Archive for » April 24th, 2011 «

With Proud Humility: Excerpt

As the date for this book being available in print is drawing near I thought I’d share an excerpt from Chapter 10 of the book.

 

Marie was left alone for many minutes before she heard the door scrape open and the footsteps of two people walking in. She also thought she heard the sound of a chair being moved and then someone sitting down on it. The second set of footsteps seemed to walk out again, leaving her alone with the first.

Whoever was now in the room with Marie seemed content to sit and watch her for several moments as she shivered in front of them. They were evidently satisfied with their position of control over her and were taking their time.

Marie was eager to ask them who they thought they were but her gag prevented anything but a muffled noise being heard. It seemed enough to stir her captor to their feet again though.

They came towards Marie who tried to pull back as they got closer. They then kneeled in front of her and removed her gag.

“Do you know who I am?” Marie immediately said, trying to sound stern, despite her fear.

There was a pause as her captor took their time about answering, making Marie think she had been ignored. She was about to speak again when they leaned in close so their mouth was right by her ear.

“I know exactly who you are,” he whispered and then kissed her on the cheek.

Marie could not reply. She knew who he was as well. Her chest began to ache as she realised the last week with Hayes had been nothing but an act. Marie choked back her tears, wishing to remain calm and not allow Hayes to see the effect this revelation was having on her.

There was silence for some time as Marie did not trust herself to say anything without betraying the wave of emotions that now coursed through her. All she did was kneel, shivering and fighting with the overwhelming desire to let her feelings out.

Captain Hayes continued to kneel in front of Marie while all this went on inside her. Despite her attempts to hide her emotions he could see the turmoil. He took off his jacket and, as he had done the day they first met, he draped it around her shoulders.

“For the cold,” Hayes explained. He then took off her blindfold as well. He did not get up though and stayed kneeling on her level.

“Are you going to hand me over to Vane?” she eventually managed to compose herself enough to ask. Hayes laughed at her.

“Why would I do that? The information you know is worth far more than the price Vane has placed on you.”

Marie looked away from Hayes again, still struggling to keep herself composed. Hayes knew a lot more than he had let on, so Marie waited for him to continue.

“I knew something was not right the first time you were on my ship and I have spent the last few weeks finding out everything I could about you and Vane. There are some very colourful stories, I must say.”

Hayes got up and returned to his seat in front of her. Marie looked at him again, the distance between them helping to compose her. Once he had her attention he pulled a folded piece of paper out of a shirt pocket. Marie understood straight away and exclaimed.

“How did you get the map?”

“Never you mind that. I have it and Vane does not. Where is the island?” Hayes replied.

“I am not going to tell you that! How can you possibly believe that I would ever consider telling you what I know after the way you have treated me?”

“You will tell me because you are not going anywhere until you do.”

“I have spent the last ten years not telling Vane, what makes you think I will tell you now?” Marie said confidently. She was not afraid of Hayes. He liked money but he was not like Vane. He was humane at least.

Hayes put the map away again before getting up and leaving Marie. He locked the door from the other side as he left. Marie assumed he was going to let hunger and thirst try to persuade her to talk.

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