Angeline fought to hold back the tears. Why did Sebastian turn on her like that? It didn't make sense. And if he was going
to be so volatile then he could damn well keep his ruddy job! She could just as easily get one elsewhere, and a new home,
She paused for a moment to catch her breath. She'd lost her bearings in the deep woods. Should she turn right at the
end of the clearing or left? The trees were so thick and dense she couldn't even see the lake house in the distance to gauge
her general direction. It had been a long time since she'd been in the woods. Her childish recklessness had made her brave
back then. Now, a sense of panic threatened to overwhelm her. Damn the man!
As a child, she'd known the woods well, and even though her parents warned her and William to keep out of them, they hadn't
listened. They'd preferred pretending they were in their own little world where they might be jungle explorers or space travellers
discovering a new planet.
Hearing a sharp crack behind her, like a twig snapping, she spun around.
No one there. Of course not. How foolish of her to think Sebastian would come after her to apologise.
Reassuring herself that it was a squirrel or rabbit, she took the left turn, which brought her into another wooded area.
She was going to arrive some place soon. Common sense told her so. Her father had said that this particular stretch of woods
was half a mile long. If she was headed in the right direction, she would arrive back at the house. Otherwise, she would
end up at the lake where she could easily find her way home. She would arrive somewhere safely soon, wouldn't she?
She was beginning to feel like a small child again, like the time she and William played hide and seek. No matter how
hard she looked, she couldn't find him. After ten minutes, she burst into tears, and William, being the lovely cousin he was,
heard her sobs and came immediately to her side. Only now, as the tears finally rolled down her cheeks, there was no one
to rescue her.
She heard the noise again. The hairs on the back of her neck rose. This was starting to seriously spook her out. Big
time. How she wished she'd never stormed off in the first place. She should have known better and realised her employer
was a man in pain--emotional pain--and made allowances for that.
She caught a breath and slipped behind a tree, its gnarled trunk damp and mossy to her touch. There was someone out there,
she was sure of it. If it was Sebastian, he would rescue her, but she couldn't guarantee it. In any case, she knew he didn't
have a lot of time to spare to play games.
As she held her breath, she heard the unmistakeable sound of feet crunching on twigs and the sound of heavy breathing.
Someone knew she was here...had followed her. Her heart started to beat like a drum beneath her clothing, her mouth dry with
In the distance, she saw a man dressed in a hooded jacket with a rifle slung over his shoulder. Letting out a breath,
she relaxed. It was probably Phil, the game keeper. Perhaps she should call out to him? But her voice was choked from the
At least she now had some idea of the general direction to go. She would wait a few minutes, then follow the path he
Before she could act on her decision, she felt a gloved hand clamp over her mouth. She struggled to free herself, but
her assailant's grip was like steel, dragging her backwards. The sky and treetops above her spun around and around until
they became a blur. Coloured spots blinded her vision. Her breathing came in short bursts as she gasped for air. A pungent
smelling cloth came over her nose and mouth, making her woozy. She imagined she heard someone call out her name. A swirl
of colours danced before her eyes, then everything faded to black as her body hit the ground.