Page 30 of Starlit Skies

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Her muscles were aching from all the walking, and her mouth was parched. She didn’t think she could go much farther, either. Taking care, as the rocks were slippery, and her arms were shaking with fatigue, she lowered herself down the steep incline. Eventually, she landed on the flat expanse of limestone.

And there, right next to the stream, ran a manmade pathway. She nearly fainted with delight. A flash of bright blue by the side of the path caught her eye. An empty water bottle. People had been here. It was late afternoon. If there had been any tourists visiting, they’d probably left for the night. But it gave her hope. Perhaps tomorrow the tourists would return. They just had to make it through the night.

She turned to tell Nash what she’d discovered and let out a scream of fright. Nash had fallen from his rock and was lying in a crumpled heap on the ground. She raced back up the bank, scraping her knee in her hurry, and turned him onto his back, taking his face in her hands.

“Wake up. We’re safe now. Wake up,” she sobbed.

But Nash was unresponsive.


NASH GROANED AND rolled his head to the side. There was something wrong with his bed. It was as hard as a rock. He opened his eyes and then closed them again. Nope, that wasn’t a good idea, his head was pounding, and the light only made it worse. But why were there trees growing on his ceiling?

“Nash? Nash, wake up.”

It took him a second to remember who that voice belonged to.

Skylar. She sounded like an angel. He opened his eyes again to see her hovering above him. Mm, those lips looked decidedly kissable.

“Oh, thank God. You gave me such a scare.”

A scare? What was she scared of? If his head hadn’t felt like there was a hammer beating from the inside, he’d reach up and draw that gorgeous face down to his and devour those lips.

“Good morning, beautiful,” he said. Why did his voice sound so raspy?

Skylar’s lovely, blue eyes went wide. “Morning? Nash, it’s late afternoon. Oh, God, did you hit your head?”

Maybe he had. Maybe that was why it was pounding so loudly he could hardly think. He tried to sit up, but only made it onto his elbows before the trees above began to swirl alarmingly and his vision was filled with bright, sparking lights, and he fell back down.

He felt gentle hands lift his head, and then a bottle was placed on his lips. “Drink this,” Skylar said. That’s when it allcame back to him. He wasn’t safely tucked up with Skylar in his bed—which was a damn shame, and it’d been a nice fantasy while it lasted—they were lost in the jungle with a mad gunman on their tail.

Greedily, he slurped at the water. It was tepid and tasted earthy, but God, it was good.

“I found us some drinkable water. It’s safe, it’s filtering through the rocks at the bottom of this small waterfall. We can’t drink from the main stream, though,” Skylar warned. She was kneeling next to him, her beautiful face lined with concern and streaked with dirt.

“Mm-hm,” he mumbled, laying his head backward and staring at the sky. “I feel like shit.”

“Well, you look like shit,” she quipped back. Then her face softened. “I think you’re dehydrated, which is why you passed out. You’ve lost a lot of blood. You should be resting, not dashing through the jungle like an army of one.”

“Tell me about it,” he grumbled. “Where are we?”

“I’m not sure,” she admitted. “We found a waterfall. It’s not the one I was looking for, but that doesn’t matter, because there’s a path, leading down to a small parking lot and a road.”

“That’s great.” His head cleared a little at that good news. He wanted to try sitting up again, but this time he raised himself slowly onto his elbows.

“Stay still,” Skylar growled at him.

“I want to see where we are,” he said, ignoring her hands pushing his shoulders down.

“Are you always this stubborn?” Skylar glared at him, and he liked the way her eyes went a dark indigo when she was mad.

“Yep,” he said with a hint of a smile.

“Fine. Let me help you, then.” She scooted around behind him and helped him into a sitting position, letting him use her legs to lean against.

A vista opened in front of him. They were on a rocky ledge, a small stream burbling along a few feet away. The stream flowed down a small waterfall directly in front, into a larger flat area below, before finally disappearing over a cliff edge farther down. He could see down the valley to where more green hills rolled away into the distance, where the sky was turning a bright orange as the sun set over the horizon. The whole view was framed by large fig trees leaning in on either side of the waterfall.

“This place is magic. Not a bad spot to spend the night.”

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