Chapter Eight ~ Part One

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Holding the bag upside down she shook it to dislodge whatever was still left inside. Her camera, wedged amongst the bundle of envelopes that the real estate agent had forwarded her from the flat she had shared with Adam, dropped out and burst the elastic band that had been holding the letters together, flinging them in all directions.

Shit!

Outside, Felix leant on the horn.

“I’m COMING!” Mac screeched as she picked her purse up off the floor and threw it into the dresser drawer with her underwear. The rest of the rubbish would have to wait.

Snatching the camera from the bed she turned towards the door and stepped one of her snake-proof boots onto an envelope, sliding it across the slate floor and nearly doing the splits in the process. Millimetres from smashing into the wall, she just managed to right herself and glanced down at the offending letter momentarily before kicking it angrily across the room and stomping into the corridor where she slammed the bedroom door shut behind her.

#

“Ready this time?” Felix frowned and passed Mac her sunglasses as she settled in to the passenger seat for the second time.

“Abso-frigging-lutely,” she forced a grin and, pushing the sunnies onto the bridge of her nose, silently convinced herself that recognising someone’s handwriting from nearly six feet away and in only a split second was absolutely impossible.

#

“You ok? You’ve not said a word for over an hour.”

“I’m fine, I’m just admiring the scenery,” desperately determined not to allow her imagination to get the better of her, Mac answered without turning to Felix as they bumped along a route she recognised from the other day, “So our first stop is the rock pool?”

“It is, I thought a relatively short drive on the first day, staying close to the river and the rock pool might be a good way to start the trip. After we get the camp set up, I’ll try and catch us our dinner.”

“I like that idea,” Mac reached into the space behind the seats and took out her notebook and pen. If she kept a detailed journal of their itinerary for the next three days, along with plenty of photos, it’d make a great addition to the website.

Another forty-five minutes of silence and Felix pulled the truck up. Turning off the engine he slid out of his seat and strode around to the passenger side, opening Mac’s door. Her head was down and she was busy scrawling shopping lists and numerous different wording ideas for facebook updates that she wanted to post as soon as they got back.

“I know this is business Mac, but maybe you should stop for a moment and try to enjoy yourself,” he levered the notebook and pen from her grasp and laid them in the footwell.

“I am enjoying… Oh wow!” Mac climbed out of her seat and stood beside him, pushing her sunglasses into her hair and taking in her surroundings.

He had parked in a beautiful, almost Jurassic setting at the bottom of the escarpment, not far from both the river and the rock pool. All around them great soaring palms clung to the earth between giant pieces of sandstone, shooting up high, way above the rest of the greenery, in search of sunlight under the shadow that the cliff face undoubtedly casts late in the afternoon. An army of invisible insects thrummed noisily amongst the ferns, and the soothing sound of running water instantly calmed Mac’s mind from the racing that it had been doing, all along, in the background since leaving the homestead, no matter how hard she had tried not to let it.

This place was better than medication.

Quite unexpectedly Felix placed a hand on top of Mac’s shoulder, his thumb gently touching her collar bone and his fingers resting lightly near the nape of her neck. He stepped a little closer still and lowered his face so that he could get between her and her distant gaze, asking softly, “Mac, are you sure you are ok?”

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