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Mortal Kiss: Fool's Silver *Chapter 4*
The sun was setting as they left the mansion, and the sky above the woods wore a beautiful halo of orange and deep pink as it faded into night. The music dwindled away behind them as they walked deeper into the woods. Apart from the occasional burst of birdsong, everything around them was quiet. Finn breathed in deeply, trying to pull the calm around him into his lungs, his heart.
‘I haven’t seen you with the pack much recently,’ Faye said.
Finn dug his hands in his pockets and frowned. ‘Well, I’ve been pretty busy. What with school, and teaching Jimmy to ride properly. And Aunt Pam has needed me to do things around the shop. And, most importantly, there’s you.’ He smiled. That last part made trying to fit in worth all the odd looks he got from the people of Winter Mill.
Faye looked up at him, her green eyes a flash of pure colour in the black-and-white dapple of the dark forest. ‘But don’t they need you?’
Finn shrugged. ‘They all know how to look after themselves. They didn’t need me before, I don’t see why they should now.’
‘But what are they going to do?’ Faye persisted. ‘I mean, now that Joe’s gone . . . now that Mercy’s been dealt with . . . what are they going to do?’
‘I don’t know, but I don’t see why it’s my responsibility to work that out. Just because my dad decided to do something stupid and—’ Finn stopped. How could he explain this to Faye? He was trying to leave that life behind, and thinking about it reminded him of the sacrifice Joe had made. He’d left them all homeless and without purpose. ‘I just don’t know,’ he finished lamely. ‘Look, can we talk about something else?’
They walked on. Finn reached out to take Faye’s hand. He worried she might shake him off, but to his delight she immediately laced her fingers through his.
‘Do you ever have dreams about your past?’ she asked suddenly. ‘I mean . . . about being a wolf?’
Finn winced a little. ‘Sometimes – but I try to ignore them. They’re just dreams.’
‘Do you think so?’
He looked at her. ‘Sure. Why?’
‘It’s just . . . I keep having this dream,’ she said. ‘But somehow it feels like more than a dream.’
‘What do you mean?’ he asked. ‘What sort of dream?’
‘It’s weird. It’s always the same. It starts off really scary, but then by the end . . . it’s just strange. I’m in the woods, and it’s dark – I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not afraid.’
Finn squeezed Faye’s hand. He knew how not afraid she could be. It was one of the things he most admired about her. In that warehouse, all those months ago, she’d seen him change for the first time, and yet her first reaction had been concern for him, rather than worrying about herself.
‘Then I feel as if I’m being followed,’ Faye went on. ‘And I start running. And I know it’s a wolf behind me. It’s a huge white wolf . . . It’s like that time you rescued me, when I was being chased by Mercy’s pack. Do you remember?’
Finn pulled Faye to a stop, and then stood in front of her, watching the faint light dance across her face. ‘Of course I remember. I’ll always remember – this beautiful girl came flying out of nowhere and I nearly ran her over with my bike! How could I forget?’
Faye smiled, looking up at him as they moved a little closer. ‘That’s not the whole dream, though. This wolf is chasing me, and then I—’
Finn leaned in, interrupting her words with a soft kiss. He didn’t want to talk about wolves of any sort. He wanted to forget what he was, and where he had come from. He just wanted to be with Faye – couldn’t she see that?
Faye pulled away as the kiss ended and looked up at him with a twinkle in her eye. ‘That’s a really boy way to change the subject.’
‘Sorry,’ he said cheerfully. ‘But I’ve wanted to do that all night. In fact, it’s all I—’
Finn froze, his eyes still locked with Faye’s but his senses all elsewhere. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as something tingled along every inch of his spine.
‘Finn?’ Faye whispered after a second. ‘What is it? Did you hear something?’
He didn’t answer, instead turning his head away to listen. There was a small clearing up ahead, and something was coming towards it. Every muscle in his body was primed. He could feel Faye’s fingers, warm in his, and wanted to stand between her and what was coming. Finn glanced back towards the mansion, the pale stone of its walls still just visible through the trees. They hadn’t come far.
‘Go back,’ he told her, in a low voice that he knew sounded more like a growl. ‘Faye, go back to the mansion.’
‘What?’ she said, following the direction of his gaze. ‘Why? What is it, Finn? What can you—?’
A burst of noise erupted into the clearing, drowning out Faye’s words. It was the rest of the Black Dogs – and they were arguing loudly. As Finn and Faye watched, the shouting turned into a fight, with the pack pushing each other.
Finn turned to Faye, gripping her shoulders. ‘Run,’ he said. ‘Please, Faye – now. I have to deal with this and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Run!’
He pushed her gently in the direction of the mansion, and waited just long enough to see her disappear among the trees. Then he headed for the clearing, and the mass of angry, fighting werewolves.
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