In the next few months, WHISTLER HOUSE PUBLISHING will be releasing Novel 2 in my TRILOGY OF TREASON. For my readers who have been waiting far too long to see this book, I am beginning a series of weekly excerpts to start you reading this story that is very close to my heart. Not only does it follow up to THE CONSUMMATE TRAITOR with a plot related to those original characters, it deals with a heartless drug scandal that has already affected too many lives, both military and civilian.
CHAPTER THREE continued ...
Ben snorted. “There’s a more practical side to this arrangement, I suspect. The U.S. hasn’t paid its UN bill and has made it clear that it has no intention of doing so. Of course, it does pay for its own relief and equipment on UN missions, but contributing countries like Canada don’t have such deep pockets, so I think the UN is closing its eyes to Vova Borisushka’s alleged operations in exchange for his flying transport operations at bargain rates.”
She shook her head in disbelief.
“Before this assignment, would you have cared how the military move materials and their forces around the world?”
She felt ashamed of her ignorance. “Never thought about it.”
“Neither have most people.”
She studied Ben, checking for an expression of cynicism or sarcasm, but there was only his pervasive sense of humor twinkling in his eyes.
“Looks like they’re ready to take us on board.” He hoisted his backpack.
Each of their backpacks was crammed only with what they could carry, including Thermotech sleeping rolls that, when folded, could almost fit into a kid’s lunch box. In an emergency, these wet-proof, featherweight polypropylene sleeping bags would keep them toasty warm, even on cold ground.
“Can you carry yours?”
He grinned. “We’ll see how far you get.”
She flashed him a scathing look. “How do you think I managed in Angola on my own?”
The perpetual twinkle that seemed to spring from green flecks sprinkled through his grey eyes signaled a pleased “gotcha.” She decided to ignore it. She didn’t feel like bantering and redirected his attention.
“How are your feet holding up?”
His brows peaked in surprise. “I can’t believe how comfortable these boots are.”
“Good. Another journalist recommended them to me before I went to Angola, and I blessed her many times while I was there. These boots are also waterproof, so if we have to slog through mud or water, we don’t have to worry about parasites biting our feet.”
“I guess itchy feet wouldn’t be any fun.”
“Oh, itchy feet are the least of your worries. If those little buggies get into your bloodstream, they’ll kill you.”
Ben’s eyes rounded. “You’re joking.”
“I wish it was a ‘gotcha,’ Ben, but it’s a fact. Same as you never accept a drink with ice cubes in it because you don’t know if local water was frozen to make them. That’s how people get hepatitis.”
For once he didn’t respond with a quip but gave her a serious nod. “Got it.”
He gestured towards the plane. “We’ve got a long trek down the runway.”
In his mid-forties, Ben was slightly more than a head taller than her and remained trim and fit. Besides being a crafty producer, he was as good behind a camera as she was in front, but without her to look after him, she wondered if Ben would make it through the trip.
“Just follow my lead and we’ll be fine in Africa,” she assured him as she strode in front and led them down the tarmac.
CHAPTER THREE continues ...