Chapter Twenty

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Left, or right?




Running away is all well and good, provided the person doing the running has at least some idea of where it is they are running to.

Sat at the entrance to Mackinley River Downs, the main road laid out in front of her, Mac contemplated her choice. Left, or right?

Left, or right? Left, or Right? Left, or...


If she turned left, would she be heading to Darwin? Or was that right, and Perth left?


Mac hadn’t a clue. Not. A. Clue. All she did know, was that she needed to run, and if she had done so on foot, then she never would have made it to the main road because it had taken her almost an hour to drive it. In air-conditioned comfort.

Maybe, just maybe, she could have made it on foot to the airstrip if she’d turned right when she ran out of the Homestead, but as she didn't know how to fly a plane (although she was that desperate that she probably would have given it a go) she had turned left and jumped in Felix’s ute instead. Either way, she’d left him having to try and explain to their guests, her bizarre and hasty, plus potentially investigation wrecking, disappearance.

Now, at the end of the driveway, she had to choose again.

Left, or...


“I don’t know where I’m going!” she yelled at the rear view mirror before collapsing around the steering wheel, the pain of containing her tears for the last sixty minutes was making her ribs feel as though they might crack under the pressure.

As well as her heart trying to pry its way out of her chest, her eyes were burning and her throat felt like it was going into anaphylactic shock.

“Mac?” Felix’s voice came softly from outside her window.

“I don’t... know where... I’m going,” she whispered. A couple of huge teardrops built behind her lashes and crept out onto the tops of her cheeks.


“I said,” she lifted her face, keeping her eyes straight ahead on the road, and raised her voice to a near scream, “I don’t know where the fucking fuck I’m GOING!”

That was it. The damn burst.

Yelling wasn’t what she’d meant to do, she wasn’t angry with him of course. It wasn’t his fault that he had just delivered her ex-boyfriend to the Homestead on possibly the biggest and most important day of her life. The ex-boyfriend who had left her because he’d loved her more than she did him (supposedly), and because he’d wanted to marry her and live happily ever after, whereas she hadn’t (allegedly).

Turning to face Felix, who, instead of storming back to the troop carrier like he had every right to, had calmly rested his arms on top of the Ute’s cabin and pressed his forehead against the window, Mac held his gaze. She could barely see through the salty filter as the tears came thick and fast, but saw just enough to know that he looked tormented. His heart was breaking for her.

Great hiccupping sobs began to wrack Mac’s body, causing her stomach, her chest, her shoulders, to all judder violently while her throat quickly became too thick to speak and her nose began to stream. Yet still she held his gaze, sending him a silent apology for Adam’s appearance, for her knee-jerk reaction of running away, and especially for shouting.

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