Providence Road Excerpt

Bates, Smith, and two men walked in. In his late fifties, Captain Bates carried the same confident air Bland had. Short and plump, his rounded, beach ball face was clean–shaven. A thin strip of grey–flecked hair ran around the lower part of his bald head from ear to ear. As usual, his clothes were bright and contrasting.
Scruffy looking with lean builds, the two men standing behind Smith like dogs on a leash had to be the hired help. Their faded jeans and T–shirts were stained with dirt and grime. The stubble on their faces and lust in their eyes only added to their feral appearance.
The party stood inside the door looking the girls over. Bates cast a careless glance at his prisoners. A small smile tugged on his lips.
Billie met his gaze with a blank expression, scarcely giving the other three a look. Her hatred was for the slave trader, and it had grown in intensity.
“Well, I hope we have all recovered,” Bates said, his gaze roaming over the watching faces. It settled on Billie. “We outsmarted you this time, McCoy.”
She fought down her disgust. Already struggling to control her annoyance after the argument with the girls, his smart comment only incensed her further.
“You’re such a hero, Bates. It was a sick trick. Nothing short of what I’d expect from you.”
Bates sniggered. He strolled closer, bent over her, positioning his face in front of hers, and glowered fiercely. “You’d better believe it,” he snarled with venom. “See, you won’t be getting away from me this time, you hear me? I am taking you back one way or the other, by whatever means I have to. You’ve blown your chance of escape for the last time. I’ve had enough of your games, and you’ve wasted enough of my time. If I have to keep you drugged all the way, don’t think I won’t do it. If I have to sacrifice one of your companions to keep you in line, don’t think I won’t do that either. Whatever it takes, I will do it. Are you hearing me, McCoy?”
Keeping her face blank, Billie’s mind raced as she assessed how serious he was. Would he go to the extent of sacrificing the girls? Sacrificing his profits? It was hard to say.    
Bates chuckled. He straightened.
The thought of Bates believing he was untouchable fired Billie’s emotions – threat or no threat. As he turned to leave, she hooked her feet around his right ankle, the leg he’d put his weight on, and with all the strength she could muster, pulled hard with one foot and pushed with the other. The leg was yanked from under him. The boss man plunged to the floor.

Her unforeseen actions instantly started a chain reaction. In the back of her mind, Billie knew she was in a lot of trouble, but that was the price she was willing to pay. She’d started this; now, she had to finish it.

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