Mark and Annette watched as Rachel and her eagles departed the abbey. “We were lucky Rachel made contact with you, love,” Annette said as she held him close. The fear of near death still hung around them and the abbey. “You must have been close at some time for her to find you out here in the wilderness.”
Mark held Annette closer as they walked down to the car and said, “That was a life time ago, in another world when we were part of a close-knit group; nowadays, we rarely connect.”
The winds began to pick up and whistle through the holes in the walls left by the creatures that Rachel had sent back to a place where nobody goes (if they are sane). Something wasn’t sitting right for Mark; he couldn’t work out what had gone wrong, and something Rachel had done before she departed played on his mind.
Annette turned to him and asked, “Do you mind if I take the back seat on the way home? I am beat after all the things we’ve seen, love.”
Mark half-heard what she said and muttered his reply, “Okay, whatever you wish.”
She opened the back door and lay down on the rear seat, not long after which time she started dozing, and then she heard Mark start the engine. He gunned the engine and double de-clutched as the gears grated and the car jolted her about. “He’s on edge, poor thing,” she thought.
The car started with a jolt, which threw her back against the rear seat and woke her. “Calm down, Mark, we want to get home, but there is no rush,” Annette commented as she looked out of the window at the rain lashing the windscreen; visibility had closed down to about two cars’ lengths as the car swung right and headed onto the coast road. Annette was thrown against the door and banged her head on the handle. “Steady on, you’re going too fast and beginning to scare me,” she cried as she glanced at the speedometer rushing to over 50 mph. “Mark, for crying out loud, slow down!” she cried, but all the time, the car sped along the rain-swept road with no signs of slowing down.
The brakes screeched and wheels spun as Mark drove like a demon along the road. In the back of the car, all Annette could do was sit with her head in her hands and hope somehow they got home; the more they travelled, the more she doubted this would happen if they travelled at this speed for much longer. The road swept by them as the car sped faster and faster from the abbey. Annette had no idea why Mark chose this route; it took them miles out of their way and she grew more worried about Mark’s lack of accepting her in the car. From her view point, Mark appeared to have forgotten his driving skills and drove like a beginner with no idea of speed.
She realised in his present state of mind there would be no point in yelling to him to slow down; other than the fact he chose to ignore her, the sounds of the waves crashing and the impending roar of thunder meant he would be unable to hear her. She crawled back to the rear seat and curled into its folds, hoping against hope they would get back safely.
The only thing Mark had sight of was a rain-splattered bonnet rushing through the darkness. Driven by fear and an insane urge to find the answers to the question he had asked himself since Rachel left, Mark became frantic with the knowledge that Rachel realised or felt something had been going on of which he had little or no knowledge, but what could it possibly be?
The car screeched to a halt outside their house and a frantic Annette opened the back door and collapsed on the rain-soaked ground. A few minutes later she got up and screamed at Mark, “What the hell were you driving like a madman for? You could have got us killed on the way back!”
Mark took a quick glance and replied, “No, there was never a danger of that.”
Still angry and terrified she went on, “Oh, so speeding down lanes with very little visibility is NOT dangerous, perhaps not for Mr. ‘Superman,’ Mark Johnson, but your driving scared the hell out of me. Okay, what are your reasons, Superman, for risking our lives and they had better be good reasons.”
The rain poured down the gutters and onto the muddy ground around them; as he walked back to the house, Mark turned to Annette and said, “Something Rachel said is playing on my mind.”
Annette gave him a cold stare and asked, “What did she say that got you to act so crazy?”
“Before she left, she said ‘I won’t always be here for you.’”
“I realise she can’t always be relied on to get us out of trouble, and we should not expect her to. Why did that rattle you? She stated the obvious.”
Mark thought about his reply and then said, “She spoke to me but nodded in your direction.”
Annette commented, “Think nothing of her actions; you and she were close at one time, and she realises I came into your life now and she sees me as a threat to having you.”
Mark shook his head as he replied, “We may have been close at Uni, but the only thing we had was a close working relationship; she isn’t the jealous type and she would wish me to be happy, even if I am with another lady.”
Annette’s temper raged and Mark’s flippant attitude about the drive home only made her angrier; she stormed into their house and slammed the door shut, before realising he hadn’t come in. Mark didn’t bother about her actions; he was still worried about what Rachel had said and what she might know about things that he had missed. In the back of his mind, he thought Rachel might be right but for the moment, he could not fathom her reasons or the cause and this played on his mind, “She wouldn’t make a broad hint with no reason,” he thought. “What did I miss and why can’t I see it,” he muttered as he walked towards his door, the rain on his fingers making his hands freezing cold. He didn’t look forward to going inside to get warm: The air of open hostility chilled the house even more.