If You Must Answer

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Penny's trying to hide her worry-- I can see the shadow of it lurking in every crevice of her face. First Baz disappearing, then Simon, and now this. How can she not be worried?

A fragment of an idea tickles the back of my brain. Like pieces of a puzzle, falling into place.

What if... 

What if this is all Baz's doing? What if he knew something about Simon's parents, and didn't want him to find out? 

It makes sense. With Baz and Simon disappearing within twenty-four hours of each other... What if Baz kidnapped Simon? What if Baz kidnapped Simon, and that's why Penelope, who is phased by nothing, looks so worried. 

If Penny is too afraid to go after them.... then it's up to me. I have to save Simon. 

"Penny," I start to say, thinking maybe I can convince her to come with me. Those sad brown eyes turn on me, looking more desperate and broken than I've ever seen them. 

Before I can continue, a phone rings. Penny's hand shoots into her pocket, extracting hers and bringing it up to her ear. 

"Simon?" She asks frantically. I can't make out the reply. But I watch as all of the blood drains from her face. 

"I'll be right there. Send me your location?" 

A moment later, she hangs up, staring at me. 

"Was that Simon? What did he want? Where is he?" I ask, desperate to know if I'm right. 

Setting her jaw, Penny looks me straight in the eyes. Her gaze burns hotter than any fire. 

"We have to go. Right now."

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