‘I’m sorry I got you into this!’ Charlie Reynolds shouted over the gusts of wind blasting them with icy sleet. ‘It’s the stupid weather! I don’t know where it came from. I can’t see how to get down!’
Neither could Tess. She held on to a shelf of slippery rock on a narrow ledge high on the cliff face with frozen, aching fingers. Beneath them was absolutely nothing. She tried for a smile, for encouragement, because the cute but stupid twenty-three-year-old was close to panic, but in her head she was swearing: at him, the mountain, the weather, the whole messed-up situation. He had no right to be here. He’d been warned. No—he’d been told. Repeatedly. The Federation Peak climb belonged only to those with the experience to tackle it and enough respect for the extreme Tasmanian conditions to know when not to. And he’d climbed up anyway.
She clung to her anger as desperately as she clung to the cliff, filled herself with it so there was no room for fear, for any of Charlie’s panic to creep in. Panic, and the effects it had on the body, would only increase the chances of them falling to their deaths.