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Read an Excerpt
After looping an arm through mine, she led me a few blocks before we came to an old building with a dodgy-looking doorway. I’d never been here before, but that didn’t mean much. We stayed joined as we walked up some old steps to a new-looking elevator with a security guard waiting in front. He pressed the button and we stepped inside.
“Don’t look worried, Ethan. We aren’t going to a CIA black site.”
I grinned. Eventually, the elevator stopped and we came out onto a rooftop in the CBD, which was bustling with people drinking and eating. It was another reminder at how much of the world I hadn’t explored yet. We walked to the edge and sat at a bar looking down over the busy city streets in the sunset.
“What’s your poison?” she asked.
I stood. “This is my shout. What can I get you?”
“Something white and dry. And can you get a menu? I’m starved.”
“How about I order?”
She nodded. I went to the bar and ordered fries, wings, and sliders, then brought my beer and her wine back. She smiled up at me, unguarded for a moment, giving me those sexy dimples that featured in my fantasies. Then the shutters came down, and what had happened between us hung heavy in the air.
“Mia, I want to apologise for how I was that weekend. I wasn’t meaning to lead you on. I was too drawn to you, having too much fun, and I forgot for a moment how my life actually is. I should’ve held back because I couldn’t do what we might’ve had any justice. I never wanted to hurt you. I was being selfish and I’m sorry.”
She didn’t speak for a long moment, taking a large sip of wine, and I held my breath. “I’m not going to lie, I was hurt. But when I saw you this afternoon, I got it. Complicated is right. Be kind to yourself. It looks like you have enough on your plate.” She gripped my hand and squeezed.
I squeezed it back, needing her to understand how much it meant to me, but knowing my words would come up short.
“But now it’s time to share your burden with me,” she said. “Tell me all about how you of all people ended up with a woman like that.”
I wanted to laugh as she said the word that like it was a bitter taste in her mouth. Instead, I sighed because I hated recounting the story of my life.
About the Author: As a girl growing up in Australia, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life. There had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair. Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes
Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.
While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has only got stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valleys of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, son, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse, or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.
Say G’day to Laura:
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