Dark Illusion (Dark #29) by Christine Feehan Read Online (FREE)
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Julija Brennan linked her fingers behind her head and gazed up at her unimpeded view of the stars. With the absence of light from cities and the lack of pollution from industry, the sky over the Sierra Mountains was absolutely clear, giving her an unparalleled view of the Milky Way that, despite all her travels, she hadn’t seen before.
She barely noticed that she was shivering in the night air. It was cool in the Sierras at night, and with winter coming on, the temperatures promised snow in the next few days. She’d hoped her errand would have been completed before the first snowfall, but that didn’t look as if it was going to happen. Any other time, finding herself under the night sky would have been just perfect.
She didn’t mind being in a beautiful mountain range far from everyone else. She liked solitude. She even craved it. Unfortunately, she was in the race of a lifetime. She’d been out in front and now she’d stalled. She had no idea where to go or what to do to get back on track. The range was four hundred miles long and seventy miles wide. To find anything as small as a book in it with no idea of where it was located was impossible. Impossible, but it was a matter of life or death, although she hated drama and the last thing she wanted to do was be dramatic, even to herself. Still, it was a fact she couldn’t avoid. She had to find the book before anyone else did and there were several looking.
Strange how such a small thing like a book could have the power to destroy lives. Corrupt them. Twist otherwise good people into monsters. Power corrupted. She stared up at the constellations, wishing she could ride on those stars, or slide down the comets instead of trying to find traces of a book no one should ever see or know existed. Riding stars and sliding on constellations might prove far easier than hunting in four hundred miles of wilderness for a mythical book.
She preferred the places in the world closest to the stars with the least amount of people around her. She loved these mountains. The Sierras. Who knew they would rival the Carpathian Mountains for her affection? She was a nomad with no home and she’d accepted that she was a castaway. A traitor. In her world, a criminal. It had taken some time to come to that place of acceptance. Places like this one had helped her get there.
Julija didn’t believe she would ever have a home or family. Her one friendship had been formed solely out of desperation. She had seen what no one else could—Elisabeta. A woman held prisoner, beaten into submission, so afraid after lifetimes of captivity to be free. In all those years she’d been caged, no one had ever managed to see through the layers of illusion her ruthless captor had surrounded her with until Julija’s sight had penetrated the shields to find her.