“The game isn’t finished,” Stevie argued.

“Not in the mood.” He got up and ignored his friends’ good-natured name-calling as he left.

As Craig walked back to his flat he thought how fucked up it was that his city, a city that had been familiar and warm to him his whole life, felt so damn strange and empty these days.

He knew why, but he daren’t think her name.

When he got to his flat he felt a moment of apprehension rush through him when he found his door unlocked. Silently he turned the handle and on light feet he walked inside.

“It’s us, sweetheart!” his mother’s voice called out from the living room.

Relaxing at the identity of the intruder but confused as to why she was there, Craig shut his front door and strode into the heart of his flat.

He came to an abrupt halt at the sight of his mother, Maggie, and Jeannie. “What’s going on?”

Maggie stepped forward, her arms crossed over her chest. She was wearing a familiar, mulish expression. “This is an intervention.”

“An intervention?” He frowned, not in the mood for this crap. “For fucking what?”

“Watch your mouth,” his mum snapped.


He wisely kept his trap shut.

Jeannie gave him a sad smile. “We’re worried about you.”

Growing up, all he’d done was worry about her. Some of that worry was eased when she met her fiancé. He was a good solid bloke and he clearly loved his sister. Still, Craig never stopped worrying about her. It was strange to be on the receiving end of that familial concern. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine,” his mum said, sounding exasperated.

His eyebrows rose at her tone. He’d been avoiding her these last few weeks. Finally guilt made him take her phone call the other night and he’d told her that Rain had left and why. She’d gotten off the phone sounding sad. Not exasperated.

“I will be,” he insisted, although right now it didn’t feel like it.

He missed Rain with every inch of his being.

It felt like grief.

“You’re going to Australia,” Maggie suddenly announced.

He raised an eyebrow at her. “What?”

Their mother rolled her eyes at her youngest daughter. “I thought we said we’d lead up to that?”

“I cut to the chase.”

“Well, I’m confused, so perhaps we should return to the leading-up-to-it part,” Craig suggested impatiently.

“Ugh, you’re so snarky when you’re heartbroken.” Maggie made a face and was abruptly pulled down onto the sofa by an annoyed Jeannie.

“We know you didn’t follow Rain to Australia because of us,” his mum said. “But we’re here to tell you that we want you to go be with her.”

Euphoria shot through him at the thought but was quickly extinguished when he took in each of their faces. “I’m not leaving you.”

“Craig, sweetheart . . .” His mum got up and came toward him, cupping his face in her hands. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. “Will I miss you if you’re over there? Yes. But I miss you more right now because you’re not you. Rain took a big piece of you with her and you need to go get it back. I need you to be happy more than I need you to be here.”

Maggie and Jeannie came up behind her, wrapping their arms around his and their mum’s waists. “Ditto what mum said.” Jeannie kissed his cheek.

He looked at Maggie, his heart pounding in his chest. His smart-arse little sister had tears on her face.

“Go get her,” Maggie whispered. “We’ll be fine.”

The thought of leaving them weighed heavily on him. “I can’t.”

“You can,” his mum insisted, the tears replaced by a blaze of determination. “You take all that money you’ve been saving and you get a flight out there. And while you’re out there maybe you can do something about that dream of owning your own bar.”

“Plus if you go I’ll have an excuse to visit Sydney,” Maggie added, and there was genuine excitement in her young eyes at the thought.

“Ditto what Mags said,” Jeannie laughed.

Craig stared at them in disbelief but the hope inside of him was building and building . . . “I promised I’d always take care of you. When Dad died . . . I promised . . .”

“A couple of continents won’t stop you from keeping that promise,” his mum assured him. “I’m not taking no for an answer. This is an intervention with no choice.”


“You’re acting weird,” I said to Darcy in lieu of a “good morning” as I walked into our small kitchen. She was sitting at the breakfast bar eating cereal and she looked up at me mid-chew with a faux innocence in her eyes.

“Mm mm mmm mmmm.”

I translated her cereal-muffled words as “I’m not acting weird.” “Yes, you are.” I thought at first her weirdness was because of the conclusion we’d come to after she found out about Craig.

Darcy didn’t want me to be unhappy, and I didn’t want to leave her alone, so we’d decided I would think long and hard on what to do.

Now that I had seen for myself how happy and comfortable Darcy was here in Sydney, what I wanted was to go home to Craig.

But I was terrified he wouldn’t want me back after I chose to leave him.

I hadn’t confided this to Darcy, so I assumed her unusual quietness and avoidance of me this last week was because she felt guilty that she was part of this difficult decision.

However, last night I got home earlier from the supermarket than I said I would and she didn’t hear me come in. When I strode into her bedroom to ask her something she jumped like a scared rabbit and slammed her laptop closed.

Very suspicious behavior indeed.

“What are you up to?”

Darcy swallowed hard and gave me this heavy sigh that I wasn’t convinced wasn’t manufactured. “Well I was going to deal with it myself as a surprise but you nearly caught me last night . . . so . . .”

I slid onto the stool next to hers. “So?”

She grinned in excitement. “I want to do a store launch party here in Sydney.” She rambled on before I could interrupt. “We didn’t do one in Edinburgh but it would work so well here. We know people with great connections here . . . One of which”—her eyes widened with even more excitement, if possible—“is the fashion buyer for one of Australia’s biggest online department stores, and I’ve arranged a meeting with him, and if he likes our store there might be a deal to made and they’d probably help us with the launch party so that it’s epic.”

I frowned at this news. “I thought we were going to stay independent. Not sell through a department store.”

“Well we’d have to work out all the details with him. I’m pretty sure our lawyer would be able to work out a deal where we can still sell independently to Australia. Other designers do it.”

“But we’re not designers.” I rubbed my forehead at the magnitude. “I mean we are but we’re also an online boutique. Boutiques do not sell at department stores.”

Darcy’s face fell. “You hate the idea.”

“No. I don’t. I thought you did, so it’s just a surprise, especially with . . .”

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