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“You don’t know how I feel,” I shot back. “You have no freaking clue.”

She was quiet for a moment. “You’re right. Allowing you to die would’ve been easier. It would’ve definitely solved the problem with the Prince. At least, temporarily.”

My lip curled. “I thought you said all human life is valuable.”

“It is.” She walked over to the chair and sat down. “But what I made you do wasn’t natural. What you’ve become isn’t natural.”

I sucked in a sharp breath. “Well, that makes me feel so much better about everything.”

“I’m not trying to make you feel worse.”

“Then you should try harder,” I snapped.

Her shoulders tensed. “I know you’re upset. I get it. I sympathize with it, but what’s done is done. You’re alive.”

“At what cost?” I asked, stepping toward her. “You don’t even know what I am.”

Her gaze flickered over me. “I’m guessing the feedings while you were with the Prince and this last one triggered the part of you that’s fae, making it more dominant. That must be why you have more fae-like characteristics. Whatever fae genes you have in you now are simply stronger. I don’t know what that makes you, but you’re not completely fae. You’re still Ivy.”

Seeing my skin shimmer and having pointy ears didn’t make me feel like Ivy. “And this is something you knew would happen?”

“I’ve never seen it, but I knew it could. I wasn’t thinking about that at the moment. I was saving you, like Ren and Tink demanded.” She paused. “How are you feeling? Hungry?”

I ignored the question. “Where is Ren?”

Her lashes lowered. “He’s currently interrogating every fae in this building to see if they had anything to do with the attack. He’s not here with you because we wanted to make sure it was safe for him. Something that took an absurd amount of time to convince him of.”

Turning away, I thrust a hand through my greasy, nasty hair. “He . . .”

“He’s okay,” she said, a lot quieter. “And it doesn’t appear like you’ll attack him, so he’ll be here the minute I tell him it’s okay.”

I closed my eyes, sucking in a deep breath and holding it.

Faye was quiet for a moment. “I know you’re mad at him—at all of us, but he did it because he loves you.”

But would he still love me once he saw me? Once he realized I was turning more and more into a fae? Once he really thought about what he’d done, allowing me to feed off him like the bitch Breena had?


Exhaling, I opened my eyes. A knot of fear crept up my throat. “I’ve changed. That’s obvious. But you all don’t know how much. Like am I going to need to feed now?”

“No fae needs to feed to survive, Ivy. It’s a choice. You should live a normal lifespan, but you may be stronger than before. There may be other things that have changed. The thing is, we really don’t have a precedent for this. It’s not like there has ever been a huge population of halflings in the first place. I only know of one or two who’d fed on humans and those halflings had been in the Otherworld. We only have records of their existence. They changed, like you.”

I turned, facing her as one thing she said took center stage. “What other things?”

Faye glanced at the empty bed and then her pale gaze met mine. “Do you remember when I talked to you about being . . . addicted?”

Everything in me stilled. I’d planned on talking to her about that, but well, I kind of got stabbed to death. “Yes. I remember.”

“I hope you slept off the worst of it—the craving that comes after feeding, but it’ll linger for a while. You’ll have this need.”

I totally understood what she was saying, but acid poured into my stomach nonetheless. That need had been there before I’d fed off Ren.

“You’ll have to be careful,” she advised. “When you’re with Ren.”

She didn’t need to elaborate with where she was going with that. Folding my arms over my waist, I paced in a small circle. “You talk like glimmering skin and pointy ears aren’t a big deal.”

“To me, they aren’t.”

I shot her a dark look. “Well, no shit.”

“You can barely notice,” she added. “Things may seem overwhelming now, but it could’ve been worse.”

For a moment, I was dumbfounded. “Yeah, I could be dead, and maybe that was meant to happen.”

Shock splashed across Faye’s face. “You don’t mean that.”

Did I? I wasn’t so sure. It’s not like I had a death wish, but I . . . I just didn’t feel like me anymore and I had no control. Not over my life, my fate, my purpose, or even my body.

And I remembered that moment of disappointment when I came to out in the courtyard and realized I hadn’t died.

The knots in my stomach expanded. I picked up my pace. “I almost died in a fight I should’ve won. I was forced to feed on my boyfriend.” My voice rose a notch as I thought about what I’d done to him afterward, what we did. “And I woke up days later to find out that my actual body has changed. Not to mention, the fact that I was held against my will by a psychotic fae prince. Don’t act like what has happened to me is just a normal Tuesday. My entire world changed the moment I found out I was a halfling. Almost everything I knew up until that part was a fucking lie, but when I looked in the mirror, I still looked like me. I was still Ivy. When I look in the mirror now, I don’t recognize myself, and that isn’t just because of the physical stuff.”

Sympathy crept into her face, and that was possibly the worst thing to see. Taking a deep breath, I looked away and refocused. “How long do you think this whole wanting to suck people dry thing will last?”

Faye was quiet for a moment. “I don’t know. Maybe a few days. A couple of weeks.”

Weeks? Muscles in my shoulders tightened. I couldn’t deal with weeks. “Have you never fed?”


Stopping, I looked over my shoulder at her. “And Drake never noticed that? He didn’t think it was suspicious?”

She twisted toward me. “Drake never really paid attention to me. Breena and Valor usually kept him occupied when he wasn’t trying to convince you to come to the dark side.”

I frowned, thinking something about that didn’t sound right.

“I know you’ve been through a lot, Ivy, and finding the Crystal is the last thing on your mind, but I wanted to tell you that we are expecting the fae we were waiting for to arrive tomorrow. There was a delay in them getting here. They’ve had to be careful to not arise the suspicion of the Prince.” She rose, smoothing her hands on her denim jeans. “I hope you can join us.”

In other words, she meant she hoped I pulled my shit together long enough to be there. I nodded absently, my thoughts stuck on what Faye had just said.

How in the world did the Prince never realize she hadn’t fed around him? Wouldn’t someone on Team Dark Prince think that was suspicious?

Because I sure as hell thought the fact they hadn’t noticed was crazy suspicious.

Chapter 9

I guessed Faye deemed me not a risk, so I was allowed to leave the infirmary. She walked with me though the hotel, and I figured it wasn’t because she was worried I was going to start attacking fae. Faye was with me because I got my ass handed to me. She was like the bodyguard I didn’t want and shouldn’t need.

Luckily, she left me at the elevator, but my steps slowed as I walked toward the room I’d been sharing with Ren. My heart was tripping over itself as I stopped in front of the door. Was he inside? Trepidation filled me as I reached for the handle.

God, when did I become such a chicken shit? It was ridiculous. Taking a deep breath, I threw open the door and stepped inside the cool room.

The bed was made perfectly, but empty and quiet. It looked the way I’d left it, plain and neat.

I missed my apartment.

I missed me.

Exhaling roughly, I headed to the bathroom. Days’ worth of grossness had built up on my skin and hair, and I had to believe that once I showered, things would be clearer, they’d make more sense, and maybe—just maybe—I would feel like me, despite everything.