Chapter Seventeen

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Christmas had come and gone and so had the beginning of the new year and Leigh hadn't yet returned to work. She had wanted to return back in December but with Christmas coming around quicker than expected Maggie had insisted she take the rest of the year off to recover properly. She had visited the farm a couple of times to check up on Ali who was still covering her shifts and with her freelance animation business not doing as well as she had hoped, she welcomed the change of scenery and pace.

Her first Monday back rolled around and Leigh found herself dressed and ready for work an hour before she even needed to leave and begin her forty-minute walk to the farm. Her nerves kicked in as if it were her first day again and as she sat at the breakfast bar in her apartment she began to worry that her body wouldn't be able to keep up with the demanding tasks she'd have to carry out that day. That morning she'd stared at her own reflection in the mirror and saw the bruises and cuts- which were deep gashes in her skin- had almost faded but she was sure a few would leave small scar- a constant reminder what she had been through. Ever since the accident she had used make-up to conceal the wounds but she wasn't an expert and the thought of someone seeing her injuries and asking her what happened frightened her. She was never one to get into personal issues and the simple thought of a question made her mind worry that the media would spin it into a complete frenzy and she would and yet again, she would become centre of attention where she definitely didn't want or need to be. Leigh wanted a simple life- she'd sought it all the way from Los Angeles and if it didn't work out she didn't know what she would do. It would work out, it had to.

As time moved ever so slowly Leigh prepared herself for her first day back at work. She packed her lunch into her bag, made sure she had her pain mediation and a water bottle and then descended her apartment building stairs. The fresh air caught her skin and she pulled her coat closer around her body as she set off down the street. A moment later, before she could even reach the end of the road Leigh spotted a familiar truck up ahead parked just opposite her apartment building. The man inside was busy talking on the phone but when she tapped impatiently on the window he ended the call straight away.

"Good mornin'," Brett said in an oblivious tone clearly unaware that it was strange for him to be sitting outside of her apartment building.

"What are you doing here?" She asked with annoyance in her tone.

"I thought I'd give you a ride," he said innocently. "Besides you should be pushing yourself after the accident."

"It's been over a month since the accident and I walked to work before and I can do it now, nothing has changed." she explained but it was evident that she was out of breath from even speaking a couple of sentences.

"I'll give you a ride today and then never again," he suggested and the kind yet demanding side to hi was one she had never seen before.

Leigh had already snapped at him once that morning without a single reason to but desperately wanted to accept the ride to work. Brett was going in that direction anyway so she didn't see the harm in accepting his offer but on the other hand she felt rude and couldn't think of anything worse than spending ten minutes in the car with a man she had put in his place. She hadn't explicitly been rude but the thought was implied and it instantly made her feel a little guilty because she wanted to like him and his efforts at changing. Brett had explained everything to her. He had started at the beginning and explained everything without leaving out a single detail and that was something she greatly appreciated. But it didn't mean that she could instantly forgive him for everything he had put her through over the couple of months she had been working at Donne Farm.

He sat in his truck waiting patiently for her to give him an answer and he didn't push for one. He could see from her reddening cheeks that she was feeling uncomfortable and the reason why he wasn't quite sure of. Brett had his fair share of guilt for the way he treated her and didn't expect her to accept his apology anytime soon. He'd acted like a child and for that he was embarrassed of himself but what was done was done and there was no going back. He could only go forward and try to make amends.

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