The Road to Port Haven (Chapter 9, page 1 of 12)

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As Kara foundered around the edge of consciousness, she wondered if it wouldn't have been better if she'd simply died and got it over with. The ambience about her, and her own condition, told her that she was still a prisoner in Camilla's cottage. The remnants of stale, mouldy bread soaked in broth still clung to her chin and plastered what was left of her dress down her front. Her head pounded and spun miserably, leaving her in a cold sweat whenever she tried to move. She felt weak, barely able to move her head.

'So, you are alive, uh?' came Camilla's voice from somewhere across the room. 'Well, you had better get ready, for tonight you will be on a ship and in your brother's hands.' She came nearer to scrutinize Kara. 'Come on now! This is no time to lay about! We are in serious trouble now! Roman scours the island, threatening death to any who have harmed you! None of us can stay here!'

Kara shook her head inwardly at the inanity of Camilla's words.

Camilla must have seen this, because she responded angrily. 'If Roman finds you here like this, then I'm done! Do you understand me? I cannot afford to let you go now!'

'What happens . . .' Kara croaked, 'what happens if he catches you with me? You think he'll just let you walk away?'

'He'll do nothing if I hold a gun to your head,' Camilla said in a flat, icy voice. 'You are my insurance. You understand? I will now tell you a thing, you, the whore that took the man who should be mine! Through one of my men I have made contact with your brother. I have arranged to sell you to him, for a lot of money, enough to get me a plantation far away from Isla Fiero! Now get up! Move! We are going to do the exchange.'

She yanked Kara into a sitting position, causing her to suck her breath in pain; every joint and muscle screamed in protest at the sudden sharp movement.

'There at the table is water, and some clothes,' Camilla told her. 'Make yourself presentable. There is bread, cheese, fruit and meat and some clean water for drinking, too. Hurry up! And stop pretending to be modest! Whores have no modesty!'

Biting back on unaccustomed rage, Kara got herself cleaned up, changed herself as Camilla looked on gloating at her handiwork, and forced herself to eat. She soon discovered, however, that she was so hungry that her hands were soon trembling uncontrollably. She forced down mostly meat and cheese, washed down with water, assuming these to have the greatest food value. And in those moments she swore to herself that, given half a chance, given any small opening at all, should the opportunity arise, she was going to throw herself at the well-fed, unblemished, pampered, spoiled Camilla, and gouge her eyes out!

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