The Roaring Mouse will be out 12/16! Review copies will be available soon. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like one.
“Finch?” It’s the worried tone that finally filters through. A novelty. “Finch?” And a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Are you ok?”
Finch shrugs the hand off. It’s making it hard to think. That. And the pounding headache. And the blood coating the left side of her face. And, you know, the bullet channel gushing it.
“Five minutes ago you would have paid him to shoot me. Now you’re worried?” She looks back at Kate’s pale face, lips twisted down, scared eyes, clutching Elisabeth with her free hand like the kid is her blankie. Finch remembers the kitchen just yesterday, realizes, “Yeah, that really is just like you.”
Kate has got mood swings like hell. Finch just hopes it’s not genetic.
“Well you just saved my life,” Kate finally stutters back. “I think insulting my dead husband and daughter took a momentary back seat.”
“What I just did was act like a moron,” Finch grouses to herself.
“He’s not here to kill you. He’s here to kill me. And what do I do? He points, and I step right up to the cue tape.”
She staggers back at the force of her own statement. That, and the entire room is fucking spinning. It’s really annoying.
“Are you ok?” she hears Kate parroting. “You look – ”
“Like shit,” Finch finishes for her. “Yes. Thank you for noticing.”
She has to shake off the hand again. Just fingertips this time. Feels a little like a butterfly, wings fluttering against her skin.
Clearly she’s had her bell rung.
Her bag is already packed and Kate doesn’t have one.
But at least Kate is following, falling right into step even. And Elisabeth’s all out wailing has died down to the occasional whimper, looking up at Finch now with those wide, warm eyes. Her mother’s eyes. Just that same shade of welcoming brown. Like you could lie down on the summer dirt and stare up at the blue sky and it would be just the most perfect day.
Shit. Double shit.
She has to keep them safe, doesn’t she?
Of course she does. She needs the money.