"Don't shoot!" Putting down my camera and raising my arms over my head, I stepped out from the olive grove into the sun. "Lutfen," I added, the Turkish word for please. "I'm a tourist. Do you speak English? I'm sorry if I'm trespassing, but I thought this was public land."
It sounded ludicrous, but with my heart thudding and my stomach so cramped I thought I might double over and collapse before he could bother to shoot me, it was the best I could come up with. He was advancing again, his hard face expressionless, his eyes narrowed to slits as they flicked over me, taking in my appearance from my long, ill-kempt hair to my new leather boots.
His gaze lingered for an instant on my breasts and hips. As he closed in on me, I could see that his eyes were light green, the color of tropical seawater. Beautiful eyes, thickly fringed with gold-tipped lashes. Yet for all their beauty, they were mercilessly cold.
He was five yards away, then two, then one. He stopped. The gun, a large ugly pistol, was pointed dead at the center of my body. If he shot at this range, he couldn't miss, nor would I survive. "Please," I said again, lips trembling. "No English? French, then?" My French was not terrific. "Je suis americaine." Instinct warned me not to try Turkish—an American tourist wouldn't speak more than a polite word or two of that language. "Je suis une touriste. Comprenez-vous?"
"Who are you and what the fuck are you doing here?" he said in English.
"Thank god, you do understand me. It would be stupid for you to shoot me just because we couldn't communicate."
He must have found this answer flip, since he reached out, caught my wrist and jerked me against his body. My yelp of surprise died in my throat as one hand captured my arms behind my back while the other held the barrel of the gun to a point just below my left breast. His touch was both impersonal and professional. It didn't hurt, but this wasn't reassuring. If he had to kill me, he would do so swiftly, with a minimum of fuss.
"You have five seconds to explain yourself."
"I was camped here." I nodded in the direction of my pack. His English was more than excellent; it was perfect. He sounded as if he might be British, although there were American inflections, too. "I had trouble with my bike. I couldn't make it to the official campgrounds."
"You were photographing us."
"I was photographing the coastline. Not you."
"You expect me to believe that?" He kicked at my camera, which rolled over in the dirt. Inwardly I winced, and would have cried out "Don't hurt my camera," if it hadn't seemed a frivolous concern, given that he was probably about to end my life.
"That's a telephoto lens, so cut the lies."
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