Day Four

Day Four by Sarah Lotz

Book: Day Four by Sarah Lotz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Lotz
immediately it was cold. She carried her cup back outside, stepping over discarded water bottles and what looked to be the jellyfish body of a used condom, and headed down to the Tranquillity deck. It was doubtful Celine would have made it to this level, but it was worth a look.
    If anything, this area was even more populated, the Jacuzzi stuffed with a crowd of rowdy British men.
    No Celine.
    She was about to backtrack, when a dark-haired man sitting on a lounger next to the towel station caught her eye: the blogger from last night. Head bent, he was fiddling with his iPhone. Fuelled by a surge of resentment, instead of moving on, she found herself saying: ‘Feeling better?’
    ‘’Scuse me?’ He looked up, and she stared at her reflection in the twin lenses of his retro aviator glasses.
    ‘After last night. Celine’s event.’
    He looked her up and down. ‘You were there?’
    ‘I’m Celine’s PA. So yeah. Hope you’re happy.’
    He shrugged. ‘Not really. Been sick as a dog pretty much since I came on board. Still not feeling great.’
    ‘Oh, what a pity.’
    ‘The PA, huh? Do you write her excuses for her as well?’
    Maddie was scrambling for a retort when there was a beep signalling another message from Damien: ‘G’day, this is your cruise director Damien speaking. It may not be the greatest start to the New Year, so how about we shake off the blues with an extra game of Bingo?’
    ‘Thank God for Damien,’ the blogger said. ‘What the fuck would we do without him?’ He gave her a sardonic grin, taking her off guard. ‘Can you believe this shit?’ He waggled his phone. ‘No signal. No Internet. Can’t log on.’ There was the sound of a squeal and Maddie looked over her shoulder to see two women in bikinis jumping into the Jacuzzi on top of the men. ‘You don’t think it’s weird we haven’t seen anyone?’ the guy continued. ‘Like a helicopter or another cruise ship? They should have sent something by now. I was up here most of the night. The Gulf is lousy with drilling rigs, but nothing. No lights. Nada. Zip. Something’s going on that they’re not telling us.’
    ‘Foveros gets a lot of bad press. They’re probably trying to keep it quiet. Avoid it being splashed all over the news.’
    ‘You’d know all about that, wouldn’t you?’
    ‘Nice. You got me.’ She’d asked for it. What the hell was she doing talking to this guy anyway? If he’d bothered to book himself onto the ship, he must be one of the tenacious debunkers who spent hours trying to lure Celine into responding to him on FB, Zoop and Twitter. Maddie, who ran all these accounts, never bothered to engage with them, or refute or comment on any of their blogs. The Friends had that covered. Time to move on.
    ‘Hey! Hey wait. I’m sorry.’ She hesitated, then turned back. The guy took off his glasses. Dark-blue eyes, fair lashes – his hair was definitely dyed. ‘I suppose an interview is out of the question.’
    ‘You suppose right.’
    ‘You’re from England.’
    ‘You’re sharp.’
    Another wry smile. ‘How long you been working for Celine?’
    ‘I said no interview.’
    ‘Off the record then.’
    ‘Yeah, right.’
    ‘Look, I’m just doing my job. You got to admit, what happened with Lillian Small was fucked up. It’s proven without a shadow of a doubt that Lori and Bobby Small died on Black Thursday and yet Celine—’
    ‘Like Celine says, she can only use what Spirit tells her.’
    He grimaced and Maddie took a step back. ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurl. That was my gross-out face. I don’t get it. Why do you work for her?’
    Because no one else in their right mind would employ me . ‘None of your business.’
    ‘She’s a predator. Preying on the grieving.’
    ‘She brings hope and closure to people,’ Maddie said automatically.
    ‘Does she? Did she bring hope and closure to Lillian Small?’
    ‘I don’t need to listen to this.’
    ‘You’re right. You don’t. But don’t you

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