A warm summer breeze blew from one end of the passageway to the other. Raisa Hewitt could feel it gently caress her face and flow like fingers through her long, dark hair. She could hear the friendly chattering of birds from outside the arch ahead of her, the rustle of leaves in tree branches, she inhaled sweet almond and jacaranda blossoms. The scene was supremely idyllic and she realized she couldn’t be in more danger.
She’d dressed casually like a tourist, an American on holiday taking in the ruins of Spanish castles and churches. Soft canvas shoes made not a whisper as she padded like a cat across the flat stones beneath her. Jeans over a black leotard and a light cotton shirt afforded comfort and mobility. The Springfield XDM Compact in the holster at the base of her spine offered both maximum portability and stopping power. She hoped she wouldn’t have to use it.
Raisa had slipped away from the rest of the tour. Technically, this structure was off limits for repairs, but it was a Sunday and there were neither workers nor security to stop her.
She’d walked halfway from the entrance behind her to the exit in front. The darkened arches on either side of her could conceal a dozen enemies, and windows from above afforded snipers an excellent vantage from which to kill. If she drew her weapon now, she might save her own life, but then she couldn’t claim to be a lost tourist if seen by an antiquities employee. She’d have to bank on him not ordering her dead before they spoke.
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