Flight of the Monarch (Chapter 6, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 6

On the day following her discovery of Austin's engagement, Hayley sat beneath the same large oak tree, which she had escaped to so many times, and particularly the afternoon Austin came to tell her goodbye. She hoped that being there would bring to remembrance every detail of that dreadful day, and that she could come to grips with the reality that their relationship was over. Surely, he didn't understand how much she needed and loved him. She was desperate to know if he loved the woman he was planning to marry.

The only way she would know was to ask him. She pondered what excuse she would use to see Austin again. Perhaps, she supposed, Maddie had left something behind in the Sommers home she could retrieve. A plan formed in her mind quickly. It was a perfect strategy, but she knew she must be swift about it, before Mrs. Sommers' wedding plans got underway.

Hayley rose quickly from the ground and ran to her bedroom, as the wind pushed her onward and her long, brown hair pelted her face.

_ _

Hayley knocked at the large door as her hand trembled above a concealed item. After a small delay, the door opened and a servant stood before her.

"May I help you?"

"Thank you kindly. I am Hayley Lawrence and I need to search the room in which Miss Hawthorn stayed.

There is something she has left behind."

"I will need to inform Mrs. Sommers."

"There is no need. It will only take a moment." Hayley moved quickly inside the entryway and ran up the stairway before the confused servant could respond.

When Hayley reached the middle of the stairway, Mrs.

Sommers approached the servant. "What is she doing here?" She scowled.Their voices faded away as Hayley rushed down the hallway. Standing in front of Austin's closed bedroom door, Hayley bent down and retrieved a small book from under her blouse.

She opened it up and took out a note from between its pages. She quickly pushed it under the door, and ran down the hallway to the room where Maddie had previously stayed. She flung the door open and ran inside. Closing the door behind her, she leaned her body against the door as she caught her breath. When she heard Mrs. Sommers approaching, she bit her lip, opened the door and stepped back into the hallway. Mrs.

Sommers' face was red with anger as she bounded toward Hayley like a wild beast.

"What is the MEANING of this intrusion?"

"I found what I was looking for!" Hayley panted as she held up the previously concealed book for Mrs. Sommers to see.

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