heather lin book

Lady of Mars: Chapter 60 (fin)

The ship touched down on New Earth in one of the rural docks of U.S. Territory. They were hours away from the U.N. District. Capri had no papers. Brody was wanted. They couldn’t draw attention to themselves by landing in one of the busier and better-guarded docks.

She was ready to go. Brody sat in his bunk, cleaning his guns maybe a little more aggressively than necessary. He wouldn’t stop her. Maybe a part of him wanted to, but this was the choice she’d made. This was the choice she’d made, and he was a coward.

Giving in to tender feeling would kill him—and her, in the end. He couldn’t be the one to save her. Not again. He had to say goodbye, let her try to make it on her own. It was what he’d planned from the start of this goddamn mess, anyway, and now it was what she wanted, too.

Leroy hugged her tightly, freely, and she kissed his cheek. Brody looked away, picking up a snub-nosed revolver and handling it with more care than the other weapons.

“Take this,” the mechanic said, and he looked back in time to watch him hand Capri a linker. “It only works in atmo, but you know we’ll be around eventually.”

Annoyance and a familiar jealousy surged through Brody. He rubbed the barrel of the gun hard, as if the cold steel beneath his fingers could somehow seep into his heart and reinforce it. The force of whatever the hell it was that drew them together time and again was intense. But no more.

Capri lingered at the top of the steps and looked back at him. Her hazel eyes were clear, determined, but in the thin line of her mouth there was regret. She didn’t speak. He had nothing to say. He stood, stone-faced but far from unfeeling, and approached her. Just like that, her eyelids lowered and her lips parted slightly, unconsciously. He watched her mouth and considered tasting it one last time, but he stayed strong.

He held out his parting gift, and she accepted the snub-nosed revolver with a nod of gratitude and understanding.

Then she was gone.

Brody went back to his guns while Leroy refueled the ship. He had to focus on the relief and not the loss. He had to forget the girl.

This had to be the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *