June was delighted and optimistic at what she hoped was a turning point. 

Nigel wasn’t nearly as confident.  He didn’t believe in coincidence and it would certainly be a stroke of luck if he was one of the men involved.  Obtaining more information on the man’s identity might indicate whether he was involved and explain or shed light on what this was about and whether he or they could be reasoned with, if he was involved.  June was an intelligent woman, but he doubted she was prepared for what could come next.  If he could talk him (them) down, the situation could be resolved quickly quietly and easily.  If not, more drastic measures would be implemented; measures she’d never encountered before. 

If it came to that, he’d have his men strong arm her out of the area not only for her own protection and to ensure she didn’t become a hostage as well but because they would likely be forced into a confrontational situation where they’d have to use excessive force to extricate the two men.  Although he’d take every precaution to ensure Roland and Jackson’s safety, he couldn’t guarantee the response of the abductors.  Their intent was something altogether different and could carry a much different outcome than anyone hoped for.

Nigel was in constant contact with his men, new their location and had assigned a destination and so far, they hadn’t come across any indicators suggesting the group was headed in their direction. The only alternative left were the caves and what they hoped would give them breathing space and security and possibly a base to work from. Either they knew the area well or had scouted in advance and had come prepared for the duration. 

He’d scanned the map; it was detailed and indicated that most of the caves faced the same direction and according to the locals, several were large and went deep into the mountainside.  That meant the element of surprise and stealth was lost to Nigel and his men limiting his responses not to mention they could well become sitting ducks going in.    

It would be easier if he could create a diversion or a distraction going in to situate his men safely giving them some protection, but he knew that was unlikely. He’d draw up detailed plans that would be implemented and carried out to the letter before entering the war zone.  It was the best he could do under the circumstances and he hoped it would be enough to safeguard his men.

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