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LOVE BATS LAST: EXCERPT CHAPTER ONE

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LOVE BATS LASTEXCERPT
CHAPTER ONE



Chapter One
She should’ve asked for help. Jackie gunned the motor and ran the inflatable Zodiac up onto the muddy riverbank. At eight that morning, putting in downriver to collect soil and water samples had been a good idea. At two in the afternoon, the work was grueling. She should’ve listened to Gage and brought an intern. Somebody. Anybody.She tied the stern line of the Zodiac to an overhanging willow branch. A startled kingfisher squawked at her and flew upriver. She looped the strap of her backpack over her arm and slid over the side of the boat. Her feet sank deep into the mud. Cold water seeped over the top of her boots, and she grabbed at the willow branch and fought to keep her balance. She dragged her feet out of the mud and stomped up onto a crescent of beach, muttering under her breath. She’d take climbing a solid wall of granite over mincing about on slippery riverbeds any day.Stepping carefully, she inched along to where a narrow trail led …