“I don’t know how you can give me all this power and expect me to do nothing with it. I can change form, and I can control men with my voice.”
Liv had been getting louder as she spoke, and by the time she stood, she was practically shouting at Thea. Her eyes had changed from their usual dark brown to golden-eagle eyes, and Thea could see the beginnings of her fangs protruding from her mouth.
“I can kill at my discretion,” Liv said, her voice booming through the living room. All of its sugariness had dissolved. “I decide the fate of everyone I come in contact with. I’m practically a god, and you want me to sit on the couch while you read?”
Thea said nothing for a minute, almost in shock at the maniacal glint in Liv’s eyes, before finally whispering, “Penn made a terrible mistake with you.”
With that, Liv dove at her. Thea leaned back, her head resting on the arm of the couch, and Liv hovered over her. She was still mostly human, aside from the many jagged rows of teeth in her mouth. Her face was mere inches above Thea’s, and her eyes were filled with contempt.
“No, you’re the one who made a mistake,” Liv said, her voice mutated by the monster inside her, making her sound demonic. “I am not some little parakeet you can keep in a cage.”
“Neither am I,” Thea growled.
Her hand was around Liv’s throat in a second, her fingers elongating and tightening around Liv’s windpipe—not enough to kill her but enough that Liv could feel her power and strength.
“You think you’re so powerful, little girl?” Thea asked, and leaned even closer to Liv as her eyes widened in surprise. “I’ve had this power a lot longer than you, and I actually know how to use it. I will not hesitate to rip off your head and spit down your throat if you do not calm the hell down.”
The back door slammed shut, and Liv instantly retracted her teeth, and her eyes changed back to normal. Thea didn’t let go of her throat, though, so Liv remained hovering over her, even after Thea heard Penn’s wet footsteps on the floor as she walked into the living room.
“What is going on here?” Penn asked, and Thea finally let go of Liv, allowing her to sit back down on the couch. “I leave for a few hours, and come home to this? I thought I told you girls to play nice.”
“We were playing nice,” Liv said sunnily. “Thea and I were just getting to know each other.”
“Yeah, we were having a real heart-to-heart,” Thea muttered, and sat up straighter on the couch.
Penn stood to the side of the living room, eyeing the two of them, and said, “It looks like it.”
“You’re all wet,” Liv said. “Were you out swimming?”
“I was out taking care of something,” Penn replied, and sat down in a chair, seemingly not caring that her dress was soaking wet and would dampen the furniture.
“Oh, I was wondering if we could go swimming. Thea said I had to wait until you got back,” Liv said.
“Maybe later.” Penn smiled briefly at her, then turned her attention to Thea.
“Because I’ve been sitting inside all afternoon without anything to do—” Liv began, but Penn held up her hand to cut her off.
“Have you talked to Gemma today?” Penn asked Thea, completely ignoring Liv.
Thea picked up her script from where she’d set it aside on an end table and pretended to be immersed in it. “She texted me to ask why I wasn’t at rehearsal.”
“Do you know if she’s still searching for the scroll?” Penn asked as she combed her fingers through her long hair.
Thea kept her eyes fixed on the page and her face as expressionless as possible when she said, “She hasn’t said anything lately.”
“What scroll?” Liv asked.
Penn glared at her. “The scroll you were supposed to be watching out for. Remember? Back when the plan was for you to stay with Harper and make sure she didn’t figure out how to kill us all. You were supposed to find out what she knew about the scroll, but instead, you threw a fit, and now you’re here.”
“Oh.” Liv paused. “That scroll.”
“Yes, that one,” Penn said, and rolled her eyes.
“But … you guys still have it, right?” Liv asked.
“I have it under lock and key,” Thea lied, and avoided making eye contact with anyone.
She’d given Gemma and Harper the scroll last week, but if Penn found out, she’d kill her. Not figuratively, but literally rip off her head, tear out her heart, and murder her. Penn had put Thea in charge of the scroll because she didn’t trust Lexi with that kind of responsibility, and Penn was too busy playing with Daniel to concern herself with it.
That was the one good part about Liv’s leaving college. If she snooped around Harper long enough, she’d have been bound to figure out that they had the scroll, and Penn would eventually deduce that Thea had given it to them.
That didn’t change the fact that Liv was psychotic and couldn’t handle a simple assignment.
“Where is it?” Liv asked.
Thea cast her a look. “Like I would trust you with that information.”
“What would I do with it? I don’t want to hurt you guys.” Liv smiled warmly at them. “You’re my family.”
“It’s better if you don’t know,” Penn said. “The fewer people that know, the safer it is.”
“Well, if Thea has it, then Harper or Gemma obviously don’t. So we’re safe. What does it matter if I’m at college or not?” Liv asked.
“Why don’t you just go out and swim for a while?” Penn suggested. She kept her tone amazingly even when she talked to Liv, using more self-discipline than Thea knew she had.
“Really?” Liv asked, and practically jumped off the couch.
“Penn,” Thea hissed. “She shouldn’t be unsupervised.”
Penn waved off Thea’s concern. “She can handle it for a few minutes. I’ll come out and join you, so stay close to the bay.” As Liv darted off to the back door, Penn called after her, “And don’t kill anyone! I mean it.”
“I won’t. Thank you!” Liv shouted as she ran out the door.
“It’s so ridiculous.” Penn shook her head. “We have one siren who refuses to feed and another one who won’t stop. Maybe we should have Gemma and Liv hang out together, and they can rub off on each other. Then they’ll end up somewhere in the middle. Like me.”