time the gun fired.
“Ok. It’s your turn.” Brittany said, carefully handing Kimmie the Glock handgun.
Showing Kimmie how to hold the pistol steady and sight it on the targets, she let her squeeze off one round. The gun jumped a little as it fired, missing the target. Kimmie tightened her grip on the weapon. Her maslak escort second shot hit its target, kicking it into the air. The smile on Kimmie’s face burst into a grin. Her second and third shots hit their targets. Kimmie was quite a marksman with the handgun.
Expending the clip, Brittany had her engage the safety before reloading the magazine. Kimmie was a good student, remembering her instructions. Kimmie shot the second clip, her marksmanship continuing to improve.
“Ok. That’s enough for today.” Brittany stated, grinning. “You’re making me look bad! We‘ll have another lesson tomorrow.”
Brittany and Kimmie made their way down the hill to the houseboat. Brittany checked the handgun, assuring the safety was engaged. Securing it in a shoulder holster, she handed it to Kimmie, along with a box of cartridges.
“Keep this someplace safe.” She said. “And remember, don’t use it in haste. Better to think your shot first than to think you’re sorry later.”
Kimmie hurried to her stateroom, putting the handgun in the nightstand next to her bed. Brittany lit up a cigarette then took some soft drinks from the refrigerator. When Kimmie returned, the two went out on the front deck to enjoy their refreshments.
“Are you really bisexual?” Kimmie muttered, surprising Brittany.
“What makes you ask that?” Brittany asked, trying to sound casual.
“Evelyn. She said you were.” Kimmie responded, her voice barely audible.
“She said it was in your book.” Kimmie continued. “You and Karen and some other women got it on together.”
“Well. If it’s in the book, it must be true.” Brittany responded, reluctantly. “Guess you think that fits into the weird category?”
“I was just curious.” Kimmie mumbled, shrugging her shoulders. “I don’t think it’s weird.”
Brittany had a vague idea Kimmie was more than just curious about her sexual activities. She looked off into the distance, hoping Kimmie would change the subject.
“How long will it take Rob to fly to Nassau and back?” Kimmie inquired, breaking the strange silence.
“A few hours, maybe more.” Brittany replied. “He’ll probably refuel the plane before he flies back unless he wants to go for an unexpected swim.
Why?” Brittany asked.
“Oh. I was just wondering.” Kimmie responded, biting her lower lip.
“You kinda got your eye on him, don’t you?” Brittany questioned.
“Oh no!” Kimmie quickly answered. “Not me. He’s your boyfriend.”
“Rob’s not my boyfriend.” Brittany stated. “We just had a moment together. That’s all.”
“But, I thought you said the sex was fantastic.” Kimmie said.
“It was fantastic.” Brittany responded. “With me, it usually is.”
“But that’s all it was, just sex.” She added. “Nothing more.”
Although Brittany spoke the words convincingly and believed them to be a true assessment of her relationship with Rob, in her heart it wasn’t what she wanted. She felt the book had changed his feelings about her even though she’d tried to discuss it with him. They were feelings that couldn’t be reversed.
“So, you’re saying, Rob’s fair game.” Kimmie remarked.
“Yeah. That’s what I’m saying.” Brittany responded, almost choking on the words.
While Brittany prepared dinner, Kimmie rigged the Nor-Tech powerboat with a long-range radio linked to the DEA’s communication channel. With it, Brittany could converse with the base camp and the DEA at the same time. The high-tech communications system would prove invaluable during drug interception tactics.
The Piper Seneca flew low and directly over the houseboat as it made a steep banking turn to line up for a landing on top of the hill.
“Lover Boy’s back!” Kimmie quipped, grinning as she entered the galley. “Just in time for dinner, too!”
During dinner, the three discussed the new communication systems Kimmie was installing. Rob seemed keenly interested in being able to monitor the radio transmissions.
“You’ll have to activate the headset switch manually in order to talk.” Kimmie stated. “I thought about going to automatic voice activation but the roar of the boat’s engines and the airplane’s motor would probably keep setting it off.”
“The DEA will be able to monitor all the transmissions, right?” Rob questioned.
“Everything.” Kimmie answered. “They’ll even be able to monitor me on the base station.”
“I‘ll do the radio installation in the plane tomorrow.” Kimmie added. “That should be all the setups I’ll need to make except for the base.”
After dinner, Brittany straightened up the galley while Rob and Kimmie sat in the livingroom reading, “Thunder in the Caribbean”. Relaxing in a leather casual chair, Brittany booted up her laptop computer, searching her mapping software for Williams Island.
“Looking for a place to shoot someone?” Rob kidded.
“Sort of.” Brittany retorted, glaring at Rob. “I spotted another fueling station as I passed by Williams Island this morning. I’m trying to find an aerial view of it.”
“You think it belongs to some of the drug runners?” Kimmie asked, looking up from her book.
“Yeah. I’m sure it does.” Brittany answered. “There’s nothing else around it for miles.”
Later that evening, Brittany decided to call it a day. Shutting down her laptop, she stuffed the computer into her attaché.
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