Tallie has always been normal. Just a girl at school living with her mum.
But that's all changing now.
After her mother was murdered, and the murderer never charged, she took matters of law into her own young hands. But it all went wrong. She's got to escape before everyone realises the crime she's commited. Living in a hut on a deserted moorland is her only option. Until David arrives.
He can help her; he's a police man, the only one on her side. Soon Tallie is deeply in love with David, but is he all he says to be? Or is he in fact the very man she is running from?


15. Stuck

Bile rises in my throat, burning with an acidic fire on my tongue. I retch. The pale, watery substance that comes out of my stomach is disgusting, but I'm too worried to care anymore. David is a police man. Not just any old police man, but an officer. The head of his department.

He could have me in jail for the rest of my life if he heard just a whisper of my crimes. A tear starts to fall, but I wipe it away. There's no place for crying here. Not if I want to stay free.

I need to move, and fast, but how? It will take a day to pack all my stuff away and I have washing hanging by the river! How can I get away fast enough without David seeing?

I'll have to stay here for a little longer, persuade him that I need to leave to go home. The trouble is, I see him coming and panic every time. How can I calmly say, 'Oh, bye then David, this was nice' without fluffing up?

He rounds the corner, his hat on his head. Why would he be back so soon, it's only been five minutes. I realise that there is vomit on the grass in front of me, so I kick it into the soil with by boot. Easy.

David spots me and walks over, too fast for me to pretend I didn't see him. Oh God, he's definitely coming to see me. Just stay calm, Tallie, just stay calm.

"Terri! How nice to see you!" He's already forgotten my name, which at first I feel annoyed at, but then I see it's a good thing. Now, if he knows me as Terri, at least he'll be setback a little in his searches if he finds out. If he finds out, I remind myself.

"Oh, D-David, what a...surprise!" I just about get the words out.

"How are you on this fine morn, eh? It's a beautiful day, huh?" He's so confident in his manner, just the way he stands with his hands in his pockets is...well, kind of dashing really. I can't help but notice his good looks. The only freaky thing is the fact that he does remind me a little of Jeffers. Just in his voice and expression, but the rest is different. Anyway, Jeffers didn't follow me, so he won't be here.

" guess I'm good..." I fumble for the words.

"Cool. I s'pose I am too!" He gives me a cute smile. No! I can't find him cute! He's the one man who could get me into jail. But he does seem so! no, no, no, no! This is not happening to me! I need to buck up my ideas soon, or I'm finished for sure.

"I'd, er, really best be off to...get my washing...yeah, get my washing." I get up from the tent floor and start to move to the zip opening where David is standing.

"Oh, why don't I help you? I think I know enough about washing to help you out!" Oh my gosh this isn't happening. David and I are having a conversation. He's going to help me with my washing. He'll see how much stuff I have; no-one needs that many clothes for a walking expedition weekend!

Say no, Tallie, say no. But I know I'll say yes anyway.

"Urm, I don't think you should be helping m-"

"Oh don't be silly! Nice girls like you deserve a bit of extra help!" I'm stunned. Just the word 'nice' from him and I can't speak. Does he No way. David does not like me, just perhaps it was a compliment.

He heads off down to the river and I feel myself start to follow him. I have to stop myself from walking in step with him. That would be cheesy, and Tallie McGuire doesn't do cheesy. Na-uh.

"I see you have a lot of clothes..." He stops at the water's edge and shoves his hands in his pockets, " you wear them all? Where are they from, eh?" He's just like a police man.

"Yeah, I...dress warmly! They are all from my aunt. She's a big seamstress, you know, professional and all that." It's a terrible comeback but my brain is on slow-go today.

"Sure." I see him sneak his pen out and quickly jot something down on his hand. Does he already know about me? Or what? Could it be that he's spying on me?

I really need to forget about him, right now. But good lord, it's going to be difficult.

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