Sun Tzu, the Chinese military philosopher and author of the Art of War, is often credited with saying one should keep his friends close but his enemies closer. Whichever she was, he would not let her out of his sight.
In about fifteen minutes, she came out wearing the hotel bathrobe. She sat on the bed, drying her black hair with a towel.
“Thanks. Ever since I got out of the water, I’ve been itching like crazy.”
“Beg your pardon.”
“They’re baby crabs—megalops.”
“Whatever. I feel much better. So, what happened after I left?”
“Abandoned ship is more like it. The Navy grilled me and let me go. They found the other boat run aground near the Little Creek amphibious base inlet. No sign of your friends.”
“Really? They weren’t with the boat, arms raised, waiting to be arrested.”
Palmer looked at her. She sat on the edge of the bed with wet hair and the terry cloth robe opened, exposing much of her thigh. She needed no makeup to cover her flaws; she had none to conceal. By anyone’s standard, Alona Green was a beautiful woman.
“Thanks for getting me out of that restaurant and away from those men.”
“If I had thought you murdered Wade, the only reason I would have rescued you was so I could kill you myself.”
“So you believe me?”
“It’s more that I don’t not believe you. If you had killed him, you wouldn’t have contacted me before and again now. You have a story to tell, and you want me to hear it.”
“How long have you got?”
“You’re in my room. I’m not going anywhere.”
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