The interior of the limousine is garish, but because it's bathed in aqua light it reminds me of the ocean so much I feel a pang of longing. How long has it been since I've been in the water? My skin is dry and thirsty, and I picture my tail, shriveled and dull. The blue leather seats have a wave design stitched into them and there is a shallow elongated fish tank on the ceiling of the limo. On closer inspection, I notice the fish are actually jagged-toothed piranha, their malignant red eyes like tiny pools of blood. Darkins also had a fish tank in his office, not to mention the hideous the merfolk holding tank. Why does this guy seem to have such a weird obsession with the ocean?

I wish I didn't have to be here with Dirk Darkins, but the only way we could get him off the premises while we sabotage his event was by having him go to pick up his idol, Patty Cary, from the airport. And he wouldn't go without me. At least with me in the car, I can make sure he doesn't change his mind and go back before our "party planning team" is finished with their portion of the job. Then it will be our turn. Pierce and I are the ones who are going to handle the press conference. Once the reporters are gathered and the press kits distributed, we will go on stage and reveal what Darkins has really been doing. Of course we won't mention anything about mermaids. Humanity is not ready for the truth.

It's so frustrating not knowing what is happening back at the barn. Have Cupid and Shelly been able to set the merfolk free and get them to medical care? Are the guards still wandering endlessly in the haunted house maze? Are the explosives set and ready to detonate? And where in Hades is Pierce? Hopefully not in Hades!!!! I feel so useless babysitting this jerk while my friends do all the hard work.

"Do you like my limousine, Miss Spring? I had it custom made." He pours us each a glass of what must be champagne and hands one to me. Then puts his pale perfectly manicured and white-cuffed hand on my thigh. Holy crab! My heart speeds, and I suppress a gag that is threatening to gurgle from my throat. "I'm glad we have this time alone. We can get to know one another better. Much better." His mouth contorts into a grin as slimy as mozuku seaweed.

The car unexpectedly screeches to a stop. Champagne sloshes over the edge of the glass onto his hand that is still resting on my thigh.

"Hell!" He says pulling his hand away.

The champagne that spilled on the thin fabric of my dress clings to my skin. Oh, no, the dress! What if Aphrodite gets angry with me for ruining her gown and turns me into a shellfish like she did with poor Nerites? You never know how a goddess will react.

Darkins presses a button on a panel and the darkly tinted privacy glass lowers a few inches. "Driver!" Darkins' face is flushed, ugly and toxic as a red tide. "Do that again and you'll be out of a job.

The driver doesn't turn from the road. He grunts what must be an apology. I'm sure he must be annoyed, but I can't see his face.

Darkins raises the privacy screen. Once again I'm alone with this jerk. I shiver.

"Sorry, Miss Spring. Or shall I call you Kelly? It's so hard to find good servants these days."

Servants? This guy is an utter snob in addition to being a horrific polluting creep! He grabs some napkins from the bar and starts slowly wiping the champagne on my thigh.

Urgh! I take the wad of napkins. "I'll do that!" I say, perhaps a little too emphatically.

"Of course, Kelly," he says, frowning.

Once I'm done wiping, he refills my glass and hands it back to me. He looks at me as if he expects me to say something. What had he asked me before? I really need to pay attention! Oh, I remember. About whether I like his gaudy car. "It's the first limousine I've ever been in," I say. "I've nothing to compare it to." I am being so tactful!

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