Flight of the Monarch (Chapter 7, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 7

From the moment Hayley opened her eyes Austin was on her mind. Would he meet with her as she hoped?

Terror gripped her heart as she thought of the possibility of Mrs. Sommers finding the note instead of Austin.

Uncomfortable with the notion, she pushed the thought from her mind, dressed quickly and went downstairs for breakfast. As Hayley reached the parlor, she caught sight of her father speaking with Maddie. They were speaking in low voices so that Hayley could not make out their words. The moment her father saw her, she turned away, not wishing to intrude. He snapped in frustration.

"Child… what are you doing sneaking about?" Before she could answer, he changed his tone. "It is just that you startled Miss Hawthorn."

Hayley could not remember the last time he had referred to her in that manner. He had always treated her as family, calling her Maddie.

"I just came down for breakfast, and did not believe to be sneaking up on anyone." Noticing Maddie's back turned, she wondered if she was crying. "Maddie, are you all right?"

She only nodded her head.

"I thought you were to be gone all day, Father."

"I am leaving soon."

Feeling like an intruder for the first time in her own home, Hayley left the room.

_ _

The day was beautiful, though the sky was gray and cloudy. Hayley sat down beneath her favorite large and inviting oak tree. She again thought back to the day that she had said good-bye to Austin. She thought about how his heart seemed to change so quickly.

Hayley leaned her head against the oak and looked into the sky. She saw a cloud formation that looked like a man and a woman kissing each other. Hayley hated the fact that she was consumed with thoughts of romance.

She picked up the book she had laid on the grass beside her. Books had always been her friend and companion from the time she learned to read. At this moment, however, she was beginning to hate that her life consisted of the reading of books and only daydreaming of a life of love and purpose . The stories allowed her to escape from the reality that was her dull life. She knew her life was not bad, but she had not been allowed to venture beyond her father's acreage. She was ready for adventure.

Hayley's eyes grew heavy after much reading. She stretched out on the plush carpet of grass beneath her.

Closing her eyes she drifted into sleep.


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