But right now, their lives depended on his acting skills. He blew out a breath and bit his lip, calculating his next move. His snipers in the jungle were targeting the man with the rifle aimed at him, so he shouldered his own as if in reluctant surrender, backing up to the Princess and extending his arm in front of her like an order not to shoot—on her part or theirs. He reached her side and found she’d only slightly lowered the Glock, keeping a poison stare on her groaning, bleeding attacker.
In Spanish, the Jaguar asked the leader if his wife’s marksmanship convinced him she couldn’t possibly be the American woman he sought. The man sniffed and insisted he had a job to do and a report to make. He was searching for the wife of a very wealthy man who’d pay an enormous ransom to get her back.
Lowering his rifle, the leader yelled irritably at the wounded man to stop moaning like a baby. It was shameful to be bested by a woman—a skinny American! He spat contemptuously into the dirt at his feet.
The Jaguar’s stomach fluttered as he stood beside the Princess. He’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this—and dreamed it would. He was fleetingly aware of smelling like a blend of the goat and a sweaty farm hand; he was filthy with spattered muck, and his lunch must still be on his breath.
She turned to fling her arms around his neck and her face into his sweaty shirt, pressing his backpack into the cart as he grunted in surprise. The goat bleated in a protest through a mouthful of leaves but remained where he stood.
The Princess’ deodorant had also given up for the day, but the vague muskiness that mixed into the herbal-soap scented camouflage she wore stirred a distinctively masculine reaction inside him that was nothing close to revulsion. He tried to calm his racing heart and re-gain his wits by taking the pistol from her hand. Then he made a show of sliding it leisurely against her body and down into her holster.
It was a nice touch. He was glad he’d seen it in a movie.
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