Honestly, I hightailed it; like a rabbit fleeing from a farmer's scope.

Tara had been sitting shotgun tapping lightly on the window with her fingertips, gazing thoughtlessly at the glaring red traffic light, while Paul chain smoked behind the wheel, watching me calmly in the rear view mirror. For a while I watched back, contemplating his voiceless brown eyes, and trying desperately not to loose the duel. I felt very much like a little kid in a staring contest; until something snapped.

I had always been more of a flight rather than a fight kind of person, despite my gutsy demeanour.

Calmly I took my duffle bag in my right hand and stepped out into the still, condensed traffic. For a moment I was frozen, rooted to the spot, but in a flurry I jolted forward.

Tara had reacted with the reflexes of someone whose career was based on their ability to react quickly. She snagged my arm, only half out of the car herself, and held me back.

"What--?" She begun to ask incredulously, and I looked into her light eyes. It was obvious she has no more idea of who to trust than I did.

"Sorry," I apologised, offering a small smile.

She looked back at me for a second longer before finally I jerked away from her grasp. My arm slid away easily; Tara was no longer holding onto me. Turning away I darted forward once again, reaching the footpath just as the red light flickered to green and the traffic began to ebb forward. Without looking back I quickly slunk into the crowd, pushing roughly away from the scene of my escape.

At least, no matter what side Tara was on, she was also on my side I thought idly, picking up my pace as the crowd began to thin out. There was no doubt that Paul would soon be on my tail like a bat out of hell, or some other such creature.


I was puffing lightly by the time I came to a stop; between the weight of my duffle bag, and the adrenalin playing games with my system I was thoroughly exhausted. The streets were busy, people swarming around me like wasps, intent on their destination. I stood still for a moment until my breathing was completely calmed, inhaling deeply to centre myself and clear the nervous energy.

"Shit," I muttered as my mobile phone began ringing. I tugged it quickly out of my and snapped it open to view the caller ID. Unknown Number, the screen announced silently, and I promptly hit the busy tone, afraid that it was Tara, or Paul, or my father calling me. Hadn't I been told that they were beyond the government? Surely that meant that they could trace calls.

I felt like I needed to find Riley.

In a split second I grabbed a black ball point pen out of my messenger bag and scrawled his number, which was stored in my phone, on the back of my hand. Call it paranoia, but for all I knew, they could trace my phone without ringing it first. I stuffed the pen and turned off mobile back into my bag, and set off once more at a determined walk. Surely there was a pay phone around.

I knew the CBD of Melbourne like the back of my hand; so much so that walking to any shop was almost a reflex in my system, but I had never had need to take notice of where there was pay phones. After ten minutes of wandering without any luck, I stopped a man to ask. He waved me in the direction of Collins Street. Another few hopeless minutes and I asked again; this time an older lady.

"You just follow Collins until you hit King," the lady told me as I listened attentively; she was the type of person who motioned everything with bold hand gestures. "…Cross the street there then about twenty meters after the intersection there are a bank of three. Only the middle one works though."

"Thank you so much," I told the woman, grateful that someone actually took the time to give me detailed directions. She beamed back at me and I felt like a small child.

"You're welcome dear," she told me, and waddled off with a wave; I wished that I had had a grandmother as a kid.

It was a two block walk to Kings Street, the pedestrian traffic was lighter down this side of the CBD because I'd moved away from the main shopping district. It meant that I could move faster, without being held up trying to squeeze my hefty bag through the tiny gaps between the surrounding bodies, but it also meant that I was much more exposed; free game to anyone driving by how happened to be on the watch out for someone fitting my exact description.

I felt paranoid, constantly scanning my surrounds and looking back over my shoulder. Passers by gave me odd looks, and I ducked my head each time, I thought I must have looked like a drug runner. Yet I still made record time.

Standing at the intersection, waiting for my turn to cross at the traffic lights, I was almost bouncing on the balls of my feet in anticipation and anxiety; desperately, I wanted to know if Riley was alright. I wanted to know if I'd be alright. I wanted to know who the bad guys were.

Finally the little green man lit up and the group of people I was huddled within surged forward, everyone quickly crossing the road, egger to reach their destination. I reached the other side, and broke out in a run along Kings Street, in the direction the older lady had motioned. I was there within forty seconds, dumping my bag on the ground beside my feet and picking up the receiver.

"Please insert sufficient funds to make call," the polite voice told me as I searched through my wallet for silver coins. I surfaced with almost a dollar and few them into the waiting slot, dialling the number with shaking fingers.

"Sufficient funds have been inserted to proceed. Please hold while your call is connected," the same feminine voice told me evenly, and I huffed. It would be quicker if she shut up, I thought.

The phone rung four times before someone finally picked up. There was shuffling for a few seconds then I heard the voice.


A/N: Okay, first of all I owe you guys all a huge apology! It's been around a month since I last updated, but honestly I got a little stuck with the story because the plot keeps shifting in my mind. I also had a few hefty exams on (which I find out the results of next week), but seriously, enough with the excuses. I hope you guys are all keen to keep reading! Hopefully I'll never have such a long break again, and if I get lazy (it's holidays at the moment so I have no excuse) just email me and annoy me to your little heart content.

In other news, I now have and beta to help proof read (so if the grammar is wrong it's her problem). Anyway my lovely beta is my best friend Grande Noir! You can find her on my favorite authors list and honestly her current story is worth a read.

I think that's all... Oh! I'd love to get reviews from everyone this chapter, and I will start naming names again next time I update. Also check out my latest story!

Thanks everyone who's still reading (if anyone).