"What's your deal?" Rikki teased Bella.
"What deal? I don't have a deal."
"Admit it. You're jealous."
"Alright. What are you talking about," Bella said, sitting down in the booth.
"That new mermaid girl. Clara, is it."
"Rikki, I'm not jealous. I don't even know her."
"You're jealous because she's staying at your boyfriend's boat house. It's all over your face."
"Well, what about you and Zane."
"What about me and Zane?" Rikki said, in a serious tone. "Don't try to change the subject."
"Alright. I am a little jealous."
"See. I knew it."
"But, I know I shouldn't be."
Emma Gilbert walked through the diner, checking the place out. It had totally changed from the last time she was here. Rikki saw her and had to look twice to see if it was really her.
"Emma?" Rikki said, excitedly.
"Rikki!" Emma said, her arms open.
They hugged each other. "You're back? How was your trip around the world?"
"Peaceful," Emma said, looking around. "What happened to this place... and.... why is your name on the sign outside?"
Rikki laughed. "I'll tell you all about it later. There's some people you should meet." Rikki brought Emma over to the booth where Bella was sitting. "Emma, meet Bella. She's one of us."
Emma bucked her eyes at Rikki.
"One of us? You mean..."
"Yes," Bella stood up. "I'm a mermaid," she whispered to Emma. "I became one when I swam in a sea cave, in Ireland, when I was little. I've been a mermaid since I was 8."
"Interesting," Emma said. "Good to know Mako Island isn't the only place on earth that makes mermaids."
"Emma made a joke," Rikki said.
"Huh. Oh," Bella said, then she laughed.
"So, are you still goody two shoe Emma, or did your long vacay open you to knew experiences?"
"I'm still the same old girl, Rikki. Nothing's changed," Emma said, proudly. "Where's Cleo, and Lewis?"
"Oh. They're around here somewhere," Rikki said, looking around the diner. She saw Zane, who gave her a warm smile.
"Well, it's nice that some things stay the same. I see Zane is still hanging around," Emma said.
"Before you start throwing out the insults and talking about how horrible Zane is, you might want to know that he and I are dating."
"Again?" Emma asked. "Rikki, people are to learn from their mistakes."
"I don't see Zane as a mistake," she said.
"Rikki," Emma whined. Then, the jewel around Rikki's next caught her eye. "What's that?"
"Oh this?" Rikki cupped the dark sapphire jewel in her fist. "It's from Mako Island."
Emma saw that Bella had one too. "Cleo also has one," Rikki said.
"They're pretty," Emma said. Emma was still wearing the locket that Mrs. Chatham gave her, the locket that Rikki and Cleo also got as a symbol of their friendship.
"We can get you one if you want that," Bella said.
"No, that's okay," Emma said. Zane saw Rikki and Bella talking to Emma and he rushed over and threw one arm around Emma.
"Well, look who's back," he said.
"Hi, Zane," Emma said.
"How was your family trip?"
"It was amazing."
"Did you bring back any souvenirs for me?"
"No, Zane. I didn't. Sadly, I didn't think about you, not once," Emma said.
"Do you like what I've to the Juice Net? Rikki and I own it, now," he said.
"You what? How?"
"I'm smart, a business man," he said.
"Typical. You're still throwing your dad's money around to get what you want."
"Hey. I rebuilt this place all on my own," Zane said.
"Guys, don't do this here," Rikki said. "He's telling the truth. The Juice Net was going under. Zane brought it back to life."
"With a live band and everything," Zane added.
"That Bella sings in," Rikki added.
"Well. Looks like I misjudged you, Zane," Emma said.
"I accept your apology," Zane said. He pecked Rikki on the cheek with a kiss and returned behind the bar.
"Some taste you've got," Emma said. Rikki turned away. "Wait," Emma said. "I'm sorry. That was uncalled for. Forgive me?"
A smiled turned up on Rikki's face. "How can I not," she said. Emma hugged her.
"Is there anything else I should know about?" Emma asked. Bella and Rikki looked at each other. "Guys?"
"There's another mermaid here," Rikki said.
"Her name's Clara. We only just met her yesterday," Rikki said.
"She's staying at Will's place," Bella rolled her eyes.
Oh," Emma said.
Cleo and Lewis walked into the diner and the first thing they saw was Emma.
"Emma!" Cleo said. They quickly hugged. "We've missed you."
"And I've missed you guys. How's things?"
"Great," Lewis said. "A lot's changed."
"It has. I'm feeling a little out of place now. Nothing's how I remembered it."
"Don't worry. The new feel of things will grow on you eventually," Lewis said.
"It's a lot to take in. I can't believe that Zane owns this place," Emma said.
"We've got to give Zane some credit. He's a jerk, but he's a smart jerk," said Lewis.
"Maybe, we should cut him some slack. He is trying to change," said Cleo, feeling sorry for Rikki.
"Only time will tell," Emma said.
"Right," said Cleo.