The first six parts of the story have been written by a mix of other authors including some from Harper Impulse and they have all done a brilliant job and now it's my turn (gulps).
You can find the first six parts of the story here:
Part One - Lori Connolly
Part Two - Elsa Winckler
Part Three - Aileen Harkwood
Part Four - Elise Forier Edie
Part Five - Patricia Sands
Part Six - Eve Devon
Part Seven - by me is below
Part Eight - Kari Lemor will be available on 6th January 2015
Part 7 – I Looked Away
“Then who is he?” asked Garrett his voice harsh and his hand paused on his radio ready to call in the details.
Madeline licked her dry lips and blinked hard, she couldn’t make sense of the face on the paper. “It’s Donnan MacCallion he’s…” but Garrett wasn’t listening anymore.
"Suspect is Donnan MacCallion,” he paused. ‘How the hell do you spell that?”
"D-O-N-N-A-N it’s Scottish, he’s… someone I used to know…”
“Um, twenty five, twenty six maybe?”
Garrett threw the tent open and stepped outside again. Madeline finally pulled her eyes away from the drawing and took in the puzzled looks of the teenagers.
“So it’s all OK then?” asked the boy in the gray sweater his voice more than a little tentative. “This guy’s a friend?”
“Yes… No, not exactly.”
Garrett burst into the tent making everyone jump. “There’s been a sighting down by the river. Madeline come with me.”
There was no time for thank you before Madeline found herself running through the forest with Garrett. She felt her feet slide about as they struggled to grip the wet ground in her unsuitable footwear. Somehow she managed to stay upright. As if night turned to day they emerged out of the dark of the tree canopy and onto a wide track where a ranger jeep was roughly parked. It wasn’t until he let go that she realized he had been gripping her hand, leading her through the dismal mass of trees. They got inside the jeep and its wheels spun frantically as they accelerated away. Madeline’s heart was beating fast from the fear and the exertion. Her thoughts were wild and muddled. What was Donnan doing here? Did he know who Megan was? Why had he taken her? Where had she left Megan’s coat? Why the hell hadn’t they gone to Disneyland instead?
The radio crackled into life and Judy’s voice came through strong. “We’ve lost sight of the boat, last seen heading up river. Over.”
"You’ve done great, Judy. The helicopter should be on the scene any minute. Over.”
“He’s in a boat? Where’s he taking her?”
Garrett’s eyes darted away from the road for a second. “I’ve got a hunch,” he said. “Hold on tight it’s going to get bumpy.” He gripped the steering wheel a fraction tighter and swung the jeep off the road and onto a dirt trail.
Madeline lost track of time as the vehicle bumped and wheeled across the uneven surface, a particularly harsh dip had the tires spinning in the mud and Madeline sent up a silent prayer. Eventually the wheels gripped and the jeep lurched forward.
“Who is MacCallion?” asked Garrett as he wrestled with the steering wheel.
“Someone I knew at college.”
“Boyfriend?” asked Garrett his tone somehow making the word sound pathetic.
“Yes, for a while. Look, I’ve not seen him for years. Back then he was captain of the soccer team and destined for a brilliant career in medicine.” She paused and tried to think of the person she’d once known. “He was a good man.”
Garrett snorted a derisory laugh. “Yeah and people change.”
The branches of a large fir tree smacked at the passenger side of the jeep and Madeline took a sharp intake of breath. What the hell was going on?