Tidal / Page 11

Page 11


So for most of her life she’d had others doing all the things for her that she didn’t want to do. In the old days, that meant literally having people to dress her and wash her hair, but then it had just become the cleaning and getting the door. In her mind, it was still the servant’s job to answer the phone.

Now everything was so convenient it didn’t make sense to have someone draw her a bath, not when she could simply turn the handle on the faucet. It was quicker and easier for her to do it herself.

Except when it came to damn phones and computers and anything of that kind. The term “tablet” only confused and irritated her more. Mankind had worked for so long to get away from writing on cumbersome tablets, only to come back to them when pen and paper were still readily available.

Fortunately, Lexi was much more technologically inclined. That was the best part of having her around. She seemed like a moron, and most of the time she was, but she could also rewire the house if she needed to.

She’d been the one who had bought Penn the iPhone. Though “procured” might be a better word, since none of the sirens had actually earned money a day in their supernatural lives. They charmed, they conned, they took what they wanted.

So far, Penn had concluded it would be more fun to throw the phone at the wall than spend another second trying to find this ridiculous bird game. She was just about to do that when she heard laughter from across the street and peered over her sunglasses to see people exiting the theater.

Gemma walked out with some boy from the play. He was cute enough in an ordinary way, but Gemma probably thought he was dreamy, and that made Penn want to gag.

The only person in the whole entire thing that Penn would even think about sleeping with would be the director, but she’d always had a thing for men in positions of power, even the smallest amount.

The director came out last, talking to Thea for a few seconds before they parted. Thea started walking across the road.

Penn had been watching the director, momentarily distracted by the dimple he had on one cheek when he smiled, and she quickly looked around. Everyone had left by then, even Gemma, but Penn didn’t particularly know where Gemma went. She’d probably just gone back to her dirty little house with her dull sister.

Just when she’d resigned herself to having missed him, she saw Daniel come out of the back door of the theater.

“Looking for someone?” Thea asked as she climbed in the car.

“No,” Penn lied. “What were you guys doing in there? Rehearsal took forever.”

“We ended on time,” Thea said. “I told you that it went until eight.”

“Like I remember everything you say.” Penn tossed her cell phone in the backseat and started the car.

Daniel glanced both ways before crossing the street, a few cars down from where Penn had parked. As he walked nearer to the car, Penn called out, “Hey, Daniel.”

“Penn.” He smiled thinly at her and seemed genuinely surprised to see her. He’d been walking by, but he stopped and stepped closer to the car. “Nice ride.”

“Thanks.” She pushed her sunglasses up so he could get the full effect of her dark eyes. “Want a lift?”

“I don’t think there’s much room,” he said, referring to the tiny backseat.

He put both of his hands on the door and leaned down, but he kept his distance. The top buttons of his shirt were undone, so she could see the scant hair on his chest, and something about that enticed her more than any amount of bare flesh had before.

“You can always sit on my lap,” Penn offered.

“I think you’re going for sexy with that, but that doesn’t seem like it’d be sexy or safe driving,” Daniel said. “So I’m gonna have to pass.”

“I could sit on your lap,” Penn said, trying her most seductive smile.

He lowered his head, looking away from her, and laughed darkly. For a second she was thinking he might actually say yes, that he’d finally take her up on one of her offers, but when he looked up, she saw the denial in his eyes.

“I’d rather walk,” he said simply and stood up.

“I’ll see you around, then,” Penn said as he stepped back from her car.

“Oh, I know you will.” Daniel turned around.

“You could at least be less obvious when you stalk Daniel,” Thea said as Penn watched him walking away, and then Penn glared at her.

“I’m not stalking anybody, so shut up,” Penn said, then threw the car in gear.

Penn drove through Capri, barely acknowledging street signs or stoplights. She lived by the theory that people would move for her, and they often did. Sometimes she’d get a honk or someone shouting at her, but she’d just turn and smile at them. That was her solution to most problems.

“Penn, come on,” Thea said, looking at her directly. “This is all about Daniel.”

“What?” Penn laughed, but it was weak. “That’s stupid.”

“Penn, you can’t pretend with me. I know you.” The wind was blowing through Thea’s red hair when she turned to her. “I’m probably the only one in the whole world that really knows you. And you’re obsessed with that guy.”

“I’m not!” Penn insisted. Then she groaned and shook her head. “It’s not an obsession. I just … I can’t figure it out.”

“Maybe there’s nothing to figure out.”

Penn stopped at a stop sign at the edge of town, thinking that over for a minute. A car pulled up behind her and honked at them, but she was oblivious.

“No, there’s something there,” she said finally, and turned the corner, beginning the ascent up the hill to the top of the cliff. “Do you think he’s related to Bastian?”

“Bastian?” Thea asked, sounding strangely out of breath.

“Yeah, Bastian, or Orpheus. Or whatever name he’s going by now. Last time I saw him it was Bastian.”

“That was…” Thea swallowed. “That was three hundred years ago.”

“Exactly,” Penn said. “Maybe he’s had kids or something since then. I should try to find him.” She lowered her voice, almost muttering to herself. “Although I haven’t been that good at finding anyone lately.”

Thea shook her head. “You haven’t seen or heard from Bastian in centuries. And it wasn’t like the last time you talked to him turned out so great.”

“That’s true.” Penn mulled it over for a second. “He’s probably dead by now anyway.”


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