One Death Too Few (Valentina Winters Book 3) by Michael Anderle

One Death Too Few (Valentina Winters Book 3) by Michael Anderle

Author:Michael Anderle [Anderle, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: LMBPN Publishing
Published: 2021-06-18T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Nineteen

Valentina sat in the quiet of the treetop platform alone. Santana left her to it, climbing down to the ground a short while ago. Although there were cabins around the clearing, Santana opted for a sleeping bag on the hard earth. Her gun rested near her head, and her body faced their captives in case she needed to make a sudden attack.

Valentina rested with her back to the trunk. The sky was turning blue, and the sun dazzled her eyes. She leaned her head against the rough bark and waited as the little voice inside her began to grow, the familiar sensation of conflict rising within her as Isabella woke up.

As Isabella rose to consciousness, Valentina had to fight to keep herself from falling. Often in times like this, she felt as though she were being dragged into an endless pool, only able to watch another rise past her and surface to safety. As much as she fought the sensation, the pair were interlinked, and neither one could surface at the same time. To meet in the middle, both would have to remain below the water.

Valentina felt her arms being taken from her. Isabella rubbed her eyes, a cold wash of panic setting in as she realized she wasn’t at home.

“Simmer down, princess,” Valentina cooed. “You’re not in any danger. Just appreciate the view.”

Valentina slipped back, the clarity of the setting around her fading behind a vignette of shadow. Her world was at the end of the tunnel, and it was pulling her backward.

“Where am I?” Isabella asked with Valentina’s lips. “Where are we?”

The jungle, Valentina replied in Isabella’s head, the transition difficult to fight. Where did you think we were?

“I don’t know,” Isabella replied. “We’re certainly not at home.”

Valentina pulled herself up, fighting the tug to disappear and quiet herself. She needed this moment. She needed Isabella to relent, to allow her to continue on her quest—a quest to save Isabella’s brother.

Isabella crawled over to the edge of the platform, knuckles turning white at the strength with which she gripped. “Why are we here, Val? What are you doing in the jungle? I can’t…” Valentina’s head began to spin, the jungle blurred, the definition of the leaves and sky lost. “I can’t be here, Val. I can’t…”

Valentina swam upward. She tried to grab Isabella to stop her spiraling. The girl kicked back, shoving herself toward the tree, fear taking over her body. Valentina needed to take control before things turned dire.

How did I not know you were afraid of heights? Valentina asked. Jesus, girl. Calm down for a moment and breathe. Look at the view. Forget the fall.

Isabella closed her eyes, her body tensing up.

Please, listen to me, Valentina soothed. You are safe. We are safe. But only if you listen to me, okay? You need to listen to me if we’re going to get this over with. If we’re going to find Kit, you have to trust me.

Isabella’s eyes opened at the mention of her brother’s name.

Can you do that? Valentina asked.


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