CHAPTER NINE

The train was waiting and the Cherry Group could finally go home. Dex and Flynn had already been deposited in their rooms, both were glad to be out of the hospital and to be getting away from Conradin. Dex shifted a little in her bunk and hissed as fresh pain ignited in her shoulder, she'd been lucky with that one. It would take a while to heal but it was better than being dead. She just wanted to go home and relax for a bit. Dex opened her eyes and smiled, she'd never had a place to call home before. Well, except that crappy little bedsit. It was nice this new feeling, strange, but nice.

Dawn came into their room; she pushed her case under the bunks and winked at Dex while continuing her conversation on the phone in her hand.

"I miss you too, honey. Don't worry, mama's coming home tomorrow and I promise I'll tell you all about my new friend. Her name's Dex and she has blue hair!" Dex smiled at Dawn, she could just about hear a voice on the other end of the line. Dawn left the room, still talking.

Dex chuckled and closed her eyes; she opened them again when someone tapped on the open door. Dr Posner was also on the phone but he raised his eyebrows at her and tapped his shoulder. Dex gave him a wide smile and thumbs up.

"Yes, it sounds like an interesting case but you need to give me more than that" he said. Posner winked and hurried along the corridor. Dex sighed; she hoped they wouldn't be going off again so soon. She frowned, would they leave her behind if Posner decided to take that case? Dex hoped not but she was surprised she cared. The sound of voices drew her attention back to the corridor outside, she smiled when she recognized Megan and Kelly.

"Look, you hardly had any visions at all, Kelly. My power is better because it helped more!"

"Shut your gob, Meggie! It's not my fault most of this case was in the past and not the future!" The argument faded into murmurs as they moved on to their own rooms. Dex chuckled again, she reached out with her mind and tried to bring a glass of water to her outstretched hand but it did nothing but wobble. She sighed and was about to get out of bed when Max strode into the room and slapped her hand. He, too, was on the phone and boasting about saving the day.

"Yeah, you know I've got the moves. We've got a few days off as always so I'll be home tomorrow. We have to wait until Dex and Flynn are healed before we can set off again, anyway. You know what old Posner's like about leaving people behind." Max poured the water while he spoke and handed it to Dex; she smiled a thank you and suddenly felt much more relaxed now that she knew she wouldn't be left behind. Max blew her a kiss before backing out of the room; he mouthed an apology as he walked into Hale before hurrying to his own compartment.

"How are you feeling?" asked Hale. Dex sipped her water and smiled.

"Not bad. It still hurts but then being skewered usually does." Hale laughed, they both turned towards the open door as the sound of upraised voices came to them.

"I'm not any happier then you about us sharing again but why do you have to be such an arse about it? We don't have to talk to each other, you know" said Odessa. She waved at Dex and Hale as she passed the open door.

"I don't see why I can't share with Dex or Dawn. Why can't he split the twins up and let me share with Megan?" whined Brook.

"Because I'm the only one that's not gonna put a pillow over your face while you're sleeping!" snapped Odessa. Hale and Dex glanced at each other, raising their eyebrows. Hale smiled and his soft, gentle voice spoke from the centre of her mind.

"What do you think of our little Jerry Springer family?" Dex smiled back and breathed a sigh of contentment before answering.

"Charlie Manson's family would be closer to it, but I think I could get used to it." Hale squeezed her hand before leaving the room and letting her sleep.

The train was weaving it's way though the darkness in a silent, steady rhythm. They would soon be back at Cherry House and Dr Posner couldn't wait. It was gone midnight but he still sat in the restaurant carriage, staring out at the scenery he could make out in the darkness. His thoughts were on his wife and the words of the skeleton in the cave. Posner had always known that he would meet that demon again, he had made it his business after all. He'd cast the demon out of Cherry but his beautiful wife had died anyway. The Demon had sworn revenge on Posner even as Posner had been swearing revenge on it.

Posner sighed and poured himself another cup of coffee, he opened the file before him and began to read. A sudden roar made him jump, coffee slopping over the sides of his cup. Posner turned to the window, but it wasn't his face staring back from the glass. It was the face was a monster, scaly flesh and horns with eyes like burning coals.

"I'm not done with you yet, Posner" growled the image. It faded until all that was left was Posner's own reflection. The old man closed the file and took a deep breath.

"I don't doubt it for a moment" he said. Posner closed the file, picked up his coffee and headed back to his room.

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