Chapter Eleven

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“Wild pool sex?”

“Yep, wild pool sex.”

"You’re thirteen years old and you’re asking me if I had wild pool sex with Felix on Friday night?” Mac leant on the door of the beaten up truck that Lettice had just pulled up under the homestead carport in. “You shouldn’t even know that those three words can be strung together, let alone say them out loud.”

“I just drove for forty-five minutes through terrain you had never even seen the likes of until two weeks ago, so I think we both know that I’m not like other kids my age.” Lettice undid her seatbelt and, pulling her bag off the seat beside her, climbed out of the driver’s side.

She was wearing a vintage floral dress, Mac guessed it to be another hand-me-down, most likely her mother’s judging by the beautiful, vivid seventies colours, and had paired it with boots that weren’t too dissimilar to Mac’s own snake-proof versions. Tall and skinny, the boho-chic teen really didn’t look anything like her older brothers.

"Ok, fair point,” Mac conceded. “No. I did not have any kind of sex, wild or otherwise with Felix in the pool. What on earth gave you that idea?"

"Well, I heard Isaac asking Felix the same question. Because he’d heard it from Noah, who’d heard it from Jacob.”

“Wow, that’s just, umm… great! And what did Felix say?” Mac tried to sound indifferent.

“Felix said that you were drunk and fell in the pool, so he had to climb in and get you, and that it was just bad timing that Jacob happened to turn up at that point.”

Bad timing indeed. Mac closed the car door behind Lettice and followed her into the house. “I think Felix was exaggerating a bit, on how much I’d had to drink I mean. I wasn’t really anywhere near drunk.”

“Oh, ok. Fair enough.” Lettice threw her overnight bag down in the kitchen and went straight to the fridge for a drink. Rummaging amongst the food she located a can of lemonade, popped it open and turned to fix Mac with a cheeky half grin. “So if you weren’t drunk, why did you take all your clothes off?”

Distracting the teenager from her interrogation, Mac made Lettice call home to let her brothers know that she had made it to Mackinley safely. Since Friday evening, when Jacob had come to borrow Felix, the boys had been working around the clock in shifts, trying to patch some piece of critical equipment that had blown up and left the cattle station without any power, and with all the Jackaroos away for several days, out on the property running fence and waterhole checks, it was up to the four of them to do what they could until new parts could be brought in by road from Darwin on Monday.

This had left Mac alone at the homestead for two nights, besides Rose and John in their camper down by the river, and so when Lettice had suggested she could come across for a sleep over on Sunday night Mac had been delighted to have some company to look forward to.

After a restless night on Friday, Mac’s Saturday had been spent almost entirely in front of her laptop, finishing off the website so that the outback safari itinerary was up, complete with photos, and now included an availability calendar where people could check pricing and book automatically. Needing to attract customers fast, she had advertised the first two safaris, one next weekend, and the second on the dates that the investigators would be arriving, as last minute specials. Now all she just had to do was sit back and hope that the search engines and classified ad sites that she had added Mackinley to, would bring in some interest.

“Right, all done. Isaac said to say thanks for letting me come and stay.” Lettice walked in from the verandah and hung the phone back in its cradle on the wall.

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