Of course, Lexi was completely psychotic and had ripped out Sawyer’s heart without any real provocation, so there was a good chance that she would’ve killed him eventually. That didn’t change the fact that Gemma hadn’t saved him or taken him with her when she ran away. She knew he was in danger, and she didn’t do enough to help him.
Gemma wished the manhunt for Sawyer would hurry and turn up something, not only so she wouldn’t have to keep seeing his face everywhere, but so his family would have some closure.
She’d considered calling the tip line, but what could she tell them? That she’d seen a monster rip out his heart underneath the fireworks? She didn’t even know what had become of his body.
After Lexi had killed him, she’d kicked him into the bay. But since he hadn’t turned up on the beach or in a fisherman’s net, Gemma assumed they’d done something with him. Maybe they’d dragged him farther out to sea, maybe they fed him to sharks, maybe Lexi ate him. Gemma didn’t know, and honestly, she didn’t want to know.
The capsized yacht had probably been the work of the sirens, maybe to cover up the murder, or maybe it had just been an accident when they took the boat on a joyride. Lexi had been gone for a few days last week.
Gemma swallowed back the lump in her throat and pushed Sawyer from her mind. If she wanted to get out of here before Harper got home, she had to hurry, which meant that she didn’t have time to cry about Sawyer. Besides, she’d already cried over him plenty of times this summer, and it had done nothing to help him or herself.
The Paramount Theater was in the center of town, only a few blocks away from the Capri Public Library and Pearl’s Diner. It was a bit of a distance to walk, so she’d left early enough so that she’d have plenty of time to get there. Her car still wasn’t working, but Kirby would give her a ride after practice.
It was an old theater, built in the early 1900s. It’d been popular when it had first been built, but over time people had gradually lost interest. The Paramount closed and became run-down. Then about twenty years ago the town had started a revitalization project and began to fix it up.
Gemma’s mother had actually been part of the crew that restored the theater. Nathalie didn’t know anything really about building repair, and from what Gemma understood, Nathalie’s help had been limited to painting, cleaning, and fund-raising. But she’d worked very hard, and eventually the Paramount was returned to its former glory.
The marquee out front would light up at night. Right now it simply proclaimed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, AUGUST 27 in all capital letters. Opening night was just over three weeks away, and then they’d do four shows over the course of one weekend. It wasn’t Broadway, but it was something.
A poster on the front of the building was done in an old playbill style. They’d put all the actors’ names on it. Thea was listed right below Aiden Crawford. They should technically share the top billing, since they played the leads Katherine and Petruchio, respectively, but Aiden had the bonus of being the eldest son of Mayor Crawford, the most prominent man in Capri.
Thea had joined the play first, and Gemma had followed at her suggestion. Thea’d apparently always loved the theater, but Gemma had mostly auditioned to keep close to Thea. Not only so she could find a way to reverse the curse, but to keep an eye on the sirens. Besides, it was good for Gemma to do something to keep herself busy.
Gemma walked past the ticket booth and the main doors, and she went around the side of the building to the door that led to the backstage area. Since she’d left so early, she was one of the first ones there, but that usually seemed to be the case.
Tom Wagner, the director, was already there, and so was Daniel, but he’d probably already been there for hours. Daniel had been tasked with re-creating the Italian Renaissance. Gemma knew that he had his work cut out for him, and she’d seen him laboring backstage on the beginnings of elaborate sets since she’d been cast in the play a week ago.
When she came in, Tom was sitting on the stage, his legs dangling over the edge, with a script lying next to him. His dark hair was slightly disheveled, and the top several buttons of his shirt were undone. In an abstract way, Gemma was aware that he was attractive, and his soft British accent definitely helped support that idea.
“Bianca.” Tom smiled widely when he saw Gemma. He insisted on calling everyone by their character’s name, but that was fine by Gemma. “You’re so prompt. I wonder if your costars will catch on to that.”
“I don’t think punctuality is contagious,” Gemma said.
He laughed. “No, I don’t suppose it is.”
She hopped up on the stage next to him—carefully, since she was wearing a skirt and didn’t want to reveal too much. Out before her were rows and rows of velvet seats. The walls had been made to appear as old brick, like the walls of a castle. The ceiling above them had been painted a dark blue like the early night sky, complete with small lights poking through for starlight.
“Are you having any problems with your lines?” Tom asked.
“None so far,” Gemma said. “But I haven’t memorized them all yet.”
“For shame,” he told her with a smirk. “By now I would’ve thought you’d memorized all the words in the play, not just yours.”
A clunking sound came from behind them, and Gemma looked back over her shoulder to see Daniel picking up a tool off the stage. She waved at him, but he only nodded and smiled, his hands full of tools and wood.