“Finally, you got here,” Liv groaned, and Gemma realized she had become so entranced by the fresh blood and warm organs, she hadn’t even noticed the siren standing beside the body.
Blood dotted Liv’s cheeks and forehead in a light spray, almost like she had freckles, but her lips were completely covered. Her golden hair was soaked red from her ears down, and it dripped heavy droplets onto her shoulders. From the waist up, Liv looked like she had gotten hit by blood sprayed from a fire hose.
“Finally?” Gemma asked, trying to comprehend the situation.
“Yeah. I’ve been waiting forever.” Liv was completely human, except for a long talon at the end of her pinky, and she used it to pick at something between her teeth. “I don’t know how to get rid of this stupid body.”
“I have no idea what to do with it.” Gemma motioned to the band shell, rumbling doo-wop beside them. “A ton of people are here. There’s no way you can get a mangled corpse past them.”
“Ugh.” Liv groaned and stared up at the sky. “This is all stupid. We should just kill them all.”
“Kill them all? The thousands of men, women, and children in Capri right now?” Gemma asked dubiously.
“Yeah.” Liv glared at her. “They’re weak. We can take them out, and we should. Anything that stands in our way, we should get rid of. We’re the top of the food chain.”
“This isn’t a food chain, Liv! Those are human lives!” Gemma shouted at her, not caring if anyone heard. “You can’t just go around massacring people!”
“Oh, honey.” Liv’s irritation had given way to her innocent act. She batted her eyelashes, which were coated in blood. “Don’t you even realize? Tonight, I just proved that I can. I can kill whoever I want, whenever I want.”
“What are you talking about? Who did you kill?”
Before Liv could answer, Gemma crouched next to the body. His face was almost too drenched with blood to recognize, and maybe she wouldn’t have … if she hadn’t made out with him once.
“Aiden Crawford,” Gemma gasped, and jumped back.
“Oh my.” Liv laughed, almost sweetly, at Gemma’s surprise. “Aren’t you the prude?”
Gemma pressed her hand to her stomach, trying to ease the wave of nausea that hit her. “I thought you liked him.”
“I did,” Liv said. “But I killed one of the most prominent, eligible young men in town not twenty feet from this huge celebration, not to mention from his own father, the mayor.” Liv plucked at a bit skin of stuck to her hair. “I wanted to do it right in front of everyone, on the stage, but Thea wouldn’t stand for that, so I had to sneak back here and pretend I was gonna have sex with the handsome idiot.”
“You killed him…” Gemma trailed off, trying to get a handle on what Liv was saying. “Why? To prove that you could?”
“No, no, of course not.” Her mouth curved up in a smile. “I killed him because I wanted to. I was hungry, and I wanted to taste his blood.”
“Liv, you’re gonna…” Gemma was at a loss for words. She didn’t know how she could possibly reason with someone so cold.
“Now I’m stronger.” Liv stepped over the body, coming toward Gemma. “Much stronger than you. I’m almost stronger than Penn, and I’m certainly stronger than Thea. I eat every day, and it won’t be long until I’m unstoppable.”
“Unless the police or the FBI catch you first,” Gemma said. “I’m sure they’d love to have you. Lock you up, cut you open, see what makes you tick.”
“Gemma, I will kill them all,” Liv told her emphatically. “I will kill everyone on this whole fucking planet if I want to.”
“At first, I thought you were just a little power hungry,” Gemma said. “You were having a hard time adjusting, and this was all going to your head. But now I realize that you’re just insane. Totally and completely insane.”
Liv narrowed her dark brown eyes, and the wide-eyed innocence instantly evaporated, changing into pure evil. Penn was cruel, but empty. Liv was full, but with darkness, and Gemma felt a chill run down her spine.
The brush beside them rustled, but Gemma didn’t look away until Liv did. She didn’t want to take her eyes off her, not when Liv was looking at her like that.
“This is bullshit, Thea, and you know it,” Penn grumbled, and within seconds, she appeared, pushing her through the trees.
“Tell that to Liv,” Thea replied, following at her heels. She had a duffel bag slung over her shoulder, and Gemma could see a blue tarp poking out through the top.
When they emerged from the trees, there was still someone coming up behind them, and Gemma tensed up even more, fearing that a stranger had stumbled on them. Instead, it was Daniel, with his shirt unbuttoned almost all the way down to his navel. As soon as he saw her, he froze.
“What are you doing?” Gemma asked, but he just shook his head.
“Oh, this is ridiculous, Thea,” Penn snapped as she surveyed the mess around her. “You could’ve handled this.”
“Maybe, but I’m not doing it anymore,” Thea said, and tossed the duffel bag down on the ground. “You think Liv is so great, then you take care of her. She’s your problem now. I’m done.”
“Thea, this isn’t so bad,” Liv tried as sweetly as she could. “I just don’t know how to get rid of a body.”
“You’ve done it enough times, you should be a goddamn expert,” Thea told her.
“I can’t get rid of a body in this crowd without being spotted. And I’m fine with that, but you told me—” Liv started the same spiel she’d given Gemma when she got there.
“Liv!” Penn shouted in frustration. “You need to stop making a mess and provoking the humans. Just calm down. We have eternity. You don’t need to get all your killing done in one day.”
Liv suggested that they leave the mess and let the animals and the rain take care of it, which immediately resulted in a squabble between Penn, Thea, and Liv about how best to deal with this, with each of them shirking the responsibility.
With the sirens otherwise occupied, Gemma edged back to where Daniel was standing. He stared down at the body lying a few feet in front of him, and she wasn’t sure how much of the carnage he was really able to take in thanks to his weaker human sight.
“Was that human?” he asked.