Mortal Kiss: Fool's Silver *Capítulo 12*
Liz hummed as she made her way back from the Winter Mill mall. After spending ages sitting around worrying about how Faye and Finn were doing and following their progress south on a map, she’d decided she needed some retail therapy. Poor Jimmy was still out of action with his busted leg, but he hadn’t minded when she said she was going to pop out for a bit. He was happy to wait by the phone for Faye’s next check-in – she’d promised to call in the morning to let them know where they were now.
Retail therapy really did work, Liz mused, but the problem was, that was only true while you were doing it. Now that she was back in the car, she was thinking about Faye, Finn and the bikers again – not to mention Lucas. There was something that had been niggling at the back of her mind, something that she couldn’t quite place . . . It was to do with the map they’d been using to follow Faye and Finn’s journey – the wiggly route through the southern states that Liz and Jimmy had traced with thick black marker. It reminded Liz of something, but she couldn’t think what.
It probably doesn’t matter, she told herself. It’s probably just one of those things . . .
She pulled up outside Jimmy’s house and took her bags off the back seat. She hadn’t gone totally mad with her purchases – well, she didn’t think so, anyway – but she had found a few really gorgeous things. It was just a pity that Faye wasn’t here to see them. One of the best things about shopping was trying everything on with Faye once they got home, Liz thought. Winter Mill just wasn’t the same without her.
‘I’m back!’ Liz called as she came through the door. ‘I’ve got you a present!’
She found Jimmy in the living room, his phone in one hand, the map spread out over his knees, and a frown on his face. He looked up as she came in. ‘Hey,’ he said.
‘What’s wrong?’ Liz asked. ‘Has something happened?’
Jimmy shook his head. ‘No. But I haven’t heard from either Faye or Finn for a while. They were supposed to call, but they haven’t. I can’t get through to them, either.’
Liz dropped her bags in a pile and sat down beside him. ‘Where were they the last time you spoke to them?’
Jimmy pointed to a stretch of desert just inside the Arizona state border. Everything around it looked very empty.
‘Well,’ said Liz, trying to stay optimistic, ‘maybe there’s no signal down there. It looks like the middle of nowhere to me.’
Jimmy smiled. ‘I’m sure you’re right. How was the shopping?’
‘Great,’ she told him as the thought niggled away in her brain again. ‘Well, not great. It’s just not the same without Faye. There’s a skateboarding competition going on in town this morning – everyone else is going to see Madoc compete in it, but I just don’t feel like it without Faye.’
Jimmy pulled her close for a hug. ‘I’m sorry she’s not here. And I’m sorry I’m stuck indoors with this stupid leg.’
She hugged him back. ‘It’s not your fault!’
‘Well, I feel like it is. We could be on the road with them, instead of waiting here for news.’ He pulled back with a sigh. ‘Why don’t you show me what you bought, anyway?’
Liz smiled. Jimmy was always so sweet. She knew fashion really wasn’t his thing, but he tried so hard to be interested in whatever she was. She stood up, pulling out the cute floral dress she’d bought from MK. It was off-the-shoulder, with a gathered waist.
‘I love this,’ she told him. ‘It’s perfect for summer – it just needs a belt to finish it off, that’s all. Maybe a silver one. I think I’ve got . . .’
‘Liz?’ Jimmy asked with a frown as she trailed off. ‘What’s up?’
She stared at him, the tiny spark of an idea in her mind suddenly making more sense. ‘Jimmy, show me the map again – quick!’
He looked puzzled, but picked up the map and spread it out in front of them. Liz studied the line they’d drawn from Winter Mill – the winding route that Faye and Finn had followed since they left. They’d travelled almost 2,600 miles. She frowned, trying to concentrate, as a memory surfaced in her mind.
‘What is it?’ Jimmy asked. ‘Liz? What have you seen?’
She reached out, covering part of the line with her hand so that it looked as if it had started in Arizona. ‘Look,’ she said to Jimmy. ‘Doesn’t that remind you of anything?’
He glanced over her shoulder for a moment. ‘I’m not sure . . .’
‘It was in one of our history classes last year,’ she reminded him. ‘It was all about silver mining in the United States. This is one of the old silver trails that the miners used!’
Jimmy looked again. ‘Wow! Good memory! Hold on – can you pass me the laptop? I’ll check.’
Sure enough, a little searching confirmed what Liz had thought. Every twist and turn that Finn and Faye had taken on the strangers’ scent trail had been along an ancient silver-mining route.
‘So the strangers came from silver country?’ asked Liz as they sat back on the sofa, trying to work out what it meant. ‘How does that help us?’
Jimmy shrugged. ‘I’m not sure yet, but it’s something we didn’t know before. It might come in useful.’ He stopped, thinking for a moment, and then said, ‘Wait a minute – didn’t Faye say that Finn and the bikers had acted really weirdly when those men turned up? That it looked as if they were getting sick?’
‘That’s right.’ Liz nodded. ‘Why?’
Jimmy pointed to the map again. ‘They’re werewolves. Werewolves are affected by silver. If those men had come from a silver mine, they would have traces of silver all over them! Wait . . . the knife that Finn was stabbed with – didn’t Faye tell you it looked like it was made of silver too?’
Liz’s eyes widened. ‘You’re right! But why would they want werewolves to work in a silver mine? It would just make them ill, wouldn’t it? They wouldn’t be very useful.’
‘Maybe they don’t want workers,’ said Jimmy darkly. ‘Or at least, not the way we think they do.’
Liz shivered, and was about to say something when her phone rang. She snatched it up, smiling in relief at the caller’s ID.
‘Faye!’ she said as her friend answered. ‘We were worried about you! Is everything all right?’
‘Not really.’ Faye’s voice sounded even more tired than before. ‘It’s a long story, but we’ve lost the trail. We’re in the middle of the Arizona desert, with no clue where to go next.’
Liz looked at Jimmy. ‘Actually, I think we can help. We’ve been marking out your route. You’re following a silver trail. We think those men came from a silver mine.’
‘A silver mine?’ Faye repeated. ‘Well . . . that might explain the bikers’ odd reactions—’
‘Exactly!’ Liz exclaimed, glad to finally be able to do something useful. She grabbed the map. ‘I think we can help you with where they might be. The biggest seam of silver used to be mined at a place called Silver Cross. It was the last mine to close, twenty years ago. If they’re anywhere, they might well be there.’
‘That’s brilliant, Liz!’
‘I know! I can’t believe I remembered something from class. How geeky am I?’ Liz laughed, looking at Jimmy. ‘I’ll be collecting comics next!’
She heard Faye laugh too – but only briefly. Her friend sounded tired and stressed. ‘I’d better go,’ she said. ‘Do you think you can text us directions from here?’
Liz nodded, the phone against her ear. ‘Of course. But, Faye . . .’ She hesitated: she didn’t want to worry her friend, but there was something niggling away at her – a worry that she couldn’t shake. ‘Just be careful, OK?’
‘We will. Promise.’
They cut the connection, and Liz stared at the line she’d traced on the map. The more she gazed at it, the more it looked like a long, sinuous snake, ready to slither round and squeeze her friends to death.
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