“Ten grand!” Penn called after him as he walked away. “I’ll pay you ten grand to build me a fence.”
Daniel laughed and shook his head. “I’ll see you around, Penn.”
“We’re not done yet, Daniel!” Penn shouted, but he just kept walking.
“Stop that,” Marcy said as Harper began emptying the overnight drop box at the library.
“What?” Harper turned back to face her with a stack of worn Harry Potter novels weighing down her arms.
“Working,” Marcy replied tightly, and Harper rolled her eyes.
“Edie’s been back for weeks. You have to be used to it by now,” Harper said, but she let the door to the drop box slam shut, leaving a small pile of books behind.
Marcy was kneeling on her chair and leaning so far forward on the desk, she was practically lying on it. Her dark eyes stared out from behind her glasses with a manic intensity as she watched the front door of the library.
“I’ll never get used to it,” Marcy insisted.
“I don’t even understand what the big deal is.” Harper set the books down on the desk.
“Move,” Marcy hissed and waved her off, because Harper was apparently blocking her view of the front door.
“You know that’s all glass, right?” Harper asked, motioning to the door that sat in the middle of the large windowed library front. “You can see through all of that. You don’t need your eyes locked on the door like a laser beam.”
“Pfft,” Marcy scoffed.
Harper moved to the side anyway, since it was easier to get out of the way than try to use logic on Marcy. “She won’t be here for another ten minutes, so I don’t understand why you’re so freaked out already.”
“You don’t get it,” Marcy said, sounding gravely serious. “If I’m not busy the entire time she’s here, if I even spend five minutes sitting behind this desk, Edie will immediately launch into some story about her honeymoon, and she won’t stop talking about it.”
“Maybe she’s doing it on purpose,” Harper said. “You’ve worked here for, what? Like, five years? And in all that time combined, you’ve maybe given two honest days of work—until Edie got back from her honeymoon. Now you’re a busy little bee. Maybe she’s finally found a way to motivate you.”
Marcy shot her a look. “I need to watch for her, so the second she comes in I can haul ass and do anything that isn’t being around her,” she said. “I get that she had a really amazing time exploring the world or whatever, but … it’s, like, I don’t care. And I don’t know how she doesn’t get that.”
“Feigning human emotion has never been your strong suit,” Harper said and started scanning in the books.
“What are you doing?” Marcy asked.
“Checking these in, so you can run and put them away the second Edie gets in.”
“Awesome.” Marcy gave her a rare smile and looked over at her. “You kinda look like crap. Are you not sleeping again?”
“Thanks,” Harper said sarcastically.
“No, I just meant, did something happen last night?” Marcy asked.
“Nothing more than usual.” Harper let out a deep breath to blow her dark hair out of her face. She stopped scanning the books and turned to Marcy. “Gemma’s seeing some guy.”
“Some guy?” Marcy raised an eyebrow. “I thought she was still in love with Alex or whatever.”
Harper shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, she probably still loves him. That’s why I don’t know why she’s sneaking around with someone else. It just seems ridiculous.”
“Isn’t she still grounded?” Marcy asked.
“Today’s her first official day being ungrounded,” Harper said. “She’s been hooking up with this guy she met at play rehearsal, and then she stays out all night with him doing … I don’t even know what. So I was waiting up for her last night.”
“Well, if she’s grounded, why didn’t you just tell your dad about it?” Marcy asked. “He’d ground her again and make her quit play rehearsal.”
“I don’t want her to quit the play. She needs to be doing something.” She rubbed her temple.
In fact, Harper preferred that Gemma stay in the play. Daniel had taken the job at the play partially because he needed the work, but it also meant that he could keep an eye on her. So every night, for a few hours, Harper knew that Gemma was safe. She just wished that Gemma would start making better choices where boys were concerned.
“I get that she’s going through this totally insane thing, but I don’t know how bringing another person into the mix will make it any better,” Harper said. “She broke up with Alex because she knows how dangerous it is for sirens to be around boys, and now she’s dragging in another boy.”
“I thought the only reason the sirens cared about Alex was because he was in love with her,” Marcy said. “They probably won’t give a crap about some random boy, unless he falls in love with Gemma, too.”
“I don’t know.” Harper’s shoulders slumped. “I don’t even know what the sirens want anymore. They’ve been here for weeks, and nobody’s figured out anything. We still have no clue how to break the curse. They don’t know how Alex is able to love Gemma, or why Daniel is immune.