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Mortal Kiss: Fool's Silver *Chapter 3*
Faye kept her back to Finn all the way to the house, but she could feel his brooding eyes watching her. She blinked back angry tears, not quite understanding what had just happened. One minute her heart was doing cartwheels, waiting for his lips to touch hers – and the next, it had felt as if she were looking at a stranger. How could Finn be jealous of his own brother? And more importantly, how could he dismiss her worries about Lucas so easily?
Faye looked around at her friends as she passed. They were all happy and laughing, even Liz and Jimmy. Everyone was enjoying the party – but she just couldn’t, not until she had found Lucas and made sure he was OK. Was she being stupid, worrying this much? Maybe she was. But something just didn’t feel right. And after everything she’d seen during their struggle against Mercy Morrow . . . Faye shivered. Sometimes she thought she’d never feel that the world was normal again.
The Morrow mansion was arranged over several levels, but Lucas only really used two or three of the rooms. He had a bedroom and a room next to it that they – Faye, Liz, Jimmy, and sometimes even Finn too – all lounged in whenever they came to visit. Lucas had become a good friend to all of them – well, most of them. Finn still kept his distance, though Faye couldn’t understand why. Lucas was kind and generous, and seemed eager to make everyone in town – Finn especially – realize that he wasn’t going to turn into the cruel, haughty person that his mother had been. She just wished Finn would give Lucas more of a chance. Then maybe he’d see that being jealous of his brother was ridiculous.
The sound of music from the party followed her, but the rest of the house was quiet as Faye walked slowly down its empty corridors. Candy had joked about getting lost in the mansion, but Faye could well believe it was possible. She wondered about the people who had built it. She’d have to ask her dad and Aunt Pam about it – they knew everything about the history of Winter Mill.
Faye reached Lucas’s door and knocked. There was no answer, and no sound from inside. She knocked again, just to be sure, and when there was still no answer, she turned the handle and pushed the door open.
The room inside was just as it always was. There was a big, squishy sofa and a couple of armchairs. The fridge was full of cola – Lucas’s favourite drink. The stereo was off, but his iPod was still plugged in. Faye stood in the middle of the room and looked around. She smiled when she saw the latest photo of them all together, propped up on top of Lucas’s bookcase. It had been taken the previous week, when he’d had an impromptu Sunday barbecue. Faye picked it up, and shook her head in amusement. They were all sitting in a circle on the grass, with Lucas standing over them, wearing a stupid apron and a huge chef’s hat over his shock of blond hair. He was pulling a face at the camera, his blue eyes twinkling as he offered the person behind it – Jimmy, if she remembered right – a plate of very burned chicken wings. Faye put the photograph back, but as she looked around the room again, her smile faded.
There was no sign of Lucas, but something was still niggling at her. Something that wasn’t quite right . . . Then she realized what it was: Lucas’s guitar was on its stand, beside his drum kit. Faye went over to it, running her fingers along the strings, making them hum in the quiet of the room. Her heart lurched. Lucas never went anywhere without his guitar. Even if he’d just gone for a walk in the woods before everyone turned up for the party, she knew he would have taken it with him, especially at the moment. He was working on a new album of songs – he’d played a couple to her last time she and Liz had come over after school. Lucas said inspiration could strike at any time, so it was important that he always had it with him. He’d only stopped bringing it to school because the teachers had threatened to confiscate it when he wouldn’t stop strumming it in class.
Now Faye really was convinced that something was wrong.
She shut the door behind her and hurried back downstairs, only to find Finn on his way up. They stopped a few steps apart and looked at each other. Faye could see how tense Finn’s shoulders were, and the worry in his eyes. His face was creased with a frown as he looked at her anxiously. The anger she’d felt melted, just a little.
‘Faye,’ he said, looking as if he wanted to reach out for her, but sticking his hands in his pockets instead. ‘I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. That was stupid. I’m stupid.’
She smiled. ‘It’s OK.’
He shook his head. ‘It’s not. I don’t have any right to be jealous. Your life is your own. I’m sorry.’
Faye frowned. ‘Oh.’
‘I thought you meant you were sorry for not listening to me about Lucas. Finn, he’s definitely not here.’
Finn frowned. ‘What makes you so sure?’
‘His guitar is in his room. If he’d gone to get something from town, he would have taken his car – it’s still here, so he didn’t do that. But if he went for a walk or something, he would have taken his guitar.’
‘You don’t know that for sure.’
‘I do! He never goes anywhere without it.’
Finn crossed his arms with a frown. ‘What about his songbook? You know, the notebook he writes everything in for the album? Did you see that?’
Faye thought back. She hadn’t seen it – usually the book was propped up against Lucas’s guitar. ‘No,’ she admitted. ‘No, it wasn’t where it usually is.’
‘Well, there you go, then. He went out for a walk, didn’t want to carry his guitar, and just took his songbook. I’m telling you, Faye, Lucas is fine. He probably just wants to make a grand entrance when he’s sure everyone’s at his amazing party.’
Faye frowned. ‘Lucas isn’t like that.’
Finn clenched his jaw briefly, and took a breath. ‘OK, I’m sorry. Look, Faye, I don’t want to fight. Come and get a drink and we can talk.’
Faye nodded reluctantly. Finn reached out to take her hand, and she laced her fingers through his, letting him pull her gently back down the stairs.
Outside, Lucas’s absence didn’t seem to be having any effect on the party at all. Everyone was laughing and dancing. Finn let go of her hand to pour her a glass of cola, and Faye watched as Candy tried to get Madoc to dance. Faye knew that her friend was crushing on him, but he didn’t seem interested, pushing his red curls back from his eyes with a shake of his head. Knowing Madoc, he was probably more interested in talking about skateboards with his friends. Candy eventually gave up and danced with Misty Barnhouse instead.
‘Here you are,’ Finn said, reappearing with a drink in each hand. ‘So . . . did you get everything done at school that you needed to?’
Faye took her glass with a smile. ‘Yeah, everything’s fine.’
Finn scraped his thumbnail against his glass for a moment. ‘Look . . . what I said, about Lucas – about being jealous. I really am sorry. He just . . . drives me a little crazy. It’s . . . it’s weird to suddenly discover you’ve got a brother you didn’t know you had. Especially one who’s such a . . . such a jock.’
Faye sighed. ‘He’s not a jock, Finn. Really. I wish you’d try to get to know him better.’
Finn shrugged. ‘I have tried, Faye. I guess . . . I guess we’re just too different.’
She looked up at him, but he didn’t meet her eye. ‘You’re a lot more alike than you think, actually.’
Finn shook his head, making a sound in his throat as he finished his drink. ‘That doesn’t really make me feel any better.’
Faye put her glass down. She didn’t want to think about what Finn meant by that comment. ‘You know, I’m sorry – but I don’t really feel like a party any more. I’m going to head home.’
Finn stuck his hands in his pockets. ‘I can take you on the bike. I’ve got a spare helmet.’
She shook her head. ‘No, it’s fine. You stay and enjoy the party. I need the walk – it won’t take long through the woods.’
Finn reached out and took her hand, stopping her as she began to move away. ‘Faye,’ he said softly. ‘Please. I’ve hardly seen you all week. I’ve missed you.’
She looked up into his dark, expressive eyes. There was something about them that could always shoot straight into her heart. ‘Sorry,’ she said again. ‘I think I’m tired. I just want to go home, OK?’
‘Then let me walk with you, at least.’
Faye paused for a moment, and then nodded with a faint smile. ‘That would be nice.’
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