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Under Cover
For the last three years she had lived another life, had buried her real self taking on the mantle of a hardened Madam, a trafficker of girls, the worst kind of criminal and, for the umpteenth time, she had fought nausea as she negotiated with the Eastern European.
Her control back at the command centre had shown concern the last time they’d met. He could see the physical and mental toll this assignment was having on her, but they were committed now; there was no going back. The team had spent too long infiltrating the organisation and she was their only hope. During the time she had been under cover she had alerted them to more shipments of girls than he cared to recall, and the risk had grown with her every betrayal.
She knew it was only a matter of time before they rumbled her and her life wouldn’t be worth a fig if the team were unable to protect her and extradite her at exactly the right moment. The latest shipment had arrived at Heathrow only hours before and were already on their way to a secret location in London where there would be an auction of the girls, some as young as eight, and where the special unit of police would be waiting to raid them. Her message had been received and the team was ready for any trouble which might ensue.
Marco eyed her from the bed as she gathered her clothes and prepared to shower and dress. He didn’t trust her any more, she seemed nervous and remote these days and his gut didn’t feel right; she didn’t feel right. For a long time he’d had suspicions, she seemed to be softening towards the girls under her control and he was debating whether to remove her from her role as Madam of the main whore house which she’d run so successfully. Too many things had been going wrong lately. Too many shipments had been discovered and although he had managed to remain more or less anonymous and untouchable, he knew his luck would run out unless he acted soon. Was it her? He hoped it wasn’t but he would soon know; the trap was set. If the latest consignment of girls was discovered, and raided, he would know.
She lingered in the bathroom, fully dressed, senses heightened. Marco had been a bit distant and had appeared suspicious of her movements all week. He seemed to make a point of repeating the instructions for the latest intake of girls – where they would be, even giving her more detail than usual about on-line bidders. Something wasn’t right. She needed to contact control. Marco’s kiss goodbye seemed final somehow.
As she pulled the door gently towards her, the phone rang. She hesitated, listening to the conversation, her ear against the door; terror gripped her as she heard his words. As she turned a strong pair of arms grabbed her and she screamed.
The end of challenge.

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