I am trying to concentrate on anything other than Pierce to keep him from invading my thoughts. I notice a soprano singing a cappella in a language I don't understand. I hear the clinking of silverware and glasses, laughter and a foghorn off in the distance. Occasionally there are bursts of fairy magic and flashes of lightning. The fairy lights on the yacht are changing from red to violet, across the visual spectrum, so slowly it's barely noticeable.

"Too late, Waverly," Pierce says. "I already know that you think I'm sexy."

"I was thinking you are snoopy, not sexy. Your blood-enhanced mind-reading must be wearing off."

"No, it lasts a good twenty-four hours," he chuckles. "And your mind is one of the most interesting places I've ever seen. A shining garden of contradiction."

Ugh, vampire poetry! "Voyeur!"

"I don't think you're in a position to criticize me when I'm your only hope of getting onto this boat, Waverly. Say something nice, and I might help you."

I want to throw him back to the sharks.

"I heard that."

"Stop getting into my brain, you ... you ..."


"You kind, helpful, intelligent, vampire."

"And sexy," he says. "Don't forget. Say it. Out loud."

I am gritting my teeth so hard, I may have to survive on a liquid diet from now on. "Sexy. Okay, satisfied?"

"Not yet," he says, and I don't think he's referring to our conversation either. Why does this make me feel so happy?

He chuckles again.

"For the last time, stop listening to my thoughts. It's rude!"

"I can't help it, Waverly. You are endlessly entertaining."

"How did you even know I was here?"

He laughs. "Smelled you."

"What, I smell bad?"

"Bad? No, Waverly. You smell delicious."

Uh, right, the blood. How could I forget? "Don't get any ideas," I say.

"Too late for that. Are you badly hurt?"

"Just some scrapes. I'll be fine," I say. "I mean as long as you don't drain my circulatory system."

"I'm wounded, Waverly," he says. He looks over his shoulder toward the front of the boat. "Wait, quiet. Someone is coming."

I hear the clicking of platform heels on the deck. Eels Meals! It's Shelly. I can smell the collection of perfume she tried on in the room. I lower myself until only my head is above the water.

"Who were you talking to," says Shelly.

"The night," says Pierce, sounding all poet-like.

"I sometimes talk to the universe," says Shelly. "It's totally profound. Like sometimes I ask for stuff, then I get it. You have to totally want whatever it is really badly, or you won't get it, though."

"I'm glad you have such a strong grasp of the concept."

"Thanks," she says, sounding breathy and frankly desperate. I can see her stroking Pierce's hand, which is resting on the rail. "I do grasp it." She stops stroking and rests her hand on top of his. "I'm sorry Waverly didn't come."

She doesn't sound at all sorry. I imagine pulling her hair out strand by strand. He pulls his hand free. Yay!

"Oh, I have a feeling she might show up, " Pierce says.

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