Chapter 7.4 (Ryder)Mature

I looked down at Mollie as she lay in her hospital bed from where I stood at the foot of it. Joe had eventually called her parents, despite everything I said to try and dissuade him. Mollie's mother was now sat in the chair at her bedside, her father stood near the door and her little brother sat on the edge of the bed, clutching at her hand.

"Oh, my baby," her mother sobbed.

Alistair passed through the door and walked over to me.

"How are you?" he asked.

"Fine," I said, though we both knew I wasn't.

The young boy sat beside Mollie looked up, meeting my eyes. His face turned white.

"Mum," he whispered.

"What, John?" his mother replied through her sobs.

"There's two men standing by Mollie's bed," he said as quietly as he could. 

"There's no one there, John. Stop trying to get attention," she scolded him. 

"But, Mum, there is."

"Stop! Your sister is here in hospital! Stop making things up."

He sat still, staring at me and Alistair. I sighed and turned, striding out of the room. After a moment, Alistair followed.

"We need to get to Eden," I said without facing him.

"How are we going to do that? Do you have an access pass? No, and neither do I," he replied.

"I know someone who can get us documents," I said quietly.

"Forgeries, you mean?" he scoffed.

"How else do you intend to get in there?" I snapped, spinning around to face him.

"Where is this guy?" he asked after a moment.

"Madrid," I told him.

"Who's going?"

"I'll go in a little while. I need to talk to Joe first."

"I sent him home; he was falling asleep."

I nodded. "I'll see you in a couple of hours."

I disappeared over to Joe's house before he could reply. He was sat up in his bed, his face buried in his hands.

"Joe."

He jumped, looking up at me.

"What is it?" he asked, folding his arms around himself.

"I'm going to get us passes so we can get into Eden. Are you coming with us?" I asked, already knowing what he'd say.

"Of course."

"I thought you'd say that."

"Do you have a problem with me coming?"

I thought for a moment. "No," I admitted. "Mollie trusts you more than she trusts me."

"Are you sure about that?"

"You've known each other for years. And, you know, she hates me right now..."

"I'm sure she doesn't."

"You didn't hear what she said when she walked out."

He sat quietly.

"Anyway, I'll go and... get us passes."

"Legitimate ones?" he asked .

I raised an eyebrow at him.

"Oh," he said.

I smiled slightly. "I'll see you."

I disappeared to Madrid, which took a little while longer than usual; I'd been making so many short journeys that I was out of practice with longer ones.

"Ryder?" I heard from the next room.

The short, balding, middle-aged Irishman shuffled into the back room of his shop, grinning. He appeared to be slightly wider than the last time I saw him.

"Hi, Oscar," I smiled.

"What can I do for you? What do you need?" he asked, his grin widening.

"Access passes," I said quietly, looking at him meaningfully.

He lost the grin. "How many?"

"Three."

"Three?!" He ran a hand over his head. "I'll do my best. When do you need them by?"

"As soon as possible."

"Is it not possible you can... talk to your boss?"

"Not anymore."

"Oh... I see. Can I ask what happened?"

"I fell in love."

"Oh..."

"Yeah. So when can you have the passes done by?" I asked.

He ran his hand over his head again. "Give me a minute."

Oscar turned around and shuffled back into the main room. I followed him. He was knelt down under the counter of his very reputable camera shop. He stood, holding a small lock box. He placed it on the counter.

He kept glancing over to the door as he unlocked it. He sorted through it and pulled out a real access pass, looking it over.

"It's been a long time since I've had to do one of these, but three... It'll be a couple of days at least."

"Days?" I asked.

He nodded. "A week maximum."

"Is there no way you can get this done any sooner? It's urgent."

"Not without handing the job over to someone else, and I don't think that's a good idea," he muttered, looking over the real one.

"No, thank you. How many days do you reckon it'll take?"

"Two, three maybe."

"That'll have to do I suppose," I murmured. "How much?"

"Nothing, you know that. Not for you."

"Thanks, Oscar," I said.

 

The End

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