Lullaby Page 61

Once the sirens had gone, Gemma had explained to Harper why the sirens had spared her and let her stay in Capri. That had actually been relatively easy compared to explaining to Brian what she’d been up to when they got back home. She lied and told her dad that she’d just snuck out to watch the fireworks with Alex, but that still left him pretty pissed off.

Brian stayed up really late that night, maybe because he was so angry, but the second Gemma was certain he was asleep, she snuck outside. She’d made sure to tell Harper what she was doing before she left, so Harper wouldn’t freak out when she saw Gemma’s bedroom empty.

As she crept across the yard and climbed up the trellis to Alex’s window, Gemma could almost feel Harper watching her from her bedroom window. That was the condition. Harper would let Gemma sneak out to talk to Alex without telling their dad as long as Harper could see her the entire time.

Crouching on the roof outside his darkened bedroom window, Gemma knocked sharply on the glass. After the night they’d had, he was probably sound asleep, and she wanted to be sure she woke him.

The light in the room flipped on, casting a glow through the curtains. She knocked on the glass again, and a few seconds later, Alex pushed back the curtains. As soon as he saw her, he hurried and opened the window.

“What are you doing here?” Alex asked. His hair was standing up all over from sleep, and he wore only his boxers, revealing his well-muscled chest. “Do you want to come in?”

“No, I can’t.” She shook her head and tried to fight back the tears that were already brimming in her eyes. “I just stopped by for a sec.”

“What’s wrong?” Alex leaned out the window and put his hand on her arm. “What’s going on? Did something happen?”

“No. I just … I needed to see you.”

“How come?”

“I love you,” she whispered, and before he could respond, she leaned forward and kissed him.

She wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly to her. When she finished kissing him, he kept hugging her, and she rested her head on his shoulder, sniffing back tears.

“Gemma, what’s going on?” Alex asked.

“Alex,” Gemma sang softly into his ear. “Alex. You will do as I say.” She took a deep breath, letting her song take effect on him. “You’re breaking up with me. You don’t want to go out with me anymore. You don’t want to be around me. You don’t care about my safety. You don’t…” She paused. “You don’t love me anymore.”

“Gemma?” He sounded confused. His arms had felt strong and firm around her, but they loosened now, letting her go.

“Do you understand me? Alex?” She pulled away from him and looked him in the eyes. “Are you my boyfriend?”

His face scrunched up, and his dark eyes looked pained underneath the haze of the spell. Then finally he shook his head. “No. We broke up.”

“That’s right.” She nodded.

“What are you doing here?” Alex asked. “Why did you come over?”

“I didn’t.” She wiped her eyes. “This is all a dream, and when you wake up, you’ll only remember that you don’t want to be with me.”

Gemma couldn’t handle it anymore, so she turned and climbed down his roof. Alex was still standing at his open window, staring out at her, and she told him to shut it and go back to bed. Before she could see if he’d really done it, she raced back to her house and to her own room.

Convincing Alex that he didn’t love her anymore might not play out well with the sirens. Even though Thea had seen it and believed it was true, they might be pissed that they couldn’t experiment with him. And if Penn was pissed, she might take it out on him or Gemma or Harper.

But she didn’t know what else to do. They’d almost killed him tonight—again. And after seeing what Lexi had done to Sawyer, Gemma knew it was only a matter of time before the same fate befell Alex if he stayed involved with a siren. Especially considering what she’d done to Jason.

Penn might punish her or Alex over this, that was true. But if he didn’t break up with her and get away from her, then he would definitely end up dead.

Besides, there were still plenty of puzzles for the sirens to obsess over. Harper had told Gemma that Daniel wouldn’t fall under their spell. Penn thought there was something strange going on in Capri in general. They didn’t need Alex in order to figure out what was happening.

Gemma had considered doing the same thing to Harper that she’d just done to Alex, convincing her that she didn’t care about Gemma anymore, and then Gemma could leave with the sirens.

But it would be better if the sirens stayed here. Penn had agreed to behave. They would slow down their feedings, so their staying in Capri would help save lives.

Not only that, but it sounded like Thea would be looking into the curse more. Since a human had fallen in love with Gemma, the sirens obviously had been misled about the curse’s terms. Maybe Thea could find a way to break the curse. Or, at the very least, free Gemma.

She had to stay here. She had to leave Harper, their dad, and Daniel in danger. For now.

But Gemma had been able to spare Alex. Even if that meant he’d never be able to love her again. She knew it was the right thing to do. She had to keep Alex safe—from the other sirens, and from herself.

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