My hand closes around the pendant that hangs from my neck. A gold M on a chain I’ve since replaced a dozen times. I’m not exactly gentle with the things I wear. She gave it to me right before she died, asked me to hold the bloody thing for her while she was gone. I don’t know why she couldn’t stick it in a jewellery box before she left, she had enough of them, but instead she gave it to me. Ten seconds before dashing out of the jet she stopped and pulled it off. Told me it would give me good luck. She should have kept it – maybe it would have brought her that luck instead.
The building went up in flames soon after we got in. Some sort of defence mechanism I guess, but we turned tail and booked it out of there as fast as we could. We burst the door and ran right into gunfire. Christ, Charles had been wrong when he said this place was abandoned. One-eye took them out fast, but the team on the other side of the building were not as efficient. By the time we got there Jean’s voice was yelling so loud in my head I thought it was going to explode. I don’t remember tearing through the three guards left standing, or how I found Marie in the first place – but I do remember feeling the warmth drain from her body as I prayed for her skin to switch on. I remember the sweet smell of her perfume, so faint under all the stench of death around us. The sheen of sweat on her forehead that left a salty taste on my lips, I swear I can still taste it every time I think of her.
And so I lay here at night, I don’t know how many years it’s been – I’ve stopped counting a long time ago. I watch the steady rise and fall of her shoulders as she breathes, already deep asleep. She died that day, I felt her heart stop. But I also felt it start again. Even through the searing pain that flowed through me from her touch, I felt the first flutter of her heart as it started again. She was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the lab two days later, and she’s the last thing I see every night before I close my eyes. Maybe that pendant had brought me some sort of twisted luck after all.
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