"Fire cannot burn me, I need not eat, nor drink nor shave my beard nor do any other of the things that mark a man as mortal. What else would you be calling me, save a ghost?"
Flynn O'Connor has been waiting for his sweetheart for a very long time. When Annabel tumbles into his life, Flynn is cautious and concerned. Is she a woman of flesh and blood or a woman of the Sidhe sent to win him away from his devotion to Eliza? The things Annabel tells him make no sense at first, but finally he comes to accept the agonising truth. Now he has two loves. Must both be stolen by the enemy, Time?
Annabel was troubled. Panic attacks were horrible things, and nothing to be ashamed of, but she did wish Flynn could snap out of this one. The shaking had died away, he was no longer stumbling as he walked and his fevered clutch on her hand had eased. Only his silence remained, and this she put down, at least in part, to embarrassment. No man liked to go to pieces in front of a woman, even one who loved him.
The sun was coming up, and she could now see quite plainly. She was reminded of the moment when she had seen Pete Gibbons' headlamps approaching across the run three days before. Superstitiously, she glanced around, but there was no-one in sight this morning.
She looked up at Flynn, hoping to see his wry smile dawning, but instead she saw such a look of utter exhaustion that her heart seemed to roll heavily in her chest.
He looked so pale, transparent. His lips were almost blue.
"Flynn?" she said. "Flynn?"
The sun was up, and its fingers of light arrowed across the flat plain. Annabel's shadow streamed away from her, elongated almost into infinity.
"Sunrise," she said, and the aureate light was at once a promise and a threat.
She lifted her hand slowly, and her shadow did the same, stretching out as if it might touch the ends of the earth. She glanced at Flynn's shadow, which must be taller and more impressive than her own, but whatever she might have said was stillborn on her lips, for Flynn O'Connor had no shadow at all.