Bloodfire Page 44

I picked up the pace. Before too long the road leading to Truro and then beyond appeared in sight. I pulled a few large leaves off a nearby tree, using them to rub off the worst of the blood. The last thing I\d need was to be picked up by some well meaning passerby who\d be so horrified by my appearance I\d be taken straight to hospital, no matter what I said. The leaves did a fairly poor job, but they were better than nothing. I started to jog. I had to put as much distance between myself and the keep as possible - not only because Corrigan might find me but because despite my vow to Anton I knew I was in danger of changing my mind and going back to the only home I\d ever known, whatever the consequences. I spared a thought for Tom, Julia, Betsy, Johannes, even Nick. I hoped they\d understand why I\d left.

Suddenly a Voice slammed into my head.

You\ e running away. It was Corrigan.

I swallowed, slightly scared. Actually who was I kidding? The man more than scared me - he terrified me. I have to, I sent back. He wouldn\ understand but lying again right now was beyond me.

You don\ have to just join another rural pack, Mackenzie. Come to the Brethren. Your boyfriend is joining us after all - you won\ be alone.

I didn\ respond. Silence hung in the mental air for just a second and his Voice appeared again. You\ e not joining another pack, are you? You\ e going rogue.

Again, I didn\ bother to reply. My actions would be clear soon enough.

You know the consequences of this.

Way Directive No 6: All shifters must belong to a pack or they are to be considered outcasts. The Brethren put rogue shifters on their watchlist and they ended up forever looking over their shoulder, waiting to be caught. Fair enough, yeah, but I wasn\ actually a shifter, was I?

I will find you, kitten, sooner or later.

Goodbye Corrigan. I slammed shut my mental gates, pushing him out and trying to ignore the little flicker of regret as I did so.

The sound of a car appeared behind me and I stuck out my thumb, half-hoping it wouldn\ stop. It did. The window wound down and a ruddy face peered out. ’’Where to, love?’’

I batted down my irrational irritation at the \love\ and bit out a smile. ’’As far as you\ e going.’’

’’Exeter do you?’’

It was a start. I smiled and walked round to the passenger side.

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