The Aluminium Obsession

As she watched the hills pass by from the back seat of her taxi, Rylee felt her stomach twist into knots. She hadn’t ever intended to come back here, not after what had happened. After what she’d discovered. And yet here she was, about to ask for help from the person – if it could even be called that – she least wanted to see. Once, she’d found his constant obsession with businesses selling ute trays around Melbourne endearing. Now, she imagined it would be the most irritating thing in the world.

It took a couple of hours before the vehicle eventually arrived at the property Rylee had briefly imagined herself living on. Those were simpler times when she’d been working on the house and hadn’t had to worry about the Conclave of Mechanists. Part of her almost longed for it, even though she knew the truth now.

The driver got out of the car and grabbed Rylee’s wheelchair from the boot, then helped her get into it. She paid him extra for his trouble, then watched the vehicle depart the property.

When the taxi was gone, Rylee turned and moved forward, toward the entrance proper. There, she got a clear view of the house, in much better condition than she’d last seen it. That caught her by surprise – the last thing she’d expected Robot Cole to do was to keep working on this house after she left him. She wondered if he’d kept himself entertained by writing reviews in his computer brain for wherever he’d gotten his most recent set of under tray tool boxes for utes.

Rylee didn’t spot Cole in the yard, so she headed for the building, along the new path that made moving there in the wheelchair simple. As she moved into the building, she spotted her aluminium ute accessories obsessed ex-boyfriend working on the stairs.

Cole turned toward her, wide eyed. At that moment, she knew he would do whatever she asked.


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