Valle : Book 2 of the Heku Series
    “Blood pressure… and I’m sure this is really helping.”
    “I see.” The Valle stood and left the room quickly.
    “For me? Do it then,” Emily said, moving a step toward Kyle.
    “No, we’re not meeting their demands. There’s no way we’re going to exchange you for him,” Kyle said, frustrated.
    “Why not? He could be hurt, right? It’s not that easy to keep a heku captive, which means that he could be in bad shape. What if he dies?” she yelled at him.
    “No, Emily, it’s out of the question. Now that we know the Valle have him, we can go and get him,” David said finally.
    “That’s right, we’ll go and get him,” Kyle said, agreeing.
    “When?” She turned on them.
    Kyle couldn’t help but take a step back as the fierceness in her eyes fell on him.
    “As soon as we can get ready. We already have the Council’s approval, now it’s just a matter of tactics.” Kyle put his hand softly on Emily’s shoulder, “Now it’s more important than ever for you to stay in bed, keep your blood pressure down.”
    “Get your hands off of me,” she hissed at him.
    “Don’t do this, not now. We can’t concentrate on getting Chevalier back if we have to worry about you.” He was pleased with the look on her face. She hadn’t thought about that.
    “Where is he?” she asked, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
    “We don’t know yet. We have eyes all over the Valle though, and it’s only a matter of time before they find him,” he assured her.
    “Get out,” she said, looking out the window.
    Kyle and David both bowed and headed out of the room.
    The next morning, Emily watched as Equites from different covens gathered outside of the castle on the north lawn. Lined up in perfect rows, they stood straight and still. Kyle moved among them, pinning different colors on each of them to differentiate the squadrons. The heku were all in black, head to foot, and from this distance, looked like one gigantic clone army.
    Emily watched them from her balcony as more arrived. She did a quick head count and there were almost 700. It seemed to her that although there were at least four standing to face the others, Kyle was in charge. She could hear him shouting orders, but from this distance, she couldn’t tell what was being said.
    Emily watched them until well after dark when she could no longer see them, but still heard the shouts of instruction and training. She shivered and looked up at the clear sky and the stars, then brought her knees as close as her expanding middle would allow and wrapped her arms around them tightly, rocking slowly into the night. Emily cried silently as the baby kicked from inside, a subtle reminder of the one she missed.
    When electricity suddenly flowed through Chevalier’s body, he pulled hard against the restraints as his muscles contracted.
    “Let’s try that again shall we? What is the gender of the baby?” the Valle asked patiently.
    “I don’t know,” Chevalier said, growling.
    “Very well. We might try that one again later. What food is she craving?”
    “Why do you care?” Chevalier hissed.
    “What food is she craving?” he asked again.
    “Brussels sprouts and pizza.” Chevalier’s shoulders sunk. He felt like he was betraying Emily in revealing anything about her.
    “How much weight has she gained?”
    “She won’t get on the scales, no one knows.” Chevalier couldn’t help but grin slightly. Now it seemed so insignificant, but at the time, it infuriated him.
    “It amazes me how much you let that mere mortal get away with,” the Valle said matter-of-factly.
    “Then you don’t know her well. She’s not a mere mortal.”
    “Hrmph,” he said writing something down. “Any falls?”
    Chevalier frowned, “No.”
    “Any injuries at all?”
    “Just those you inflicted.” Chevalier emphasized each word.
    The Valle ignored the implication and went on, “Is she openly ready to do anything necessary to ensure the safety

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