14 | Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

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Finn didn't reappear until Wednesday

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Finn didn't reappear until Wednesday. I had been tempted to confront him via a text message, but then I figured it would've been a lot more difficult for him to lie to my face. Then again, lying was what he'd been doing since the day we met, so in retrospect, my logic may have been flawed. 

As I spotted him board the Victoria line carriage on Wednesday morning, instead of giving it to him straight, I left some breadcrumbs. He flashed me an uncharacteristically reserved smile as our eyes met, which suggested he maybe knew something was up, but made no reference towards his lost book. Given said book was currently slotted in-between some papers in the handbag at my feet, Finn didn't read anything as we rode the tube. Instead, he leaned against one of the train doors with his eyes closed throughout the short journey.

I greeted him with a, 'you forgot your book on Saturday,' as I pulled the hardback from the bag hanging over my shoulder.

We were walking down the platform to weave our way out of King Cross's underground, and Finn had remained unusually quiet. As I handed him the book, the flicker of confusion that flashed through his eyes suggested he hadn't even realised he'd lost it. As we approached the escalators, I anticipated some kind of acknowledgement towards the bookmark contained within the book, but Finn's unshaven face remained placid as he thanked me.

'How come you don't use actual bookmarks?' I tried as we slowly emerged above ground.

Again, Finn failed to take the bait because he shrugged, then said, 'easier, I guess.'

This was getting me nowhere. 

'Finn, I know you've been lying to me.'

'I—What? Have I?' he answered dumbly before clearing his throat.

We'd reached the National Rail part of the station, where we usually parted ways, but I followed Finn as he moved through the crowds and towards the station's main exit. Finn didn't even acknowledge my divergent behaviour. He was fanning himself with his t-shirt as if it was mid summer, despite it being the middle of October. 

'Your bookmark,' I tried as I gestured towards the book in his hand. 'I've seen the letter.'

His face remained blank, and my God, it was like trying to draw blood from stone. We exited the station, and for once, Finn was walking at a pace I could easily keep up with. He came to a slow stop outside the taxi rank, then turned to face me as I glared back with raised eyebrows.

'I've got zero idea what you're talking about,' he muttered, his voice sounding skewed in some way—deeper, maybe?

I groaned, took the book from Finn's left hand, and opened it up to the page where he'd slotted the letter. He was staring down at my hands as I unfolded and displayed it to him, but his grey eyes looked distant. He seemed to be paying more attention to a small, metal pole separating us from the taxi rank, which was supporting his weight as he rested his hand atop it.

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