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Mortal Kiss: Fool's Silver *Chapter 28*
Faye was terrified. Koskay’s creatures had dragged the struggling Finn over to Lucas’s chair and were plugging him into a nest of wires as the Russian barked orders, building a device that looked even more ominous than the one she’d thrown herself into.
‘Finn,’ she begged tearfully. ‘Help’s coming. Help’s coming, Finn, but you have to fight . . .’
Then Faye remembered the weight of Joe’s ghostly hand on her shoulder, and the sight of his fingers entwined with Mercy’s. She looked at Finn again, tracing her eyes over his beloved face, remembering what it was like to feel his arms around her. Faye shut her eyes, thinking of the times when she had felt the warmth of his skin against hers; of the look in his eyes when she’d stepped out of the shower in that empty motel . . . the way his gaze had touched her bare shoulders . . . He’d been standing on the other side of the room, but she’d felt his eyes on her as surely as if he had run his fingers down her shoulder blade. Her heart had started beating crazily, and her stomach had tied in knots. Faye held onto that feeling – of the electricity that had passed between them every time they touched. This was how she felt whenever he looked at her, whenever he held her, whenever his lips brushed against hers. It was endless, and it was love, and surely it had to mean he could feel her now . . .
Finn, she said, but only in her mind. Finn . . .
She opened her eyes. Finn turned to look in her direction, shock blooming in his eyes. Her invisible heart almost exploded. He’d heard her!
‘Finn.’ Lucas’s voice was a croak, but it got Finn’s attention. He was struggling in the chair, weak but determined. ‘She wouldn’t want this, you know. Faye would want you to fight, Finn. If she were here now, she’d tell you not to give up. You know that. You know her.’
Finn blinked. ‘There’s one thing I want to know,’ he said, his voice rough with grief and exhaustion. ‘You know . . . just . . . brother to brother.’
Faye held her breath, wondering what it was Finn was so desperate to know, right now, at the end of everything.
Lucas nodded with difficulty. ‘Anything,’ he whispered.
‘Why did you buy the bike?’
There was a pause as Lucas blinked. ‘Wh-what?’
‘The bike. Faye said she found the bill for it. You bought . . . a motorbike.’
Lucas smiled faintly. ‘It’s stupid.’
Finn shook his head. ‘A motorbike is never stupid.’
Lucas looked away and paused, as if searching for the right words. ‘I wanted you to teach me how to ride it,’ he said eventually. ‘I thought . . . I thought it might be a way for us to get to know each other better. You know . . . as brothers. I never had a brother before,’ he whispered. ‘I never had anyone before.’
Finn nodded. ‘Right,’ he said.
‘Jeff!’ Liz exclaimed, approaching Lucas’s father. ‘We need your help. Please, you have to help us. Look, there’s something I have to tell you—’
The foreman held up a hand, and she saw that his eyes now held a steely glint of determination.
‘Wait,’ he said. ‘Liz. It is Liz, isn’t it? You don’t need to explain. I know.’
‘You . . . you know? How?’
He smiled sadly at her. ‘You’re not the only one with a connection to a lost soul.’
‘Wh-what?’ Liz said. ‘What do you mean, a lost soul? Is – is Faye . . . has something happened to her?’
Jeff shook his head. ‘There’s no time. Come on, we have to act. Now.’ He jerked his chin at the group of bikers. ‘They’ll be no use in here. It’s down to us mere mortals.’ He strode over to them. ‘Make yourselves useful,’ he ordered. ‘Get back out there and hold off Koskay’s creatures. Understand?’
Cutter struggled to his feet. The two men squared up, matching each other for bulk. ‘We can help,’ the biker insisted.
‘You can’t. Not in here. Trust me.’
The man hesitated for a moment. Then he nodded. Together, the bikers scrambled uncertainly to their feet, and headed back towards the mine entrance.
‘OK, kids,’ said Jeff. ‘I’d rather have more suitable help, but it looks like it’s just us now. It turns out I’ve got something to live for, and someone to save, just like you.’ He patted his shirt pocket, and Liz could see something stuffed inside it . . . a notebook? ‘And I think I have something of his that needs returning. I guess that means we’re partners. So let’s do this. Ready?’
Koskay stopped fiddling with his machine and straightened up. His hasty construction looked serious enough to send fear shooting down Faye’s spine. Liz and Jimmy were going to be too late. In a few minutes everything would be too late.
‘Enough chit-chat!’ the Russian shouted triumphantly. ‘It is time for me to take my rightful place among the immortals!’
Faye saw Finn and Lucas look at each other. Something passed between them – a look of understanding. A goodbye.
‘No,’ she said uselessly. ‘Don’t give up! Please don’t give up!’
Then she saw Finn’s hands. He’d managed to work one of them free of the ropes – they must have been loosened as Koskay’s creatures dragged him across to the chair. She looked at Finn’s face, and hope bloomed within her. He no longer looked defeated and hopeless. There was purpose in his eyes . . . Faye held her breath – surely it was too late . . . They were already connected to the chair – and to Koskay himself . . . Faye looked around frantically, trying to think of something she could do, but there was nothing – she couldn’t help them! She felt like screaming in frustration.
Suddenly there was a resounding clang. Behind them, the door was flung open so hard that it hit the wall. Faye turned to see Jimmy, Liz and Jeff rush in, armed with picks and shovels and yelling as loudly as an entire army.
Koskay’s creatures leaped towards them, rotting teeth bared as the humans attacked.
‘You cannot stop me, fools!’ the Russian screamed, his hand on the lever. ‘You are too late!’ He pushed down hard, and the switch completed the connection between him, Lucas and Finn. Sparks flew as the machine sprang into life. There was a smell of burning, and Faye heard Finn yell as the hot wires bit into his skin.
Finn forced himself to his feet, lunging forward to grab Koskay around the neck with his free hand. The Russian’s eyes bulged in shock, but there was no one to help him. His zombie slaves were occupied – and losing their battle against Liz, Jimmy and Jeff.
Finn squeezed Koskay’s throat hard enough to feel the Russian’s windpipe give way under his fingers. The man struggled, scrabbling weakly against his hand, the wires of the machine tangling as he flailed about. The rage that had been building in Finn exploded. He bared his teeth, ready to kill Koskay there and then.
Something flashed into his mind – a sensation that washed over him like peace. There was a scent that he would know anywhere – Faye. Something flickered at the corner of his eye. He turned his head.
She was there – an image of her – floating like a memory in his vision. She was as beautiful as ever, edged in a silver light. And she smiled at him.
‘Overload!’ The yell jolted Finn back to the present. It had come from the miner, Jeff, who was struggling to hold back Koskay’s creatures. Finn saw Liz and Jimmy too, hopelessly outnumbered.
‘Boy,’ Jeff bellowed again. ‘Overload it! Overload!’
Finn smiled grimly as he understood Jeff’s message. ‘You want more power?’ he shouted to Koskay, over the high-pitched whine of the machine. ‘Here you go. You can have it all, Koskay. Every last bit.’
Finn shoved Koskay into the centre of the device, slamming him against the lever and pushing it all the way down to its maximum strength. The man screamed as the electricity surged into him.
Finn lunged towards Lucas, yanking out the wires that connected him to Koskay as the Russian convulsed uselessly against the machine. More sparks flew as the power surge built. Koskay shuddered as it passed into him, faster and faster. Something happened to his face – his good looks faded into a semblance of pure evil as the demon took over. His eyes bulged and then turned bloodshot. His skin rippled.
Finn dragged Lucas out of the chair and backed away towards the door, almost tripping over the zombies felled by Jeff. The device began to shriek, more and more sparks pouring from it.
Then the world exploded.
The force was enough to knock Finn to the passage floor and deafen him. He rolled over, shielding Lucas from the blast as it hit Jeff, Jimmy and Liz, beside him. Acrid smoke filled the passageway, threatening to choke them all. In the confusion, Finn felt hands under his arms and looked up to see Jimmy pulling him to his feet. He shook him off.
‘We’ve got to get out of here,’ Jimmy yelled, close to his ear.
Finn shook his head. ‘You go. Take Lucas.’
Finn cut him off. ‘I’ll be there. I promise.’
Jimmy looked at him for a second, then nodded. He grabbed Lucas’s arm and pulled it around his shoulder before heading off, making his way along the tunnel behind the others.
Finn looked at the door to the treatment room. It was charred, blackened by the smoke still billowing from within. Pulling his T-shirt up around his mouth, Finn ducked inside. There was no sign of the Russian. His device had torn itself to pieces, and scorched debris lay everywhere, embedded in the now-cracked tiles of the walls. Finn’s foot struck something. He looked down to see that it was the body of one of Koskay’s zombies.
Except that it wasn’t a zombie any more. The shrivelled, wasted carcass had changed – filled out to look like an ordinary living, breathing human. Finn knelt down beside the prone man and took his pulse. He was breathing!
Finn’s heart leaped. What about Faye? He looked up at the place in the wall where she had disappeared. He’d seen her, clear as day, standing beside him. Could she still be alive? he wondered.
He rushed over to the wall, trying to pry the tiles apart with his fingers, but it was no good. He looked around, grabbing a piece of twisted metal from the ruined device. He slammed it into the place where the opening had been, trying to shatter the tiles, coughing as the fumes worked their way under his makeshift mask.
Finn’s frantic pounding finally activated the mechanism. The wall slid back, as silently as before, to reveal the chamber behind.
Faye lay in a heap inside, her head slumped awkwardly against the glass. Finn felt his knees buckle at the sight of her; he slammed his hands flat against the glass to keep himself upright and then wrenched the door open.
‘Faye!’ he shouted. ‘Faye . . .’
He didn’t wait to see if she was breathing – he simply had to get her out of there. He lifted her into his arms and made for the exit. The fumes burned at his throat as he ran into the tunnel, and immediately he felt the silver draining his strength. He dropped to one knee, the pain in his head a pounding hammer, but forced himself up, staggering onwards until he reached the entrance of the mine.
Outside, the sun was rising, the endless blue heat of the desert sky tainted only by the black smoke pouring out of the mine. Finn staggered into the clean air, gasping for breath as he fell to his knees in the dust, still holding Faye. He hardly noticed the others gathering around them.
‘Faye!’ he shouted, stroking her hair back from her pale face as her head rested on his lap. ‘Faye, can you hear me?’
She didn’t move. Finn shook her, blinded by tears, but she was as still as death.
‘Don’t leave me,’ he whispered hopelessly. ‘Don’t you leave me here alone, Faye. I need you. I love you, Faye. Please. Please . . .’
He held her against his chest, his heart breaking. Faye didn’t move. He knew she wasn’t going to move, but he wouldn’t let her go. He couldn’t let her go.
‘Finn,’ whispered Liz after a moment, her voice full of pain. ‘Finn, I think . . . I think you have to . . . I think she’s already in the spirit world. That must have been what she was telling me . . . I think you have to let her go . . .’
Finn opened his mouth to say something, but then stopped. He loosened his hold on Faye and looked down at her in shock. He’d felt something. A tug, deep in his mind – a flutter against his heart . . .
‘Faye?’ he said, his voice cracking. He shook her again. ‘Faye? Wake up. Come on – wake up . . .’
‘Finn,’ said Jeff gently. ‘Come on, son—’
And then Faye coughed. Her eyelids fluttered. A ripple of amazement ran through the onlookers as she gasped for breath.
Finn laughed, the sound struggling through his tears, as she opened her eyes and looked up at him.
‘Hey,’ she whispered.
‘Hey yourself,’ Finn whispered back.
‘I think we won,’ she said.
Finn laughed, and kissed her gently. ‘Yeah. Yeah, we won.’
‘I still can’t believe you bought a Harley.’
It was a week later, and Finn, Faye, Liz, Jimmy and Lucas were gathered on the sun-drenched lawn of the Morrow mansion, waiting for the delivery of Lucas’s new bike.
‘What’s wrong with a Harley?’ Faye asked Finn from the sun lounger where she lay. ‘I thought they were great.’
Finn laughed. ‘They are! That’s why I can’t believe he’s got one!’
Lucas glanced up from his chair. He still looked pale, but he was getting stronger every day. ‘Well then, big brother – when it turns up, you have it, and I’ll have your beaten-up excuse for a bike.’
‘Ha! You’d never handle Joe’s bike,’ Finn teased. ‘It’s way too powerful for a newbie like you.’
‘Good job I’ve got an old man like you to teach me, then, isn’t it?’
Smiling, Faye watched the two boys bicker. Since they’d got back from Silver Cross, things definitely seemed to be better between them. Hearing news of his mother’s new, softer heart seemed to have brought about a change in Lucas. Not that they had talked a lot about Mercy, and Faye wasn’t sure if either of the brothers were ready to completely forgive their mother. But when she’d told Lucas that Mercy had said she loved him, something changed in his eyes. If it wasn’t peace, then it was something close to it.
She was looking forward to seeing Finn teach Lucas how to ride. They were all planning a trip back down south together in a couple of weeks – the boys on their bikes, and Faye and Liz in one of their cars. Lucas wanted to see how Jeff was getting on as soon as possible. His long-lost father had found a purpose again – he was helping get the mine back into proper production. With Koskay gone, the people were free, and were slowly returning to their normal lives. They wanted work, and homes that they could make their own. Silver Cross and its people were gradually getting back on their feet – as were Arbequina, Harris and Johnson, the bikers snatched by Koskay’s men.
‘This would be a lot easier if you kept still, you know.’
Faye turned her head to look at Liz, who was sitting on the sunbed next to her, trying to paint Faye’s nails. ‘Sorry. Ooh, I love the colour, though. Bright.’
‘Yellow nails are so in this season,’ her friend said confidently. ‘Now, you just need something to go with it! God, I can’t wait for our shopping trip tomorrow. Although,’ she added quickly, ‘if you don’t feel up to it yet, you can just say. We can go next week instead, if you like. I mean . . . what you went through, down there . . .’ Liz shuddered. ‘I can’t believe you were in the spirit world, Faye. That’s just . . . crazy. I keep almost talking about it to Mom and Dad, and then remembering that as far as they’re concerned, we were just camping!’
Faye smiled. ‘I know. I swear Dad knows that something’s up. He keeps giving me strange looks. But I think Aunt Pam has been trying to convince him that we can be trusted to look after ourselves.’
‘I wonder if they’d still think that if they knew what had happened down there . . .’
Faye shook her head with a smile. ‘Maybe not. But it’s over. No point worrying them now. Anyway – no, I don’t want to wait – I want to go shopping. It’ll help me remember what normal life is like! And we deserve a treat, don’t you think?’
‘Hey!’ Lucas shouted as a truck turned into the mansion’s driveway, its tyres crunching on the gravel. ‘This is it! It’s here!’
The boys all got up, chatting and laughing as the truck pulled to a stop. The driver got out, got Lucas to sign the delivery note, and then rolled up the back. The boys all gathered round to examine Lucas’s new ride.
Faye watched them with a smile. It was good to see Finn so happy and relaxed around them all. Hearing that Joe had helped them, and that, in a way, he was happy, had brought about a change in Finn. He and Faye had talked about their future together, as well as Finn’s future with the Black Dogs. Things were changing, but Faye knew it was for the best.
She loved him. He loved her. What else mattered, really?
Faye watched him for another second. In her mind she created the image of a patterned, cherry-red heart, with their names entwined at its centre. Joe had said her ability to connect with people would fade now that she was back in the physical world. But maybe . . . just maybe . . .
Finn stopped talking. He turned to look at her, and his happy smile told her everything she needed to know.
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