He didn’t answer.
Megan slipped out of the bed, frowning, but he still didn’t wake. She walked over to the big, overstuffed antique chair by the fireplace and found her heavy velour robe, wrapping it tightly around her. She pulled back the draperies to the balcony door, hesitated, then slipped out.
October in Massachusetts. A cool breeze was softly moving, but it wasn’t uncomfortably cold outside.
The sky was beautiful and strange, a deep blue, almost black in places, and light, almost ethereal in others. As she looked down at the street below, she saw a slow whirl of fog, and she found herself remembering the words of the crusty old storyteller who had been at the fireside tale-telling earlier in town.
Ah, but though those caught, hanged, and pressed to death, as old Giles Corey, were most probably true innocents, those earlier guardians of justice might not have been so foolish in their fears of evil, though they were daft in their methods of discovery. Think my friends, when there is goodness, there must be evil, and evil is rooted in the very history of mankind. Throughout the years there have been stories of man, and of beasts, and of those creatures who fall somewhere in between them. As there have been angels, there have been devils. There is the Good Book and there are works of the greatest demonic frenzy, and there have always been, as there are now, those who seek the secrets of the Devil, of imps and demons from beyond, of the salvage of beings we remember only in the deepest, darkest, recesses of our hearts . . . it’s said, you know, that on Hallow's Eve, it is the night when the dead may rise . . . especially if they are so bidden, if, perhaps, they are called from the fires of hell to walk upon the earth once again, to inhabit the lives and souls of man.
A log had fallen in the fire then; half the old man’s audience had jumped and cried out, and then laughed.
Megan had done so herself. She hadn’t imagined that she would come back to their rented room, dream of evil, and scream in the night.
The fog below appeared to be blue. It seemed to spiral, puff, curl, and move like some living thing itself.
She wasn’t afraid of fog ...
She felt the lightest touch against her nape. Fingers, lifting her hair, softy, gently. She closed her eyes and smiled.
Finn had awakened. He was behind her.
That was his ritual. He would come to her. Stand in silence. Touch her hair, lift her hair, press his lips against the flesh of her nape. She felt him touch her then. The hot moistness of his lips, the warm, arousing moisture of his breath. In seconds, his arms would come around her. He would tell her that he loved her.
And being Finn, he would bring his hips hard against her while he held her, and probably whisper that if she was going to scream, he should see to it that she was screaming for all the right reasons, because the things he could do to her were just so good that she couldn’t begin to help herself...
She felt his hands, sliding over the velour, under it, touching her flesh ...
His touch fell away. She thought she heard him breathing ... waiting. Waiting for her to turn into his arms, melt into them as she always did.
She spun around, ready to do just that.
He wasn’t there.
She was alone on the balcony.
The breeze suddenly turned colder. The eerie blue fog was rising from the street, moving quickly, coming higher, as if it were eager to engulf her.