The hold had been emptied of the easy load first, the consignment of docile farmers willingly shuffling up into the light. Sucking in fresh air. Then the big slave-catcher had been forcibly shoved up the steps into deck .. cursing, getting thwacked for his pains. Before Tarzan and Cody were released up-top too.
The big brute wasn’t taking his change of circumstances lying down. He’d been their partner, then these bastards had turned on him. He was pissed off. Still struggling in the grips of a pair of thuggish slavers when Tarzan and Cody were being jostled towards him across the deck.
The poor farmers had been thrown into the sea .. wading chest high onto a beach. Done to clean up the puke and piss they’d swum in down on the hold. The broad muscled back of Tarzan’s old foe was stood at the opened side of the boat waiting to jump into the water.
A slaver gave Tarzan a hard push. Tarzan had been preparing himself. For when his old enemy realised. Unexpected, a sudden shove on his shoulder powered him into his old foe’s back. Tarzan collided into him.
“What the ….?”
He hadn’t’ noticed Tarzan on the trip. The former slave-catcher had enjoyed the air and light coming down from the steps. Cody and Tarzan had been in the airless darkness further in. Till the shove on Tarzan’s back threw the pair together.
Recognising Tarzan, not bothering to think, the slave-catcher reacted fast. In character. The brute hit out, he shoved back, he gave Tarzan a push. Tarzan was falling .. over the side. Knocked through the gateway .. dropped onto his back into the sea. Anger and frustration boiling in his blood, the big brute jumped. Straight into the churned-up sea where Tarzan had disappeared. Jumping in on top of him.
Tarzan resurfaced. He’d hit the water on his back. Salt water in his eyes, swallowing a mouthful. It’d taken nothing to find his feet and right himself, though. His head broke the surface. Coughing the water out of his lungs. His eyes streamed .. running with salty water. But the fighter in him knew to spot out danger. That old adversary .. barged him overboard. He was on the attack. Through bleary vision he cast his eyes about .. stood right next to the boat.
Suddenly a dense mass passed over his eyes. A tightness fastened around his neck. A sharp tug pulled him back. Forced against a solid mass. The constriction on his windpipe tightened. Strangled. The brute was behind, arms around Tarzan’s neck. His plastic ties biting into Tarzan’s breathing. Choked.
Tarzan wriggled, his back squirmed against hard-packed muscle. His own bound hands were on the strangling wrists .. fighting to break the grip. But the muscled might strangling him just tightened. A grunt of effort pinned Tarzan’s back helpless against the rock-hard mass of a muscular chest.
Tarzan was aware of angry shouting. Men’s voices screaming. But his efforts were all for his breathing. Twisting, struggling. No breaking the vice-like squeeze on his breathing. He squirmed, wriggled but all his efforts were helpless. He could feel the heat burning in his eyes. His chest was full to bursting. He tried to kick back with a leg but the water robbed him off any force. He was getting light headed. Head beginning to spin. He was passing out.
In panic Cody watched from the deck, shouting at the guards to do something. He looked down into the water .. at the terror of a pair of huge muscular shoulders .. right next to the boat .. strength peaked to maximum exertion. Bulging with killing effort. Knotted muscle turned into solid granite. Strangling Tarzan. Next to him, the guards were bawling down at the struggling pair. Yelling in anger, panic. Fury.
A guard lashed out. His baseball bat smacked across the back of broad ebony-hard shoulders. They hardly seemed to falter.
“Fuck you! Let him go!”
The club this time hit the strangling brute square across the back of the knotted neck. He bawled out. In a flurry of foam and swirling water, the pair of them disappeared. Tarzan dragged underwater by the weight of the huge brute clamped around his neck.
“Drag the fucker!”
With difficulty, underwater Tarzan had managed to disentangle himself from the dead weight grip around his neck. Guards had jumped in to haul the attacking brute back to the surface. Bats at the ready. But the big black was severely stunned. Out of it.
Uncaring that Tarzan had been strangled .. or that he’d been nearly drowned under the weight of his attacker .. menaced with baseball bats, Cody and Tarzan were forced into dragging the heavyweight attacker onto the beach. He was no trouble, though. These guards did not pull their punches. That baseball bat had nearly knocked him out.
Guards on land had spotted the commotion. They came forward with slave prods to make sure there was no more trouble. But the three slaves were all too far out of it to give any more trouble.
“What the hell was that about?”
Cody managed to get the question out through his spluttering.
“Was is it between you two?”
Cody’s question was broken by a cough as he heaved up water. Tarzan was stood bent over, hands on knees, heaving in air, struggling to catch his breath.
“Shut the fuck up!”
A guard gave Cody a stunning blow into his bare thigh. It nearly upended him with the force.
“Into fucking line “