She balled it up in her hand, preferring not to remember the time she’d spent away from Capri. It seemed like a lifetime ago, a dark blur, when she’d been isolated from the people she’d loved, fighting hungers she couldn’t control, and two men had ended up dead.
Instead of dwelling on it, she looked back at the window and realized that many of the flyers were outdated. She found one advertising the Founder’s Day Picnic, and that had been two and a half months ago. She pulled it down, along with the other older flyers, and carried them into the library.
“What did you do?” Marcy asked. She sat behind the front desk and held a hand up in front of her eyes, blocking the sun. “You’re letting all the light in.”
“Are you some kind of vampire now?” Gemma asked as she walked over to the desk.
Marcy scoffed. “Like I could ever drink blood. Gross.”
Children laughed loudly behind her, and Gemma glanced back over her shoulder to see the librarian, Edie, reading a story to a group of toddlers. That had always been Harper’s favorite part of working at the library, and seeing someone else doing her sister’s job made Gemma miss her.
Not just because Harper didn’t live at home anymore since Gemma had just seen her the night before. It was more like nostalgia. The life she’d had before, the one where she was just a swimmer, and her sister just worked at the library, that was over, and it was never coming back.
“I cleared off some of the older flyers for you.” Gemma turned back to Marcy and set the stack of faded and wrinkled papers down in front of her.
“Yeah, that was supposed to be my job,” Marcy said, and adjusted her thick-rimmed glasses.
“Really? The thing that hadn’t been done in months is your responsibility? I’m shocked,” Gemma replied dryly.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m lazy, it’s hilarious.” Marcy waved her off. “But I was doing that on purpose. The noon sun is ridiculous through that window, so I was making kind of a paper curtain.”
“Maybe you could get some of the kids to color pictures or something, and post them.” Gemma pointed her thumb back at the Children’s Circle behind her.
“Meh.” Marcy picked up the stack so she could throw it in the recycling, but then she wrinkled her nose at one of them. “God, how old are these? Is that one from Christmas?”
“What?” Gemma leaned over the desk so she could get a better look. “No, it’s the Founder’s Day Picnic one. So it’s not quite that old.”
The words “Founder’s Day” had been written in faded brown ink along the top, but Marcy’d apparently missed that. A caricature of Thomas Thermopolis took up most of the space, drawn to be a rotund man with a large beard. Compared to the pictures of him that Gemma had seen in school, it seemed fairly accurate.
“Oh,” Marcy said. She wheeled her chair back to the recycling bin, tossed the papers aside, and wheeled herself back to the desk. “Thomas Thermopolis always did remind me of Santa. I wish we got presents on Founder’s Day. That would make it a better holiday.”
“Presents do make everything better,” Gemma agreed.
“So what’re you doing here?” Marcy propped her chin on her hands and looked up at Gemma. “Want me to help rescue you from more sirens?”
Gemma smiled wanly and tried not to stare at the pink scar that ran across Marcy’s neck from when Lexi had scratched her with a talon. Fortunately, early on in the fight, Marcy had been knocked unconscious, so she’d been out of the way and hadn’t gotten that injured, although she had a few bruises.
“Oh, I do have good news for you.” Marcy picked up her phone and scrolled through it as she spoke. “Lydia’s combing through her great-grandmother’s journals and trying to match dates up with Thalia’s. She thinks it’ll help find the immortal you’re searching for. Look.”
Marcy shoved her phone right in Gemma’s face, so Gemma had to lean back to read it. The name “Lydia” was at the top, and the text message was below.
Audra kept important stuff coded in her notes, so that not just any Joe Schmo off the street could read it. But I should have Diana’s location figured out within the next day or two. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know.
“This is amazing news.” Gemma smiled. “We should celebrate!”
“Like how? Like … wanna go to a cook-off in Bayside Park?” Marcy shut off the phone and put it back in her pocket.
“Okay,” Gemma said uncertainly. She’d been thinking of something a bit more adventurous, but if that’s what Marcy wanted, then why not? “Sure, that’s one way to celebrate.”
“I just saw Daniel across the street, going into Pearl’s.” Marcy pointed to the front window. “We can grab him, then we can show the people in Capri how we really like to party.”
“Oh, excellent,” Gemma said, pulling out her own phone. “I’ll text Alex and see if he wants to meet us because he should be just getting done with work now.”
“You’re back together with lover-boy?” Marcy asked. She grabbed her car keys from a desk drawer and stood up.
“Why do you need your keys?” Gemma asked. “Pearl’s is just across the street.”
“Like I’m coming back to work later to get them.” Marcy snorted. “Anyway, are you back with that kid or what?”
“Yeah, I am…,” Gemma replied absently as she typed the text message. Marcy started walking toward the door, so she followed her, but she paused when something occurred to her. “Aren’t you supposed to like punch out or something?”
“Nah, I’m good. It’s easier if I just go,” she said as she pushed open the door. “Fewer questions.”
“I’m not convinced you do a full day’s work here,” Gemma said.
“Neither is my boss.”
Once they met up with Daniel at Pearl’s across the street, he and Marcy led the way down to the park since Gemma was moving much slower because she was walking and texting. They’d considered driving down there, and in fact, Marcy had fought for a bit, but there wouldn’t be parking anywhere near the bay anyway. Traffic was always ridiculous during At Summer’s End Festival.
Bayside Park went right up to the beach next to the bay. It was a lush, grassy area with only a few trees, a small playground, a large pavilion in the center, and a band shell at the far side, near the docks. During the winter, it sat mostly deserted, but in the summer, Capri held all kinds of activities there. It’s where the Founder’s Day Picnic was and where people watched fireworks on the Fourth of July.