“This is silly. Call him up, Mackenzie!” Paula ordered, her curly brown hair bouncing on her forehead as she shook her head in earnest. “You and Will love each other.”
That’s the problem.
She didn’t voice the thought, just offered a tense smile and said, “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course, anything.”
She hesitated. “If I saw…if I told you I’d seen something dark in your future, would you want to know?”
Paula’s face went pale. “You saw my death?” she choked out.
Mac quickly touched the other woman’s arm. “No, not at all. I promise. This is strictly hypothetical.”
Paula visibly relaxed, and then her features softened. “Wait, you’re thinking about poor Mr. Garber, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” Mac lied.
“Aw, honey. You know you shouldn’t feel guilty about what happened. You couldn’t stop it.”
“No, I couldn’t,” she said sadly. “The vision came too fast. He died before I could even call the police.” She swallowed. “But…if I saw something ahead of time, about you—hypothetically—would you want to be warned? Even if you knew it was set in stone?”
Paula paused thoughtfully. “Is it really, though? Set in stone, I mean?”
Tears stung Mac’s eyes. “So far. I’ve never seen anything that didn’t happen. It always comes true, Paula. Always.”
“Then, yes.” Paula gave a brisk nod. “I would want to know.”
“Sure. I’d get my affairs in order. Make amends. Leave nothing unsaid. I’d want to enjoy every second I had left.”
Mac fell silent, wondering if that’s what Will would do. Straighten his affairs, enjoy his last moments?
Somehow she couldn’t picture it. Knowing Will, he’d push everyone away—for their own good, of course. He’d say a quick goodbye and disappear, wanting to protect the people in his life from unnecessary heartache.
And although she hadn’t seen or spoken to him in days, the thought of him leaving turned her insides. If he knew he was going to die, he would push her away, while she would want nothing more than to keep him as close as she could.
A helicopter falling from the sky…
She shoved the horrific image aside and straightened her shoulders. She might not be able to change the future, but she sure as hell could change the present.
“Tomorrow,” she burst out.
Paula looked startled. “What?”
“If I don’t hear from Will tonight, I’m calling him first thing tomorrow.”
Paula grinned. “Good girl.”
She drew in a calming breath and repeated the word in her head.
Will stared into Shelby’s excited blue eyes and wondered if he was nuts for actually seeing the merit of this crazy scheme. It didn’t help that he was feeling pretty disoriented, considering the two women had come knocking on his door at six in the morning and interrupted his much-needed sleep. He hadn’t slept much since his night with Mackenzie. Too much tossing and turning and cursing her for being so damn stubborn.
Okay, so he wasn’t nuts then. Lack of sleep, that’s what was making him contemplate Holly and Shelby’s plan.
With a groan, he rubbed his tired eyes and rose from the couch, where the two women had sandwiched him after he’d led them into the tiny living room of his even tinier bungalow. This place had never quite felt like home to him. It kept him close to the base, but that was the only draw about it. To him, home was Hunter Ridge. And not the two-story redbrick house he’d grown up in, which was now occupied by another family. Oh no. Home was Mackenzie’s creaky old farmhouse, the only place where he felt truly like himself.
Home was Mackenzie.
“Come on, Will,” Holly said as she trailed after him into the kitchen. “You know this is a good plan.”
“You know it is,” Shelby chimed in, following them.
“Would you at least let me make a cup of coffee before we discuss this juvenile idiocy?” he grumbled.
Striding over to the counter, he clicked on the coffeemaker and then grabbed a mug from the cabinet over the sink. “You guys want any?” he offered.
Both women shook their heads, then waited patiently as he fixed himself a cup of black coffee, but he could see the unrestrained enthusiasm in their eyes. Leaning against the fridge, he gulped down the scalding liquid and waited for the java to do its thing. Almost instantly he felt alert, his mind sharpened by the caffeine. But while the sharp mind should’ve kick-started his usually superb common sense, he still found himself intrigued by the women’s outlandish plan.
Obviously picking up on his interest, Shelby gave a delighted laugh. “You think it will work, don’t you?”
Sipping his coffee, he eyed both females from the rim of his mug. “I’ll admit, it’s not a bad idea.”
Holly grinned. “So when do we leave?”
Sighing, he set down his mug and scratched the stubble on his chin. “I’m not saying I’ll do it.”
“Of course you’ll do it,” Holly said. Her grin widened. “This is going to be so much fun.”
Will eyed the brunette. “Have you spoken to Carson about this cockamamie idea? You know, your live-in boyfriend? I hardly think he’s going to agree to this.”
Holly shrugged. “Sure he will. He’s been saying for ages how you need to settle down.”