There were no windows in the cell. At first after a few tries with the door Tarzan had given up hope of escape. But Cody hadn’t. He’d kicked at the wall with his boots. Was he hoping to kick it in? Tarzan doubted these slavers would be that stupid.
They weren’t. A pair rushed in. One spotted the boots and Cody on his back .. strong athletic thighs hammering into the wall. Immediately a cattle prod was jammed into his etched abs. In an instant Cody was screaming. And the thug kept on till he’d screamed his guts out. Threatening the second guard hovered over Tarzan with a baseball bat. Preventing any move.
Once Cody had screamed himself into submission, his boots were removed. They hog-tied the poor sucker. Plastic ties around ankles and wrists, then zip ties binding hands to feet behind his back. An uncomfortable arc.
And for good luck Tarzan too got unbreakable ties on his hands, fastened behind his back. The guards HAD been told to keep them quiet.
Cody HAD tracked down slavers, all right. And they weren’t in any mood to play around, clearly panicking. Tarzan had tried to warn him .. getting in over his neck. With men who didn’t fancy journalists poking into their lives. And panicking men did desperate things. Cody had gone out on his own, naïve. And look how they’d both finished up.
Tarzan tried to give Cody some relief, he tried to release the ties with his bound hands, then with his teeth. But Cody was stuck like that for the night. Tarzan himself chose to put things off till the slavers came for them next morning, they weren’t getting out of here before, anyway. He advised Cody to stop struggling. It’d be uncomfortable night, like that sleep would not come easy. No point in wasting his strength, he told his friend. Save it for when you’ll need it.
“You’ve been sticking your nose in where it don’t belong.”
The pair of them had been retrieved from the windowless room where they’d spent a long restless night.
“Snooping into legitimate business interests, I hear.”
In the night Tarzan had reassured Cody. Things would turn out OK. Trust him. Tarzan was more used to situations like this.
“Best get some sleep,” Tarzan had emphasised. “Build your strength up for when it’s needed.”
But those reassurances didn’t ring so true in the cold light of the early day. The slavers came armed with their crippling prods, one had his baseball ball dangling from his belt. The pair stayed covered, hands still tied behind. Caught in unbreakable bonds, Tarzan had found out.
“Newspaper reporter, are you, then? Interested in our affairs?”
The boss scoffed at Cody.
“Tell you want …. Wanna story?”
The boss jabbed a finger into Cody’s bare chest. Tarzan prayed for Cody not to get riled, she had a short fuse after a night like that.
“Gonna give you your story. Every fact you’d ever want.”
The head slaver sneered. Cody snarled. Tarzan was pleased to notice Cody wisely held his tongue. Learning not to provoke. Or maybe curious what the slaver meant?
“A scoop. An exclusive.”
Suspicious. Tarzan looked to Cody. By the look on his face, Cody had caught on. It seemed he had understood the message. Tarzan hadn’t. But he sensed threat.
“All the facts you could ever want,” the boss-man goaded. “Maybe more details that you could ever have dreamed of. Real close up.”
Cody had got the picture. Tarzan saw him glowering.
“Scoop of a lifetime!”
The head-slaver laughed .. enjoying his little joke. Cody was joining the slaves, they were selling him on. A slave too. That got his nerves racing. He hadn’t factored that in. He snarled back. In response, one of the thugs teased Cody .. like taunting him into something rash. When Cody swore at him, the guard jabbed at him with the cattle prod. He didn’t press the trigger, though. But he did giggle at the way when Cody jumped back to save his skin.
“Lighting up that arse of yours. Burning the story on your own treacherous hide.”
Cody glared back at the slaver. Joining the slaves he’d come to report on! But what the heck could he do .. tied up and these armed men itching to beat the shit out of them? His pulse was thudding, his head swimming. He’d known his assignment was risky. But he’d never imagined it could come to this.
Tarzan was less concerned. Now he too understood. But how many times had men tried to capture him, though. He couldn’t count the times he’d been made to do hard labour for them? How many times had he escaped from captivity? He faced the prospect with calmness. He’d spot the chance when it came.
“Pity though ….”
Boss-man saw his prisoner’s face couldn’t hide his shock. The guy mocked Cody’s distraught look.
“You’ll get your story. Trouble is, college-boy ….. Never get a chance to write up your scoop.”
“You see .. Your iPad’s confiscated. And no one ever gets off the island.”