A Wind of Change(A Shade of Vampire,Book 17)(16) by Bella Forrest
“Why are you stopping?”
“We need to contact the police,” he said.
“But they’ll come too late! Keep going!”
I was close to shoving him out of the truck and taking the wheel myself when my grandfather called out to my right. He was sitting in the driver’s seat of another truck next to Yusuf, both looking as terrified as I felt.
“What exactly did you see?” my grandfather demanded.
“We don’t have time to talk! We need to find them!”
“We need to call the police,” Yusuf said, leaping from the van and walking over to me. He gripped my shoulders through the window. “What happened exactly?”
“My sister… She needed to use the toilet. I wasn’t feeling well. Hassan waited outside for her. Once she finished, they both started walking toward me. Then someone… s-something just crashed into them and dragged them off. They disappeared so fast, I didn’t even have time to scream.”
I felt crazy even as I replayed the vision in my mind. It was like someone had sped by on a motorcycle, the fastest to ever be invented, and kidnapped them. But I’d heard no sound. And who the hell would want to kidnap Hassan or my sister?
Tears spilled from my eyes.
Where has my sister been taken?
She has asthma. What if she has an attack?
I turned back to Fariss. “Please! Keep going!”
The blood drained from Yusuf’s face. “We need to contact the police right away. They can send helicopters. In the meantime, four trucks should continue searching.” He turned to my grandfather. “Samir, return immediately to the city. Contact the police as soon as you can get a signal. River, you should go with him.”
“No. I can’t. I’m staying to search.”
He didn’t try to convince me otherwise and I was grateful for it. He got in the car that I was in, and my grandfather hurried back to the other one and headed back. Keep Dafne safe, Grandpa.
We remained with the other four cars who’d accompanied us out here.
I brushed away the tears furiously and fixed my gaze straight ahead.
We fell into tense silence as the four trucks, their headlights on full blast, roared over the sand dunes. I lost track of how much time we traveled—it must’ve been hours. But we still had not spotted even the slightest clue as to where Lalia and Hassan were. Finally, our vehicle pulled to a stop again.
“We’re going to run out of fuel if we don’t return,” Fariss said, eyeing the gauge.
“Then you return and we’ll continue in one of the others,” I said, already opening the door and stepping out.
To my horror, none of the other vehicles had much fuel left either. And we had to keep enough for the journey back.
I would have continued barefoot with my flashlight if it meant finding my sister, but Yusuf pulled me back in the vehicle.
“We need to return, River,” he said, his voice weak. “We simply can’t go any further or we’ll all be stuck out here. We have to rally the police.”
My stomach clenched as the vehicles began roaring in the opposite direction, back toward the camp, away from my sister.
I could barely see as my eyes blurred again. I wasn’t even aware of my migraine anymore. The agony in my chest had crushed it into insignificance.
“The army?” Fariss said abruptly, pointing toward our right. I wiped my eyes and stared out of the window to see a cluster of tanks.
“Stop the car!” I said instantly.
I recognized those tanks. They looked like the same ones we’d seen the day before near the restaurant.
“Wait here for me,” I said.
“What? River, where—”
I didn’t give Yusuf a chance to finish his question. I slammed the car door shut and began racing full speed toward the tanks.
The harsh grains of sand had now seeped into my shoes and were grating against the soles of my feet, but I barely felt the pain. My eyes were fixed on the dark machines.
As I reached the first one, there was nobody in sight. I banged against one of the walls and shouted.
“Open up! Please! It’s an emergency!”
I moved to the next one and banged again.
“Please!” I cried, even as my voice cracked.
My heart lifted as several hatches clicked open at once. Four men raised their heads out and looked down at me.
“Please! I need your help! My sister and a young man just went missing. We are camping some miles away, and someone just came by and took them. Have you seen anything at all?”
A man with short cropped hair and a scar across his right cheek climbed out and dropped down on the ground, the three other men following after him. He approached me, looking down at me seriously.
“Tell me, what exactly did you see?”
I took a deep breath and tried to steady my nerves to best express what had happened.
I repeated the incident and once again felt crazy as I recalled the speed of whomever it was who’d taken them.
They were silent as I finished, but the glances they exchanged with each other made me believe that they knew something.
“So have you seen anything?” I asked, daring to raise my hopes. “Do you have any idea at all what happened?”
There was a long pause. Then the man with the scar cleared his throat and said, “I’m sorry. We can’t help.”
My heart sank into my stomach. From the way he’d listened, and the look in their eyes, I was certain that they knew something.