“El Pilar is a Mayan reservation that sits along the disputed border between Guatemala and Belize.” Felicia held her pet goat, Lui, by the harness and petted him absentmindedly, averting her gaze from Aaron.
“Which country claims them?” Aaron leaned against the fence that separated the yard from Lui’s pasture.
“Neither. They all made an agreement not to fight over the land. Guatemalans can’t fight with them, Belize people can’t fight with them, and the Mayans can’t fight with either of them.
“What happens if they fight?” Aaron asked.
“If any of them breaks the treaty, there may be a civil war,” Felicia said. “But now the people from Belize are kidnapping the daughters and wives of the Mayans, and they are threatening to leave the reservation and fight the Belize government to get their women back.”
“And do you think that’s what they should do?”
“Well someone has to do something.” Felicia was either angry or on the verge of tears. “So far nobody’s doing anything.”
“What about the Belize government?” Aaron asked.
“The government of Belize has been taken over by a corrupt military leader, Kaiah Amali,” Felicia explained. “Kaiah is even having an affair with the president’s wife.”
“Sounds like an all-around good guy.” Aaron made a half-hearted joke. “But getting back to the main topic here. Where are they taking the girls? Joab said something about human trafficking being a problem and they’re kidnapping the girls to use as slaves and sex slaves.”
Felicia shuddered and placed her hand over her face. “That just makes me sick.” Her voice wavered with unshed tears.
“Hey, come here.” Aaron pulled her into his arms and held her. “We’ll figure this out. I have friends in some pretty high places, including the United States Senate. Maybe we can get others involved and help solve this problem.”
“Thank you,” Felicia said into his shirt, her face still pressed up against his chest. “I feel so helpless.”
“You’re not helpless.” Aaron took a half step back and looked her in the eye. “If you hadn’t been brave enough to tell me, I would never have known this was happening. Now that I know there’s a problem, I can help.”
With her looking up at him with those big brown eyes filled with vulnerability, Aaron had a strong desire to lean down and kiss her. He didn’t want their first kiss to be standing in the middle of a goat pasture while discussing stolen Mayan girls being sold as sex slaves. Instead he kissed her forehead and pulled her close to his chest again.
“Take me to El Pilar tomorrow, introduce me to the people, let me see what I can do to help.”
“Okay,” she said softly. “Thank you, Aaron. I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Me too.” He gave her one last firm hug then led her toward the house.
A stand alone novella in the All's Fair in Love and Sports Series by Julie L. Spencer.