Elegy / Page 93

Page 93


Alex moved, stepping into her line of sight so she’d have to look at him, and he looked her right in the eyes. “You are worse than Penn. You act like you’re so above this and that you’re all moral and superior, but you’re not. You’re cold, and you have just as much blood on your hands as Penn does.”

“I never said that I was better than her,” Thea replied coolly. “And I never pretended to be good. If I somehow gave you or Gemma that impression, then I’m sorry.”

He shook his head in disgust, and a car horn honked loudly.

“Alex! Let’s go!” Marcy shouted.

He had nothing left to say to Thea since she’d made her position crystal clear, so he left. There was no parking on the street right in front of Bayside Park, where the dance was being held, so Marcy had pulled right up over the curb and sidewalk onto the lawn.

The passenger-side door of her tiny little Gremlin was open, and Kirby was in the backseat. Alex ran over to it and hopped into the car since he didn’t have time to question the fact that they were trying to catch up with a supernaturally fast siren and using a car that had been discontinued over thirty years ago.

Before he’d even shut the door, Marcy threw the car into drive. Instead of going forward, it lurched backward, making an awful chugging sound, before finally moving in the right direction.

“Is this thing even gonna make it?” Alex asked, as it bounced down off the curb, and he heard an awful scraping sound of metal against concrete.

“You gotta have faith in Lucinda,” Marcy said. “When she has to get up and go, she frickin’ gets up and goes.”

Alex remained dubious, but not for long. Marcy had her foot pressed all the way down, and though it took the car a little longer to get up to speed, once it did, it hauled. It also helped that Marcy didn’t stop for anything, not even stop signs or traffic lights.

As she ran a red light, they were nearly sideswiped by a Jeep, but Marcy jerked the wheel in the nick of time, and the car squealed and got out of the way. Then she floored it again, driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic for a few seconds before she moved back over to the right side.

In the backseat, Kirby was flying all over, and Alex heard him banging around as he flew from side to side.

“Kirby, honey, you gotta buckle up back there,” Marcy said. “I don’t want you getting too concussed to make out later.”

Though Marcy had nearly gotten them in about fifty accidents, they made it to the edge of town in record time. The sirens’ house was located at the top of a cliff, and the winding road through the cypress and pine trees was steep.

Marcy took the turns much sharper than Alex would’ve liked, but they were only about a third of the way up when he saw the icy blue color of Harper’s Sable through the trees.

“That’s Harper’s car!” Alex shouted, and when they rounded another bend, they were right behind her. “How’d we catch up to them?”

“Because Harper’s driving. Even in a life-or-death situation, do you think she disobeyed a single traffic law?” Marcy asked.

“Probably not,” Alex said. Being in a car accident when she was a kid made Harper kinda OCD about driving. “But where’s Liv? She flew out of the dance like a bat out of hell.”

“She’s probably already at the house, trying to lay some kind of trap for Gemma.”

Alex was just about to agree with Marcy, when the roof of the car came crushing in on top of them, sending the windows shattering outward.

FORTY-TWO

Ensnared

The convertible was still running when Daniel got out and walked into the house. No candles were lit this time, and it was rather dark inside, but he could see well enough to walk into the kitchen.

Penn came in a few seconds later and flicked on the overhead light while Daniel opened the cabinets near the fridge until he found the one containing alcohol. He grabbed a bottle of brandy and a large glass tumbler and proceeded to fill it.

“Sure, make yourself at home,” Penn said dryly. She pulled off the black stilettos she’d been wearing and tossed them absently on the couch before walking into the kitchen.

Daniel didn’t respond to her. He just downed the glass in one long gulp and slammed it down on the counter. Grimacing at the taste, he shook his head. Beer was usually his choice of alcohol, and he’d never been that much of a drinker.

Growing up with an alcoholic father and older brother had made him leery of substances, but since he was about to throw his life away to be a siren, he figured why the hell not get a little smashed first? It would probably make the whole experience go a lot easier if he didn’t know what he was doing or couldn’t remember having sex with Penn.

“Why tonight, Penn? We had a deal. Everything was all set.”

“You changed the date twice.” She put her hands on the counter and leaned forward. “It was my turn to change it.”

“The first time I changed it was because Lexi tried to kill me, and the second time was because Liv did kill someone. So these things sound like your fault,” Daniel pointed out as he poured himself another drink. “You’re the one who delayed the proceedings.”

“I’m sensing some hostility, Daniel.”

“No shit.” He drank this glass much slower, sipping it more than chugging it. “It was because I was happy, wasn’t it? You saw me with Harper and couldn’t stand it.”

“Well, obviously, that pissed me off.” She switched her tone from angry to sultry and kittenish. “You’re supposed to belong to me now.”

“I don’t belong to anybody. All right?” He’d finished the drink, so he set it down on the table and walked around the island, meaning to confront Penn more directly. “Not to Harper, not to you. Not now, not ever.”

She smiled, undeterred by his anger. “You’re really gonna have to change that attitude if you want me to sleep with you.”

Penn put her hands on his chest, and, gently, she pushed him back against the island. Then she slid her hands down, running them across his abdomen. He turned his head, looking away from her, so she put her arms around his neck, and she leaned in, pressing her lips against his neck.

Either the alcohol hadn’t hit him yet, or it wasn’t working. As soon as she touched him, he cringed. The thought of being with her only made him livid and sick.

“No. I can’t do this.” Pushing her off him took some strength, but he managed. He stepped away from her and wiped his neck, trying to get her saliva off him. “I’m giving you my life, Penn. Do you really understand what that means? And all I asked for in return is a few more days.”


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