And after spending centuries being unable to have a real conversation with a guy, it was no wonder that Penn found Daniel incredibly fascinating.
“I don’t think it matters to Daniel whether he’s good-looking or not,” Gemma said. “He doesn’t like acting. He wanted to work on the sets.”
Penn scoffed. “That’s ridiculous. I thought he was acting in this thing. I didn’t know he was just building the damn sets. I’m starting to think he’s an idiot.”
“Because he’s good at carpentry?” Gemma asked.
“No, yesterday I offered him ten thousand dollars to build a fence around my house, but he turned me down because he was working on this play,” Penn said. “If he was acting, that makes sense. But I can’t imagine they’re paying him anything close to that.”
“Where did you get ten thousand dollars?” Gemma asked, glancing over her shoulder. “You don’t work.” Penn shrugged and didn’t answer her. “And that’s not even your house. That’s somebody else’s house you conned them out of.”
“I live there now, so it’s mine,” Penn said simply.
“I don’t even know why you want to spend time with Daniel.” Gemma turned around and crossed her arms over her chest. “He’s not that great.”
“I don’t want to spend time with him. I’m just trying to find out what’s going on with him. That’s all.”
“This whole siren thing has turned you into a terrible liar,” Gemma said. “You fall back on that song and your voice, so you don’t even try to be convincing anymore.”
Penn turned to face her, glaring at her with dark eyes. “Gemma. Shut up. You’re annoying.” She paused before leaning forward and whispering in her ear, “I’m already looking for your replacement. It’s only a matter of time before you’re dead.”
Her heart pounded dully in her chest as Penn confirmed Gemma’s worst suspicions. A few moments ago she’d told Thea she would try to get along with Penn, but she’d already known it was futile. No amount of ass-kissing would change the fact that Penn wanted her dead and gone.
“Why are you even here?” Gemma asked, ignoring Penn’s threat.
“I’m here to pick up Thea. I dropped her off for practice, and I’m supposed to take her home.”
“Practice doesn’t end for another half hour, and that’s assuming it doesn’t run late.”
Penn let out a long, irritated groan. “Whatever. I’m going to wait outside for Thea.” She stood up. “Because you’re horrible, and I kinda hate you.”
“I know. The feeling’s mutual.”
Once Penn was gone, Gemma sank in the seat and rubbed her forehead. Mouthing off to Penn wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but it was hard to stop. Besides that, Penn would probably kill her either way, and at least right now Penn seemed too preoccupied to care that much.
That should’ve been a good thing, except that Gemma knew what was distracting her. Penn had her eyes set on Harper’s boyfriend.
Penn sat in the cherry-red ’67 Cadillac convertible across the street from the Paramount Theater, waiting for her sister. She’d left the top down hoping for a breeze, but it didn’t do much to battle the heat. The sun was starting to go down, and it was cooling off very slowly.
It wouldn’t be so bad if she could at least figure out how to use her iPhone. There was supposed to be some game with violent birds that was addicting, but she had enough trouble turning the damn thing on, let alone flicking poultry at pigs.
She could master the language, the slang, the fashion, even the ever-changing roles of women in society. But technology continued to baffle her. Driving a car and changing the channel were about the best she could do.
Part of that was because it all changed so quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that computers were the size of rooms, and now one fit in the palm of her hand. In her lifetime, it felt like a blink of an eye.
The rest of it was simply that she didn’t care to learn. Since the moment she’d become a siren who could enchant people to do her bidding, she’d surrounded herself with servants. As a mortal, she’d been a servant herself, working as a handmaiden for the spoiled goddess Persephone, and she’d spent that entire time vowing she’d never do anything like that again.
So for most of her life she’d had others doing all the things for her that she didn’t want to do. In the old days, that meant literally having people to dress her and wash her hair, but then it had just become the cleaning and getting the door. In her mind, it was still the servant’s job to answer the phone.
Now everything was so convenient it didn’t make sense to have someone draw her a bath, not when she could simply turn the handle on the faucet. It was quicker and easier for her to do it herself.
Except when it came to damn phones and computers and anything of that kind. The term “tablet” only confused and irritated her more. Mankind had worked for so long to get away from writing on cumbersome tablets, only to come back to them when pen and paper were still readily available.
Fortunately, Lexi was much more technologically inclined. That was the best part of having her around. She seemed like a moron, and most of the time she was, but she could also rewire the house if she needed to.
She’d been the one who had bought Penn the iPhone. Though “procured” might be a better word, since none of the sirens had actually earned money a day in their supernatural lives. They charmed, they conned, they took what they wanted.