Excerpt from Venture by Nia Markos

“I have to stay. My son needs me. Elsam already suspects us, but he won’t harm us. He needs my son and for that he can’t hurt me. Tell Eliana that Elsam has Aidan. I don’t know where he is keeping him. I will try to get information and pass it on if I can. Take care.” She vanished into the foliage, leaving the three alone on the darkened beach.

Rider quickly took charge, repositioning Bet in his arms. He silently motioned Thalia to go ahead of them. Trudging through the sand, his feet sinking with each step, Rider was losing any strength he possessed. His muscles strained to carry Bet and support his battered body.

Ten minutes later, he sank to his knees completely spent. Bet landed on the sand in a heap. Winded, he fought to catch his breath. Sweat poured down his body. Thalia was beside him, trying to help any way she could.

Running feet approached them. Have we gotten this far only to be captured again? Rider was in no condition to defend himself, let alone Bet and his wife. Defeat settled over him. It was too late, they were caught.


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