She checked her watch. It was just past noon. She was glad that it was daylight. Trying to find her way back to the hotel at night would be difficult. It appeared that she was near one of the harbors so if she kept the water to her right, she thought, she should be heading back toward Tangier.
She pulled herself to her feet again, first getting to her knees and then one foot after the other. She leaned over with her hands on her knees until she regained her balance and then stood up. She tentatively stepped out, careful to check herself before fully committing to taking a step. After a couple of minutes, she was able to walk at a slow pace toward the harbor. She took out the chopstick that was holding her hair and let it fall. She ran her hands through the tangled mass, coiled it up again and reinserted the chopstick to hold it tight. I may smell like a water rat, but I can at least attempt some semblance of proper hygiene and not look like a wild woman.
She walked for what seemed like hours until she reached a narrow frontage road that ran along the harbor. The traffic had increased, and after a time, she was able to hail a taxi. She asked the driver to let her off just outside the Kasbah gate. She knew the way down the hill and could spot, from that angle, any activity that might prove dangerous. She had planned her approach so that she could slip into the alley, through the garage and up to the room, hopefully without anyone seeing her. She hoped Finley would be waiting for her. God, she hoped Finley was there.
It was now almost four o’clock in the afternoon. Goodness, I could use a drink. A long, hot bath. And a drink. Bourbon neat. Whitt saw the hotel in sight. She came down the hill, staying close to the walls of the houses, checking every so often for movement around her. When she reached the café on the corner, she stopped. She was hungry. She couldn’t remember when she had eaten last. She stepped into the door and ordered a coffee and a savory, sitting in the corner window where she could see both the alley and the front door of the hotel. She ate hungrily. Mama would be mortified. But Mama wasn’t here.
When she finished, she paid and moved to the door. She looked up and down the street again. Seeing no one, she crossed the narrow road quickly and headed into the alleyway. She slipped into the garage and headed toward the archway, but before she could reach it, a hand pulled her into the shadows. She fought hard against the arm that tried to wrap around her waist until she spun around and saw that the arm belonged to Max. Behind him stood David. She was confused, frightened. Her legs gave way. Max caught her before she hit the cement floor of the garage.
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