Title: Heart Strings
Series: Red Centre Series
Author: Emily Hussey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tragic events in her formative years colour Melissa’s perceptions of her place in the world. Trust and commitment are not concepts she embraces. Known in Alice Springs for her aloof behaviour, Melissa is okay with that. She prefers to view life through the lens of her camera.
Chris Harris is sociable and charismatic, with a wide circle of friends. He’s worked as a chopper pilot in the region for several years, and enjoys the work, but it’s time for a change. Even so, nobody would have predicted what would happen when he and Melissa had a dramatic confrontation on her father’s remote property.
It’s a case of yin and yang attract, luring them both out of their comfort zone. Does that mean Chris will tolerate irrational behaviour? Some people know when to cut their losses.
In a journey that takes Melissa from a remote Australian station, to the high fashion world of Sydney and beyond, she comes to realise there are choices to make in who she lets into her life, and who she loves.
The ground, strewn with boulders embedded in the hard clay, did not provide a cushioned fall. Stunned, Melissa lay where she had landed, doing a survey of limbs and body. Her camera was still clutched to her chest. The lens was new and had cost a small fortune. If that was damaged, she would be royally pissed.
She could move her arms and legs. There was a stone pressing into her back, making it imperative she change position and do something about getting herself up. A shaft of pain hit as she straightened her legs.
“Bastard.” The word was hissed through barely controlled pain. Slowly, she rolled onto her side and pushed herself into a sitting position. A tentative exploration revealed she was just winded. She could still move her leg, so it wasn’t broken. Bruised perhaps. She rolled onto her knees and grunted softly as small stones embedded themselves into her flesh, then raised herself into a wobbly standing position. The sound of the chopper diminished and then ceased. She retrieved her broad-brimmed hat and jammed it back on her head.
Grit studded the palm of her hands and she wiped them on the side of her jeans to dislodge it. She took a tentative step and gasped. She bit her lip before looking around to see if the horse had stopped. It was nowhere to be seen. Rather, her father’s horse was nowhere to be seen. She had saddled up his stallion when she left the homestead. Hopefully Caesar had headed for home and hadn’t come to any harm. There would be hell to pay if he had.
The loose surface broadcast the tread of approaching footsteps She refused to look around. She knew who it would be.
“Are you okay?”
“As if you care. Piss off.” She started walking in the direction of the homestead, trying not to limp. It was going to be a long walk.
“Melissa, stop. I didn’t mean to frighten you, okay? I wasn’t expecting anyone to be here.”
She kept walking.
“Melissa, for chrissake—it’s too far to walk. Hop in and I’ll drop you back at the homestead.”
She swung around. The glare would have killed at twenty paces. He was fortunate they were at a distance of about twenty-one.
“Chris Harris, if you think I’m going anywhere near that aerial jellybean you’ve another think coming. I’ve seen enough of your flying for one day. I’m safer on the ground. Piss off.” She resumed walking, resolutely walking.
“Look, I’ve said I’m sorry. I won’t—”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Didn’t say you were sorry.”
“Alright, I’m sorry.” He yelled at her back, following several paces behind her. “Look, if you want to dehydrate out here and let the dingos eat you and the crows pick at what’s left, that’s fine by me but your dad will probably have my guts for garters. Get in and I’ll fly you home.”
Emily Hussey splits her time between work in Melbourne CBD and her home in Adelaide, South Australia. She has lived in several Australian cities, and spent a few years living in Alice Springs, the setting for the Red Centre series.
While there, she also obtained her private pilot’s licence, providing the technical background for the aviation scenes in the Red Centre Series.
Emily enjoys the short story format, and has been published in local anthologies. The genres range from crime to romance, with some contemporary fiction for good measure.
She was a marriage celebrant for 24 years, and has married couples in many different locations, ranging from private gardens, to beaches to caves or rural locations. Many of her clients remain friends to this day.
The bottom drawer is always full of outlines for future projects. So many ideas, so little time. Plans revolve around making writing her 9-5 job, and gaining inspiration from travels both in Australia and overseas.
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