1. Take an umbrella with you everywhere.
Rikki saw it first and groaned. "Oh, no."
"What?" Cleo said, and then she looked up and saw it too. "You have got to be kidding!"
"Please tell me you brought an umbrella," Rikki said.
"Why would I?" It had been bright and clear that morning, sunny—Rikki had been all grim and grumpy for no good reason, that was why Cleo had made her come shopping in the first place. Yeah, all right, it had been a rainy summer, but Cleo was a mermaid, not psychic. She gazed out at the pouring rain, the streams of water cascading off the awning over the door, and let out a sigh, clutching the handles of her shopping bags. It had been such a good day. She'd found four new pairs of shoes—four! And all of them fit, too. Cleo's feet were almost always too wide for the really cute shoes—
"Well, can you—" Rikki made a motion with her hand like she was unscrewing a light bulb.
Cleo glanced around them doubtfully. "With all these people around? Somebody'll see." She'd just gotten this week's edition of that lecture from Emma, she didn't really want to have to sit through it again. "Besides, even if I can do it for a minute, I don't think I can do it the whole way back." The walk took a good twenty minutes—that was way longer than Cleo had ever used her powers before. "Maybe—hey! Rikki, we're in a mall."
Rikki raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Cleo, we are—"
Cleo elbowed her. "So we can buy an umbrella!"
Rikki looked less delighted by Cleo's genius than Cleo had hoped. "We could," she agreed. "If we had any money left."
"… Oh. Right." Cleo wasn't actually broke—but her remaining thirty-one cents wasn't exactly enough to buy an umbrella with, and Rikki had even less after they'd found that last jacket for her.
Rikki sighed and squinted up at the rain. "Emma's not going to like this," she said.
Emma didn't like it—but it wasn't like they could call their parents, obviously, and she did have her learner's licence. Cleo and Rikki waited for her by the mall doors, flinching away every time someone came in swinging a still-dripping umbrella around, and Cleo spotted her car through the grey haze of rain at almost the same moment Rikki's phone buzzed.
Cleo pressed her head up against the other side of the phone so she could hear: Emma's voice was tinny but clear. "This is the closest I can get to the door," Emma said. "You'd better be able to make it in ten seconds."
"We will," Rikki said.
Cleo wasn't so sure—what if one of them slipped and fell? What if she dropped one of her shopping bags? She quickly hitched the one hanging from her elbow up to her shoulder instead, and the ones in her hands to her elbows. She'd need her hands free if she was going to get the door of Emma's mom's car open in less than ten seconds.
Rikki was saying something else, laughing, and then she said, "See you in nine and a half seconds," and hung up, tucking the phone away in her pocket. She had one shopping bag over her shoulder and the second one's handles twisted around her wrist; she held her free hand out to Cleo and said, "Ready?"
"No," Cleo said, and took Rikki's hand anyway.
It was really pouring, absolutely drenching, water already dripping from Cleo's nose after just the first few sprinting steps. She hated that sensation. And her clothes, her shoes—everything she'd just bought was going to be totally soaked. Stupid rain.
They splashed up to Emma's mom's car, and Cleo had to let go of Rikki's hand to scrabble at the door. How many seconds could they possibly have left? She threw herself into the front passenger seat, bags going every which way; she had to get her feet inside the door and then get the door shut, or else—
She yanked, and heard the door-latch catch an instant before the familiar fizzy sensation overtook her: she was water, water-not-water, hanging suspended the instant before the splash, and then all at once she was Cleo again. Except with a bikini top and a huge orange tail.
Cleo blinked. She couldn't see much of anything except the sides of shopping bags—car seats really weren't designed to fit a good two metres of tail, and hers was kind of folded up between her and the dash, the shopping bags that had been slung over her lap now crunched up in front of her face.
"We didn't get you, did we?" said Rikki from the back.
"No," said Emma, "but not for lack of trying."
Cleo moved a bag, and now she could see: Emma had dressed herself up like—like Cleo at a pool party, except in a rain jacket, with yellow dishwashing gloves and her hood pulled up tight around her face. She was glaring into the back seat with that particular frustrated expression she did so well.
Rikki laughed in the face of it, because of course she did. "Too bad," she said. "Can you imagine? A mermaid, trying to drive."
"Hilarious," Emma said flatly, "at least until we got pulled over. There's towels in the back—start drying yourselves off. If this car smells like fish—"
"Towels?" Rikki made a face. "Please!"
It only took about five minutes for the windshield to clear, once Emma turned the front vents on all the way. The steam got pretty thick, but apparently it wasn't enough to count as getting Emma wet, at least not as far as the magic was concerned.
Emma didn't seem to think this was a helpful observation.
Cleo sniffed and tilted her chin up. "Lewis will want to know," she said. "We can't expect him to figure out how this works if we don't give him—data." That was how he'd put it, wasn't it?
"Wow," Rikki murmured, "you really do hang out with him a lot."
"All right, enough," Emma said. "Dry off! And the next time any of us do anything that involves walking anywhere, we check the weather report first."
2. Don't go anywhere near the water bubbler in the second floor science hallway.
Emma only just noticed in time to dart across the hallway and grab Rikki's shoulders. "Hey!" she said brightly, because you couldn't yell No! at somebody who was just trying to get a drink without people staring at you.
Rikki still gave her kind of a funny look, but that was because they'd just talked three minutes ago. "Hi, Emma," she said slowly.
"Got a minute?" Emma said, smiling, and tugged Rikki a step further away from the bubbler.
"Seriously," Emma said, "one minute," and pulled Rikki another step.
"That thing hasn't worked right since Philip Li knocked it off the wall two months ago," Emma hissed, leaning close enough to Rikki to keep anyone from overhearing. "Unless you wanted to get sprayed with water in the middle of the hallway?"
Rikki's face went through a familiar set of gymnastics: from startled to dismayed to—just for an instant—grateful and relieved, which was quickly replaced with unimpressed and resentful. Emma sighed. Just once, would it kill her to say "thank you"?
"Good to know, Mom," Rikki said instead, crossing her arms.
"I should've just let you," Emma muttered, rolling her eyes and turning away.
"You'd never," Rikki said, smug, and Emma was turning back around to explain just exactly how much she would because Rikki was that annoying—that's why she saw Megan Jones strolling up to the bubbler.
There wasn't any time to do anything about it: Megan shrieked and jumped sideways when the spray hit her, but her thumb stayed where it was just long enough for the jet of water to hit Rikki square in the back. The look on Rikki's face would have been almost funny, if it hadn't been such an unbelievable disaster.
"Oh my god," Megan was saying over Rikki's shoulder, "I'm so sorry!"
"No problem," Emma said briskly, "no problem, we'll just—girls' toilet, Rikki, now—"
There was one just around the corner—they both darted for it a little too urgently, judging by the surprised look on Megan's face, but they had about four more seconds before there was a mermaid flopping around in the hallway.
"Sorry! Really!" Megan shouted after them.
Rikki shoved the girls' toilet door open, and Emma yanked it shut behind her—just in time, Rikki's face gleaming transparent a moment before the door closed. Rikki could dry herself off just fine with her powers, she didn't need Emma for that, but she did need somebody to guard the door until she was done.
Emma swung around to face the hallway and almost swallowed her tongue. "Mr. Martin!"
"Something wrong, Ms. Gilbert?"
He wasn't yelling—Mr. Martin never yelled—but his eyes were narrowed behind his spectacles. The hallway was clearing out, class starting; and Mr. Martin had really strong feelings about loitering (negative) and really strong feelings about handing out detention (positive).
"Um," Emma said. "My friend, she's just—"
Mr. Martin raised one greying eyebrow and tapped his foot. He hated excuses, he liked to say he'd already heard them all—and probably he had, Emma thought, given how long he'd been teaching. He was always talking about how things were in the good old days, how respectful kids had been, how school had been for school and not personal problems—
"Girl troubles!" Emma blurted.
Mr. Martin blinked. "Girl—?"
"Girl troubles," Emma repeated, emphatic; and Mr. Martin's eyebrows both went up this time.
"Ah," he said, after a beat, and took a step back. "Ah, well, that's—you'd better—" He stopped and cleared his throat, awkward, looking even more uncomfortable than Emma had been hoping. "You're—clearly better equipped to—ah—"
"We'll be as quick as we can, Mr. Martin," Emma assured him, which would let him say—
"Be sure that you are."
"Of course, Mr. Martin," Emma said, and smiled.
The door opened after maybe two minutes, Rikki's hair curling even more fiercely than usual when she came out. She was glancing over her shoulder as she pushed the door open, frowning; and then she looked at Emma and shrugged. "Mirrors'll unfog eventually," she said, and then, "The best part about this?" and turned to show Emma her back. "Shirt's dry, too."
"Congratulations," Emma said. "Let's never do that again."
"Let's," Rikki repeated. "You didn't have to—"
"No, I just had to chase Mr. Martin away from the girls' toilet in the middle of the day."
Rikki made a face—she hated Mr. Martin, and it was pretty mutual. "Mr. Martin? How did you ever get that dinosaur to leave without giving us both detention?" She narrowed her eyes at Emma; and then all at once she started absolutely beaming. "Emma! You lied to him, didn't you? You lied to a teacher. I'm so proud!"
"Wait 'til you hear what I told him."
3. NO VISITS TO THE NAIL SALON.
"But it'll be fun."
Rikki sighed. "It doesn't sound fun, Cleo," she said. "It sounds like we sit there awkwardly while some stranger, like, gropes our hands—"
"Oh, come on," Cleo said, and pouted. She totally practiced that pout in the mirror, Rikki thought. Nobody's pout was that fiercely weapons-grade without a little effort. "You like doing your nails, I know you do!"
Rikki shrugged one shoulder. "It's fine," she said, because she knew Cleo would know what she really meant. "So why don't we do that? We can just paint them ourselves, we don't have to go pay some weirdo to do it for us."
"But the salon does it better," Cleo said. "Look, how about I'll go, and you can watch?"
"So I can sit there awkwardly while some stranger gropes your hands," Rikki said doubtfully. "Awesome." But she let Cleo drag her one step further along the footpath—one step, and then two, and really, once you'd showed Cleo weakness you were pretty much doomed.
The salon wasn't bad—it was a nice place, bright, clean, and they had a rack of nail polish near the door that had every color Rikki could think of and a hundred more besides. She stopped to admire the reddest row: mostly red, but the selection went from dark burgundy to fiery, with some oranges and golds and iridescent mixes to round it out. Rikki didn't even want to use them all so much as she just liked looking at them, which was why she didn't notice what Cleo was doing until it was almost too late.
Cleo had obviously been to the salon a lot—she knew everybody's names, and Rikki'd tuned out all the boring small talk that ensued. But apparently Cleo had a favorite routine she usually went through, and by the time Rikki turned around, they already had her just about set up: somebody was already lowering Cleo's hand toward a bowl of water.
Rikki folded her fingers up around the edge of the rack, tightening her hand until her knuckles had gone white. "Cleo!" Rikki cried, hoping it would pass for enthusiasm over the nail polish—or for a warning over the way the bowl-thingy had started to boil over.
"Oh!" cried the manicurist or whatever, letting go of Cleo's hand. "Jennifer—this is way too hot! Why did you—?"
Cleo, obviously, knew it wasn't Jennifer's fault, or at least had guessed. "Rikki," she said—and she sounded annoyed, like she thought Rikki had just done it to ruin her manicure. Sometimes Cleo just didn't think things through.
"Guess we'll just have to come back another time," Rikki said brightly, grabbing Cleo by the shoulders. "Come on, Cleo, up we get—"
"It was water, Cleo," Rikki said, when they were safely outside.
"Oh," Cleo said blankly, and then, "oh, but not—not really. Fingerbaths can't possibly count, can they?"
"Did you really want to find out while you were in there?" Rikki said.
"Well—no," Cleo admitted. "No, that would've been bad."
She looked so incredibly crestfallen; even her curls looked sad, and Rikki half expected it to start raining from a clear sky just out of sympathy. Which was the last thing they needed right now. "Yes," Rikki said, "yes, it would have," but it didn't sound as exasperated as she wanted it to, and she couldn't stop herself from putting an arm around Cleo's shoulders. "But there's somewhere where we could find out whether fingerbaths count."
They did count, as it turned out. Fortunately the upstairs bathroom at Cleo's house was big enough for two mermaids to fit into, and they'd already laid a bunch of towels down as padding just in case. "The only problem is," Cleo observed as they lay on the floor finishing up each other's pinkies, "we're never ever going to be able to give ourselves a proper pedicure."
4. Always stay on the far side of any footpath—ESPECIALLY when it's just rained!
"—but I wasn't taking notes, and now she's said it'll be on the quiz and I don't—"
"Bicyclist," Emma said.
"What?" That didn't have anything to do with the history homework Cleo needed help with—did it? Or had Cleo really not been paying attention—
Emma grabbed her by the arm and pulled, tugging her to the left, closer to the road—and out of the way of a man on a bicycle, who rang the bike's bell twice and nodded to Emma and then was past them and away.
"Honestly, Cleo," Emma said; but she smiled after she said it, so she wasn't too annoyed.
Cleo beamed at her hopefully. "So! Maybe if you had some time this afternoon, we could go over it?"
Emma didn't get a chance to answer. Cleo saw her flinch first, and then found herself flinching too, almost like the way you yawned when you saw other people yawning—and then the water hit her, a cold wet arc across her arm and down her side, and she yelped.
It wasn't fair. They'd checked the weather this time and everything, and it had rained yesterday but was supposed to be fine today. Cleo even had an umbrella tucked away in her bag, just in case—Emma had brought one, obviously, but she'd said Cleo needed to get in the habit of carrying her own.
But they'd moved to the left of the footpath to let the bicyclist get by, and that had put them closer to the road—and the footpath was dry, but there was a big old puddle next to the nearest manhole cover, and a car had just plunged right through it. The spray had gone everywhere, there was dirty manhole-cover puddle water in Cleo's hair—
"Quick, come on," Emma snapped, and pulled Cleo sideways. They weren't too far away from the bank of a canal, Cleo saw—and you weren't supposed to swim in those, Cleo was pretty sure, but not turning into a mermaid in the middle of the road was a lot more important than the rules about swimming in the canals.
They probably would have made it in time if Emma hadn't tripped.
There was a handrail along the bank that they had to climb over. Emma vaulted over it like she'd been track-and-field instead of a swimmer, and stopped to help Cleo when her bag snagged on one of the posts, and then she whirled back toward the canal and promptly caught her foot on a rock. Or something, Cleo didn't see, but she knew exactly how fast Emma went down because Emma was still holding onto the strap of Cleo's bag when it happened.
They both ended up flopped over in the grass, and Cleo was scrabbling up onto her elbows when she felt it happen—and when it was over, her bag was gone, along with her clothes. She'd have to remember to tell Lewis about that. Sometime when he wasn't busy with Charlotte, anyway—
"Quick!" Emma said, and grabbed Cleo's arm.
The grass was tall enough to mostly hide them, but only because there wasn't anybody very near by—it wasn't going to work for very long. Cleo tilted her head to glance at the slope down to the canal in front of them. "Emma—"
"We have to get down there before somebody sees," Emma hissed, and nodded sharply toward the other bank—of course, there was probably a road or something on that side, too, and even when they were partway down the slope, anybody over there would still be able to see them.
Cleo swallowed. "What if there's rocks?"
"Better bruised than dissected," Emma said, merciless. "Or else we might as well just call up Dr. Denman ourselves and invite her back—"
Cleo winced. "Okay, okay, fine!"
Their tails were wet—the tails were pretty much always wet, even if the water that had made them turn hadn't hit their legs—so it wasn't too hard to start themselves sliding through the grass. The slope was shallow at first, but then it got steeper. A lot steeper, and Cleo grabbed for Emma's hand when she felt herself start to skid.
Probably somebody heard them shout; but they went the last fifteen feet almost as fast as though they'd dived. It made Cleo think of that very first day, when she'd slipped and fallen down that hole on Mako—except that time she hadn't hit a canal full of water at the bottom. Or scraped her tail on the sand. The canal water made it sting—and if that meant she had a hole in her jeans once she dried off, that settled it: today was just the worst.
5. Stay away from people who've brought their dogs to the beach.
Bella liked walking by the ocean. She hadn't ever actually said so out loud, but she really wasn't all that subtle about it. Any time she wanted to talk, or needed time to think, or just didn't have anything else to do, she always wanted to go to the beach.
Which was fine, really. Rikki didn't mind. As long as they were careful, it wasn't a problem. And they were careful: they stayed high up the beach, well past the tide line, far enough to keep clear of any spray or anybody's dripping hair being flung around. Sometimes there were kids with water pistols, but these days Cleo was good enough with her power to redirect any stray blasts.
So mostly it was pretty safe for them to wander around on the beach while Bella talked about her feelings. Too bad it was so boring.
"Look, I just really think you need to talk to him," Cleo was saying—for about the fifth time, or at least that was what it felt like. Rikki tried not to roll her eyes too hard. Bella and Will had been wobbling around each other like wide-eyed baby deer for weeks. And Rikki still wasn't sure about Will, all right, but it was getting silly at this point. They needed to just—have an argument, or kiss, or get accidentally locked on a roof together. Anything that would make it so one of them had to actually say something.
Bella shrugged and looked away. She could be oddly shy about some things, for somebody who sang in the band at a café all the time. "I don't know," she said. "Maybe it's better if I just, you know, leave well enough alone." She darted a glance at Rikki.
Rikki threw up her hands. "Look, I want you to be careful, all right," she said. "If he finds out, we don't know how he'll react. I don't want anything bad to happen. But you obviously like him—"
"And it's not like Rikki ever listened to me and Emma when it came to her boyfriend," Cleo added, patting Bella on the shoulder.
Rikki glared; Cleo looked back at her, wide-eyed.
Bella had started giggling into her hand.
Rikki narrowed her eyes and stabbed a finger in Cleo's direction. "If I might remind you, whose boyfriend was it who left your DNA sample sitting out in the middle of a science lab—"
Barking interrupted her—actual barking, from a dog. Rikki turned around: there was some kind of longhaired Kelpie mix on the beach, sprinting up from the water with drips streaming from its ears and tail.
"No," Cleo murmured. "No, no, no—"
The dog bounded up to its owner, sandy paws flying—Rikki stumbled back a step, two, grabbing for Bella's wrist, but there was no way they were going to get out of the way in time—
The dog braced itself, tongue lolling, and shook.
They made it to the water in less than ten seconds, sprinting headlong into the waves and submerging while they were still fully human. The ocean was chilly against Rikki's legs—but when the legs were gone, it felt like it was exactly the right temperature, just like it always did when she was a mermaid. Handy, that.
A couple quick beats with the tail, and Rikki surfaced; Cleo was already there, and Bella came up a moment later, head tilted back to keep her wet hair out of her face.
"No!" Cleo said grumpily, smacking the water with the flat of her hand.
"What?" Bella said, eyes wide.
"My jacket," Cleo wailed.
"It'll be fine once we get out, Cleo, for crying out loud—"
"No, it'll be dry once we get out," Cleo corrected. "But it still got soaked when we went in. I hate it when we make it in less than ten seconds!"
Bella looked back and forth between them and then started to laugh, hunching away when Cleo flicked water at her for it. "Sorry, sorry," she said, but the fact that she was still grinning took some of the sincerity out of it. "Look, as long as we're out here, let's hang out for a bit—and then we can find someplace to dry off, maybe go get something to eat after. Okay?"
"Okay," Rikki agreed, and then they both turned to look at Cleo.
"Okay," Cleo said, already brightening a little; and then they clasped hands in a line, and dove together.
(And don't forget: your friends will always be there to help you out.)
Bella gripped the little gift box in both hands and hoped her palms weren't sweating too much.
Mr. Sertori had driven them all to the airport—he'd said it was because the gearshift on the Sertoris' car was tricky and he didn't want anything to go wrong, but Bella thought maybe it was because he still didn't really trust Cleo in heavy traffic. Fortunately, Cleo had been so thrilled that Emma was coming back that she hadn't cared. She and Rikki both—they'd dug out the silver lockets they used to wear, exclaiming over them and polishing them and then helping each other put them back on. They were still wearing their crystal necklaces, too, but all the same Bella's neck felt embarrassingly bare.
They'd told Bella a lot about Emma, read Bella her occasional texts and parts of her emails. Bella had even talked to her once, fifteen seconds on a staticky connection from somewhere in Peru. They'd said hi to each other, you're Bella, right? and I can't wait to meet you when you get back. Even Bella hadn't managed to mess that up.
But now Emma was—she was actually coming back, she was going to be right back here in person with her own silver locket. And it was stupid, it was so stupid, Rikki and Cleo hadn't said or done anything wrong, but Bella couldn't help feeling like they weren't going to need her after today. She'd just been—filling Emma's spot, keeping her seat warm; and Emma was going to step off that plane and come take it back, and there wasn't going to be a space for Bella anymore. She was the knock-off. Once Cleo and Rikki had the original back, what would they want with her?
Bella looked up: it was Cleo, hand outstretched, beckoning.
"Come on," Cleo added, and tilted her head. "International arrivals are all the way down at the end."
"Right," Bella said, and smiled, and hoped she wasn't going to throw up.
The Gilberts' plane was a little late getting in, which meant they had plenty of time to find the international arrivals gate. Cleo and Rikki clutched each other's hands and tried to remember all the places Emma'd said she'd been—the Philippines, Thailand, Hawaii, Japan—no, Japan first, Hawaii after—and Bella stood next to them and tried to remember to keep smiling.
"All right there?"
Bella blinked and turned. It was Mr. Sertori who'd spoken; he was standing a little behind Cleo, and looking at Bella with that kind-but-uncertain look he had, the one that said he'd asked sincerely but was still really hoping not to get a complicated answer.
"Fine, Mr. Sertori, fine," Bella said, and smiled at him extra hard for a second in case that would help it sound true.
He smiled back and patted her shoulder, brisk. "Good, good," he said; and then, a little hesitantly, added, "I'm sure you girls will get along just fine."
"There she is!" Cleo cried, jumping into the air and waving her arm, and Bella turned back around so fast it made something in her neck twinge.
Emma looked pretty much the way all the photos Cleo had shown Bella had made her look—a little more tan, maybe, and she'd cut her hair a bit, but that was all. It was weird knowing what she looked like so well without ever having actually met her before, like she was some kind of celebrity or something.
And she had to be tired, just off the plane and only barely through security, but she hardly looked it. She saw Cleo and beamed, hefting her carry-on higher on her shoulder and hurrying through the crowd in front of her. Those had to be her parents behind her—they looked tired, but they were still smiling, Mrs. Gilbert waving to Mr. Sertori.
If there was anything more awkward than standing next to people who were group-hugging, Bella didn't know what it was. She didn't know what to do—joining in would be weird, right? She didn't even know Emma, she hadn't been missing Emma for a year. But standing there like a statue wasn't much better. Should she say something? Did she need to—
Cleo finally let go of Emma's shoulders. "Oh, we missed you so much," Cleo said, clapping her hands together excitedly. "And there's so much we have to tell you! You missed graduation, you know—there was a wonderful party—"
"And you can tell me all about it after I've slept, Cleo," Emma said—her tone was scolding, but she was still smiling.
"Sleep is for boring people," Rikki said.
Emma swatted her in the shoulder, laughing and glaring at the same time; and then, as though there had been some kind of signal, they all turned and looked at Bella.
Bella swallowed and stepped forward. She's going to like you. You're going to like her. Don't mess this up! She held out the gift box and only barely managed not to shrug. "Here. It's—I mean, this is for you."
Emma smiled at her—not the same way she'd smiled at Cleo, but friendly enough. "You didn't have to—that's really lovely," she said, picking the ribbon loose, and then she picked up the lid and went quiet.
"It's not really—Will made it, I just thought maybe you'd like—"
"It's beautiful," Emma said, and she sounded like she meant it, which made it even weirder that she laughed.
Bella felt herself flush, uncertain; but then Emma reached around and unzipped one pocket of her carry-on.
"I was going to wait until I could get it fixed," she said, "but now it seems—sort of like fate or something." She turned back around, and Bella heard Cleo gasp.
"But Max only made three, didn't he?" Rikki said.
Bella reached out for the locket. It looked almost exactly the same as the other three, except a little more banged-up—and the setting was empty where the other three lockets had stones.
Emma shrugged. "I don't know," she said. "I found it in the marketplace in Peru—right after we got off the phone, actually. I was going to get it repaired when we got back here. But I guess this way's better: you can pick the color for the stone, if you want."
"Yes, I—yeah," Bella murmured, still staring at the locket; and then she got a grip and looked up. "Thank you. You didn't have to—thank you."
Emma smiled. "You're welcome," she said, and then laughed again. "Or, thank you yourself, I guess," she added, and looped the crystal necklace Bella had given her over her head.
"Perfect," Cleo declared, and grabbed both their hands. "We're a full set now!"
"Yeah, yeah, friends forever," Rikki said, rolling her eyes. "Now let's get over to the baggage claim before Emma's luggage gets stolen."