Ricky took the bottle off the cluttered shelf and held it to the light.
“That’ll never do,” Nevin said.
“Why not?” He started to rub off the dust so he could get a better look at the antique silver, but thought better of it. Indiscriminately rubbing lamps and bottles was how he ended up managing a paranormal rock band in the first place. “I’m sure it’s pretty underneath the tarnish.”
“But it’s not strong enough to survive a high-velocity auto accident,” Nevin pointed out. “You know how afraid she is of crashes.”
Ricky put the bottle back on the shelf. For an immortal, Kalila was picky. “This one looks stronger.” He reached for a wrought-iron bottle with decorative inlaid bands of greening copper. “A little polish will fix this right up.”
Nevin shook his head. “Too similar to the one she bought at a market in Vienna in 1832. She became trapped and languished in it for fifteen years. It will bring back bad memories.”
“Fine.” He stepped back and looked at the shelf again. Most of the bottles were glass, ceramic, or of some other breakable material, and the sturdier ones were, for the most part, unattractive. A replacement for Kalila’s missing travel bottle had to be superlative. It had to be strong, roomy, and, if Ricky was any judge of the djinn’s tastes, gaudy. If it didn’t dazzle to blind the beholder and eclipse the sun, she wasn’t interested.
“Are you sure you can’t track her bottle somehow? Or conjure a new one? What’s the point of you being a fairy if you can’t do things like that?” Ricky said.
Nevin gave him a baleful look. “Just because immortals have different abilities doesn’t mean we aren’t subject to rules of our own.” He returned to pondering their choices. “A magically conjured bottle wouldn't suit. Trust me.”
Ricky took out his BlackBerry. “There are five more antique shops within a three block radius.”
“Oh, good.” Nevin brightened. “Perhaps we’ll find something before tonight’s gig, after all.”
“I hope so,” Ricky said, pocketing the BlackBerry and heading toward the door. “Because when she finds out we lost her travel bottle, she’s going to be pissed.”
“Another djinn temper tantrum,” Nevin sighed.
“Yes,” Ricky said, remembering the last one with a shudder. “We’ll find something before tonight. Even if I have to figure out how to make one myself.”