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When Bel arrives in Phnom Pehn, she's on the run from the law. Ironically, people who befriend her, rob her, taking her money, passport, and clothing. Now she's broke and has to please her landlord if she wants to eat and not be arrested. When Interpol arrives, on the trail of the scam, Sara thinks might just have a solution to both their problems if Bel wants to play. She does.
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
For most of the long flight, Bel fidgeted uncomfortably in her seat. It was fourteen hours from Amsterdam to Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. Although she desperately needed to sleep, so much had happened in the previous few hours that she couldn't even rest. Recent events kept running through her head like a bad movie. She'd replay them and worry about what might happen next. Some of it anyway. She wasn't even certain of all the details of the mess she'd left behind.
It had been hard, a real heart-rending decision to go on without Mickey, but she'd had to she knew that much. He wasn't there when the boarding call came, and by then she was certain he wouldn't be coming. She couldn't afford to wait around to see. If she missed this flight...
Landing in Kuala Lumpur, she wandered into the transit lounge where she intended to catch an onward flight to Phnom Penh. Continuing on the way they'd planned seemed the best course. Looking at the departure board, for a moment, she considered changing to a Bangkok flight. There were a lot of them headed that way. Bangkok was a big place and it would be easier to lose herself in a big city like that.
Then she smiled. Heading for Bangkok was a clich. Everyone on the run in Asia tried to hide in Bangkok. They'd be looking for her there assuming they were looking for her at all.
Not knowing was a bitch, but it wasn't like she could call someone and ask about Mickey. When she'd been waiting for her flight in Amsterdam, she'd caught a short news report on the television that confirmed the police in Amsterdam had apprehended a suspect in what they called a violent robbery. The description of the guy had sure sounded like Mickey.
That was what made her so sure he wasn't going to catch the flight. That's why she had left. She'd stood there, wondering, feeling anxious, avoiding making a decision as the plane started to board. Her stomach turned sour with the anxiety, and then she'd just boarded.
And now, she stared at the departures and knew that she needed to stay with the plan. She went to the gate for a small regional airline, and when the call came, got in line and found her seat on the small airliner that shuttled people from Malaysia to Cambodia.
On the flight, she sat next to a chatty woman about her age, twenty-seven, who told her that her name was Gretchen and she'd been in the US visiting her family. As the woman provided a distraction, Bel listened.
Gretchen was a thin, pale blonde with a gold ring piercing her nostril. She was also very excited. "I'll be so glad to get back to Phnom Penh."
"Why? Any particular reason?"
The girl gave her a wicked grin. "I miss my boyfriend Dieter. That's the main thing. And I want to get back to the life."
A pleasant smile crossed her face. "Bopping around Asia. Wandering around, going to places where there are parties, maybe get a short-term job tending bar for a time and just being free in ways you can't anywhere else. You haven't been here before?"
She shook her head. "No. First time."
"Do you know anyone there?"
"Not a soul."