Chapter Nine

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Was Dusseldorf really the destination of choice when Adam had been planning his escape from their four year relationship? Or had he selected it on a whim as he crept out the front door of their flat on the morning of Mac’s thirtieth? Running her finger back and forth over the postmark, which was dated exactly two weeks after her birthday, she reckoned that if it had been her leaving, then she would have chosen somewhere far more glamorous than Dusseldorf.

Not in any particular rush to open up old wounds, especially without some sort of fortification, preferably alcoholic, she put the envelope back on to the bedside cabinet and instead picked up the cordless phone and called her father.

The other end answered after just two rings. "Hello?"

"Umm, hell... o?" Mac countered, then pulled the phone away from her ear, frowning at the digital display. It wasn't big enough to show all the numbers she'd just dialled but one of them must have been wrong.

"Hello?" The soft voice questioned again. It was definitely female.

"Sorry, I must have misdialled." Mac hung up and dropped the phone on to the bed beside her bag, she’d try again this evening. It was the middle of the night in London now anyway.

Heading into the bathroom she closed the door, stripped down to her underwear, and turned on the shower, leaving it to run for a minute. After three nights away she was irrationally excited about washing her hair properly and grabbing her favourite shampoo from the cabinet, she flipped open the lid so that she could squeeze it a little and sniff its almost edible scent. As much as she liked to think her father’s love of luxury wasn’t hereditary she had to admit that paying the equivalent of a days wage for a bottle of shampoo would be classed as extravagant by many people. Clicking the lid closed she grabbed the matching bottle of conditioner and put them both down beside where the warm rain-shower was hitting the floor.

In front of the huge mirror above the basin, Mac studied the lines that the burning sun had created on her skin as she unhooked her bra and dropped it on to the tiles. Her shoulders, though still pink, had at least lost their sting and showed no signs of peeling, yet. Pulling her knickers down she paused with them mid-way, one foot half extracted, the other wobbling as she balanced on it. Was that the phone she could hear ringing? Tugging them quickly back up again she turned off the shower taps to save the hot water and swung the bathroom door open.

“Fucking hell Mac!” Felix, who was stood beside her bed, froze to the spot and clamped his eyelids shut.

“Fucking hell Mac? Fucking hell Felix more like! What are you doing in my room?” Not registering that he was holding the phone in his hand, she slammed the door shut again and fell back against it, grabbing a towel from the rail to suppress her giggles.

Well, at least she had her good knickers on, even if absolutely nothing else.

“I came to answer the phone for god’s sake. I thought you were getting in the shower,” he hissed through the door. Trying to push the vision of her body from his mind Felix squeezed his eyelids together so tightly that he began to feel lightheaded. “It’s your father.”

“Felix!” Mac senior barked through the phone. “What the fuck are you doing in Maccy’s room?”

“Oh my god! Mac, I was just answering the phone, I thought she was in the shower.” He snapped his eyes open again and rattled the bathroom door gently with his foot causing Mac to squeal as it shook her bottom.

“So you went in her room knowing that she was in the shower?” Mac senior’s voice grew louder.

“NO! Well, yes, but not like that… ARGH! Mac junior, get out of the fucking bathroom and talk to your father!” Felix dropped the phone back on to the bed and marched angrily out of the room slamming the door shut behind him.

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