Chapter 40

Copyright© 2010 by Michael Wolfam

The guard, a local rent-a-cop, waved the old convertible through the gate, moments before the lockdown order was given. He didn't think anything of it. The order was given periodically when one of the clients decided they couldn't take being clean anymore. They were usually rounded up in short order by the onsite security forces. "Just another day in paradise," he sighed, keeping his eye out for the escapee. He hoped, this time, it would be a celebrity he recognized. "Too many goddamn, reality TV stars these days," he muttered.

As the lights from Three Crosses Rehab Center faded in the distance, Liv turned to Finn. "I wonder what's going on at the old mine?"

"I don't know, but it better be something awesome. You're really going to have to work hard to top burning down a house and shooting guns!"

"I do what I can, but I can't promise anything." Liv grinned. "Hey, um listen. Thanks for helping me out and saving my ass." Liv paused. "I really couldn't have done it without you. If you hadn't caught that grenade, Grannie and I would probably be dead by now."

"Hey, no problem. It's all part of the Marine training. I didn't really think about it; I just grabbed it," Finn replied. "Besides, if you hadn't smelled the pot that guy was smoking, at the house, I would have stuck my pretty head right into a lead-flavored buzz saw. I would have said we were even after that, but since I had to take that car ride with Dr. Huntington, you owe me ... big!"

Liv raised an eyebrow suggestively. "I'll take care of you later, soldier."

"Mmm, I like the sound of that!" Finn exclaimed, taking his eyes from the road, for a moment, to look over at the woman sitting next to him on the bench seat. The clouds were parting and the car was illuminated by pale moonlight. Liv looked ravishing. The partially unzipped, leather jacket complemented her figure nicely. There was just a hint of olive-skinned cleavage peeking out from her camisole. But mostly, it was the seductive look on her face that caught Finn's eye. "You better wipe that look off your face before I pull this car over and take advantage of you," Finn warned jokingly.

"You? Take advantage of me? Hah!" Liv reached down and picked up the P-90, holding it tightly to her chest. "I'd like to see you try!"

"Damn women's liberation." Finn laughed as he concentrated on the dark road ahead. The joking soon turned to nervous tension as they approached the turnoff for the Three Crosses Mine, just outside of town. Finn took the turn slowly and they found themselves on a narrow road, nestled between two sheer, rock walls. He drove cautiously, and soon, reached a gravel parking lot. Two security lights lit the area with a surreal orange glow, but there were no other vehicles and no tracks in the fresh snow. Finn parked at the edge of the lot, as far from the main entrance as possible. They exited and examined their surroundings.

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