“Are you sure you didn’t miss anything?” Gemma asked. She was standing on her tiptoes and leaning on the T-shirts Daniel had hanging in his closet.
“I looked in every nook and cranny,” Daniel assured her. “There’s nothing up there.”
Gemma sighed. “There has to be something we missed.”
“Why? Why does there have to be something we missed?” Marcy asked.
“Because.” Gemma stepped out of Daniel’s closet and ran a hand through her hair. “If Thalia was a muse, there just has to be something, and I looked through all her papers last night—”
“I know,” Marcy said, without looking up from Daniel’s book. “I was there. I helped, remember?”
After the visit to Cherry Lane Books, Harper had called Gemma and instructed her to immediately start going through the box of Bernie’s stuff she’d left in her bedroom. Gemma did as she was told, and when Marcy returned from Sundham, she joined Gemma.
They’d spent hours going through the box, making sure to look over and analyze every scrap of paper for any possible clue or hint to Thalia’s true nature. Unfortunately, it all ended up being fairly ordinary.
It seemed to be Bernie’s collection of Thalia’s things, his memories of her, and not any of her actual stuff. Mostly it was photographs, wedding programs, and newspaper clippings about their marriage and about Bernie buying the island and building the cabin. He’d even pressed flowers from her bridal bouquet and a few from her funeral.
Nothing pointed to her being a muse or supernatural at all, and there was definitely nothing about how to break the curse or kill the sirens.
“My point is that there has to be something,” Gemma said.
“You keep saying that, but I don’t get why there has to be anything,” Marcy reiterated.
“Marcy, can you give it a rest with the negative commentary?” Daniel asked.
“I’m not trying to be a bitch. I just really don’t understand,” Marcy said.
“Penn, Lexi, and Thea ransacked this house looking for something.” Gemma turned to Daniel. “You remember that night back in June, when I ran off with the sirens? We came out here because they were out here. They killed Bernie, and they were tearing his house apart.”
“You think they killed Bernie because they were trying to find Thalia’s notes or whatever?” Daniel asked.
“Right. They believed that something was here,” Gemma said. “I think that’s why they came to Capri in the first place. Looking for something in this house. And I’m not saying that it will break the curse, but it’s something they thought was important.”
“Are you sure they haven’t already found it?” Marcy asked, setting Daniel’s book on the bed next to her.
“I don’t think so.” Gemma furrowed her brow, trying to remember that night. “When I got here, they were still going through stuff. I think Thea was digging around in the kitchen. If they’d found what they were looking for, they wouldn’t have still been searching.”
“But they left without it,” Daniel said. “And Penn’s been back to the island a few times, and she hasn’t looked for anything.”
“Penn’s been back?” Gemma asked, and he immediately lowered his eyes and scratched the back of his head. “Like, to visit?”
Daniel shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “It’s not like I can just tell her to get lost.”
“Actually, you can,” Gemma said.
“Not if I want to keep the peace.” He looked at her then, his hazel eyes imploring her to understand. “We both do what we need to do to keep the people we care about safe. Right?”
“Yeah but…” Gemma trailed off. “Does Harper know about this?”
“Does Harper know about all the things you’re up to?” Daniel countered.
Gemma sighed and stared up at the ceiling. Of course Harper didn’t know everything. In fact, Gemma knew about Penn’s interest in Daniel, and she’d specifically chosen not to tell her sister about it. She trusted him not to do anything to hurt Harper, and telling her sister would only make her worry.
But Gemma hadn’t known that Penn was visiting him. That changed things. Gemma kept things from Harper that would only scare her—not things that could actually hurt her.
“So … what’s going on with you and Penn?” Marcy asked.
“Nothing.” Daniel shook his head. “She just has a crush on me or something, and I tolerate it because I don’t want to piss her off.”
“Tolerate it how?” Marcy asked. “With sex?”
“Marcy.” Daniel scoffed, but he lowered his eyes again.
“Daniel,” Gemma said firmly, and moved so he’d have to look at her. “We made a deal, remember? We said we’d tell each other everything, so we could have each other’s backs.”
“No, that wasn’t the deal.” He shook his head. “The deal was that you’d tell me everything so I could have your back. I can handle myself, but really, there’s nothing to handle.” He forced a smile. “Nothing’s going on.”
“But if something is…” Gemma paused, choosing her words carefully. “If something happens. You can tell Harper. She’ll understand.”
“I know,” Daniel said. “I do, and I will, if anything does happen. But right now, I can’t bother her. She’s got way too much on her plate, with school and all the siren stuff.”
“Yeah, and don’t forget her roommate from hell,” Marcy added.
Gemma turned back to Marcy, relieved by a break in the tension. “Oh, you mean Liv?”
“Yeah.” Marcy tilted her head, looking confused. “I thought you said she was nice when you met her.”
“She seemed nice enough,” Daniel agreed. “Kinda forgettable, I guess, since I don’t remember her that well.”
“She’s a siren now, so she’s a bit more memorable,” Gemma said.
“What?” Daniel asked.
“She’s what?” Marcy asked, almost in unison with Daniel.
“How long has she been a siren?” Daniel demanded. “You let Harper live with a siren?”
“No, no.” Gemma shook her head and raised her hands defensively. “Liv hasn’t been a siren that long. A week, tops. But she moved out on Tuesday, and that’s when I found out she was a siren. So I haven’t told Harper.”