[New release]: The Seeds of Stars. Excerpt.

‘Kobra? Can you hear me?’ The distorted, pale face of Kira had immerged in front of him.

He was back in the hospital again, and this time, it seemed like the pain calmed down slightly. At least, he could focus now.

‘Kira? You’re? Here?’ he murmured, trying to raise his head from the pillow. ‘What’s going on? Who are these people? Why do they want to kill me?’

‘It’s a long story. Now, we need to get you out of here as soon as possible.’ Kira sounded determined. ‘Can you walk?’

‘I hope so.’ He made a weak attempt to get of the bed, but the headache pressed his head again.

‘You had a minor concussion when you flew out of your boat and landed on the rocks,’ she explained.

‘Why do we need to go? We need to report this to the police. We need to tell them what has happened.’ He worked hard to pull himself together, but struggled. ‘Where is the woman? The police officer?’

‘A woman?’ Kira frowned.

‘Yes. There was a woman here. She told me she is from the police.’

‘Who was she? Did she show you any ID?’

‘No, but she spoke with an accent.’ Kobra played his last card. ‘She followed me my first day in Perast, and then I saw her again on the embankment near the marina. She told me her name was…ehm…Katarina…Marina maybe? Ah, I don’t remember.’ He squeezed his aching temples with his palms, but his short-term memory had failed him.

‘Whatever her name is she is not from the police.’ Kira made an impatient gesture. ‘She might be one of them—the people who tried to kill you.’

‘And you? How did you know what happened? Why are you here?’ Kobra raised his watering eyes to her.

‘I’ll tell you everything when we get out of the hospital,’ she promised. ‘Now, we need to hurry.’ She rushed around, gathering his belongings from the bedside table and chairs.

Somebody’s steps echoed at the end of the empty corridor, and Kira froze on the spot. The door was left half-opened, and Kobra could see the familiar slim silhouette of the brunette woman.

For a moment, the time had stopped for Kobra. He saw the woman striding down the hall, and Kira rushing to the heavy ward’s door.

‘Halt! Halt!’ The woman shouted, the black barrel of a gun flashed in her hand. She aimed at Kira, but the door slammed in front of her just in time.

‘To the bathroom! Quick!’ Kira grabbed his hand and pulled him from his bed, slamming the bathroom door behind their backs.

Kobra, still heavily drugged, responded with a delay. His head was spinning, all his movements clumsy and awkward.

‘Follow me,’ his companion commanded, opening the second door which led to the some kind of a resting area and from there to the hallway.

‘The door at the end.’ Kira nodded to the hallway. ‘It looks like a fire exit.’

They crossed the empty corridor and, to their relief, the door led to the steps and outside to the rear of the building.

A sudden wave of nausea made Kobra stop and cling to the railing. His hospital gown, long and baggy, had constrained his movements even more.

‘Are you okay? Can you walk?’ Kira who had made her way almost to the exit needed to return to him. She pulled a tiny radio out of her pocket and commanded to somebody: ‘Meet us at the rear, next to the fire exit.’

‘Copy,’ a familiar male voice had responded through the radio’s interference.

She put his arm over her shoulder carefully and helped him the rest of the way downstairs.

The metal door gnashed, and Kira glanced outside, Kobra caught himself thinking he might’ve spent a while here. The evening was dark, but he could distinguish a silhouette of a parked car at the opposite side of the road.

‘Finally…I was ready to go inside and search for you.’ Edel’s voice sounded from the driver’s seat.

He revved the engine, and the car flew along the almost empty streets.

‘What has happened? Why did it take you so long?’ he continued questioning, throwing inquiring looks at a still dopey Kobra.

Usually polite and calm, Edel’s voice sounded strict and almost abrupt.

‘We’ve grown a “tail”,’ his fiancée responded. ‘I’ll tell you the details when we leave town. Now, just drive.’

‘Damn! We need to move to plan B. We can’t risk flying directly from here.’

‘Edel, maybe you can explain what the fuck is going on?’ Kobra gathered his last efforts. His heavy head was spinning. The road lights pierced his eyes like needles, making them watering even more. ‘How long have I been in the hospital?’

‘I’ve told you already. You had a brain injury,’ Kira answered instead. ‘You spent almost two days there. You’re lucky to survive such an attack at all.’

‘Where are we going now?’ He wanted to ask, but everything had been spinning in front of him, sucking him back into a massive black hole of unconsciousness.