“What does this mean?” Harper asked. “Why is it doing that?”
“I don’t know.” Pine shook his head. “Maybe the ancient Greeks were big into energy drinks.”
As abruptly as it had started, the letters faded back to their normal color, which now looked dull compared to the radiant crimson. Even places where the Red Bull was still pooled above it had returned to normal.
“That was weird,” Pine said.
“That was very weird.”
“I’ll get these pictures out as soon as I can.” He set the camera aside and finished wiping the scroll clean. When he’d finished, he rolled it up carefully and handed it to Harper. “You get this back home and keep it safe.”
The instant Daniel had stepped in front of Liv, he knew it was a bad idea. Before he’d even intervened, he knew just how much of a bad idea it was, but he didn’t feel like he had a choice.
Gemma was trying to reason with Penn and get her to deal with Liv, but Penn didn’t get involved in anything unless it affected her. So Daniel’s plan was to make it affect her. He theorized that he wouldn’t be able to stop Liv himself, but Penn would be mighty pissed off if something happened to Daniel so close to their big date.
But then again, Penn had already killed one siren for him. She might not be so eager to kill a second one.
Behind him, he heard the girl crying. She’d already had the misfortune of going on a date with Aiden Crawford, and this psychotic siren was about to devour her, so Daniel didn’t blame her for the tears.
Aiden was standing uselessly to the side, not that Daniel would expect any more from him. He did an excellent job of being a dick, and that was about it.
“Liv, don’t,” Daniel said, and he held up his hands palm out toward her. “Liv.”
As soon as he’d heard Liv’s monster voice, loud and proud in a public space, he knew that the poor girl didn’t stand a chance. Liv didn’t care who saw what, and Daniel could see the shift in her face. He’d seen it just the day before on Gemma, and even though he trusted Gemma, it had still freaked him out a little.
Now, as he saw Liv’s lips pull back and her razor-sharp fangs extend from her mouth, it was revolting and more than a little frightening.
“Do you really think this is the time or place, Liv?” Daniel asked, keeping his voice even. He kept trying to say her name, the way he’d seen a hostage negotiator do in a movie once. He wasn’t sure it worked as well on sirens, but anything had to be worth a shot at this point.
“Liv!” Gemma shouted, and she suddenly grabbed Liv’s arm, yanking her back.
Liv hissed like a vampire being sprayed with holy water, turning her rage on Gemma.
“Knock it off, Liv!” Penn yelled, and her voice seemed to echo through everything.
Liv covered her ears with her hands, and Gemma winced. The people who were standing closest to them shook their heads and looked around, as if they expected to see something shouting in the skies.
When Liv dropped her hands, her face had gone back to normal. Her eyes had even shifted back to dull brown. She did not look happy, though. Her frown, her slouch, even the sulk in her eyes, all reminded Daniel of a little kid who had just gotten a spanking.
“I was fine,” Liv insisted, and pulled her arm away from Gemma. “I was just having some fun.”
“You were not fine, that was not fun, and you are a horrible little brat who’s making Gemma look like a damn saint,” Penn snapped. She crossed her arms and glared down at Liv, but Liv didn’t shrink back. She held her ground and stared up at Penn defiantly. “Is that what you want, Liv? Do you want me to like Gemma more than you?”
“What just happened?” Mayor Adam Crawford came out of the crowd and walked toward them.
So far, everyone had mostly looked stunned and confused, but Daniel could hear murmurs in the crowd, and someone asked, “Did you see what happened to that girl’s face?” They had seen something, and the people of Capri were going to get wise to the fact that Penn and her friends were supernatural unless they did something, fast.
“Are you okay?” The mayor put his hand on his son’s shoulder. “Did something happen here? Did these girls hurt someone?”
“No, they’d never hurt anyone,” Aiden said, but he sounded dazed.
“Thea, you and Gemma take care of this mess.” Penn waved vaguely to the two of them. “I’m taking Liv and getting out of here.”
“Now wait just a minute.” Mayor Crawford stepped away from his son and toward Penn, who glared at him with repugnance. “Nobody’s going anywhere until I find out what’s going on in my town.”
“Trust me, you don’t want to know what’s really going on here,” Penn told him.
“Mayor, let me tell you about it,” Thea purred with an added melody to her voice. She put her hand on his arm, leading him away from Penn. “In fact, why doesn’t everyone gather around while Gemma and I tell you all what happened?”
Gemma appeared confused at first, but then she began to follow suit. Thea was all smiles and winks, and her voice was pure seduction. Gemma did her best to mimic Thea and let her own siren charisma shine through.
Penn grabbed Liv by the arm and started leading her while a crowd gathered around Gemma and Thea. Daniel wanted to stay behind and see how they would make Liv’s small transformation disappear.
“Daniel.” Penn stopped and turned back to him. “Come with me.”
“I’d like to see this show.” He pointed to Thea and Gemma.
“They’re just gonna sing a stupid song, now come on,” Penn insisted. “I want to talk to you.”
Groaning, Daniel decided that going with her would be easier than arguing with her. When he started walking away, he could hear the song. He wouldn’t have minded staying to listen to them pacify the crowd, but it wasn’t long before he couldn’t hear the song anymore.
He paused, listening for it, but there was nothing. As loud as Thea and Gemma had been singing, he should be able to hear it.
“We can control how far it goes,” Penn explained when she noticed he’d stopped following her. “We can make it go on for miles or for only a few feet. Whatever we need it to do. And right now, they only need to reach the people who saw Liv’s little performance.”
“See? Everything’s fine,” Liv said. “I don’t know what you’re getting all worked up about.”