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I started forward, but I stopped. “I’m . . . I’m sorry about Dane.”

Faye closed her eyes.

Drawing in a deep breath, I started running. Up ahead was a truck, the kind that had running lights on top. I was careful to be quiet, but it was pointless. There was another car in-between us, one that looked like it had just arrived on the scene. There wasn’t even a part of me that hoped they were on Team Not Kill Us. I just knew better.

The doors opened up, and five climbed out. Five. Great. I didn’t see guns, so at least there was that. Fabian was suddenly behind me.

The odds starting looking a lot better.

A rush of adrenaline coiled tight as I shot forward, reaching the first Order member. She dove at me, but I shot under her arm, faster than she could track. I came up behind her, and I shut everything down inside me. I didn’t think about her being a human or that we used to be on the same side. I didn’t wonder if they’d still be fighting me if they knew how much the Order had lied. I had to for me to do this. I couldn’t think about the fact that I was pulling the trigger and shooting her right in the chest.

Swinging around, I caught another in the back with my boot, and he went down on one knee. I brought the dagger down, wrenching it back out when I hit the target.

Hearing pounding footsteps coming from behind me, I spun and jumped to the side, narrowly missing a dagger to the chest. I started to twist, but the man’s neck snapped to the side. He fell, revealing Fabian.

“Thanks,” I gasped.

“I owed you.”

Fabian made quick work of the remaining members, clearing a path for me to make it to where I hoped Ren was still standing. I neared the grill of the truck when a form stepped out. I lifted the gun, prepared to blow a hole straight through whoever it was.

Kalen lifted his hands. “It’s me—just me.”

“Crap.” I lowered the gun. “I could’ve shot you. Where’s Ren?”

The fae jerked his head. “He’s got one of them.”

Apparently, Ren was the only one who had the intelligence to leave one of them alive. I followed Kalen around the side of the truck, keeping an eye out for other Order members.

I saw Ren and wanted to tackle him out of relief. I managed not to do that, mainly because he had a gun pointed at someone, and I figured a tackle-hug wouldn’t help the situation at the moment.

“Now that Ivy’s joining us, I’m hoping you’re going to change your mind and start talking.” Ren’s voice was as hard as granite. “She’s got way less patience than I do.”

I smirked as I reached his side. My gaze followed to where the gun pointed, and I had to look down because Ren had whoever it was on their knees. I gasped as I recognized the dark-haired man.

Every muscle in my body locked up as I stared down at the man who’d killed Ren’s best friend. The man who oversaw the Elite and had come to New Orleans to hunt me down.

Kyle Clare.

Chapter 23

Kyle didn’t change his mind. Not that I was entirely surprised. As Order members, we were practically bred to keep our mouths shut if we were captured by the enemy.

And to Kyle, we were the enemy.

So, we were going to have to make him talk, like we had with Marlon, and that wasn’t exactly something I was looking forward to. Even if Kyle was a giant prick who needed a healthy dose of karma.

Since it was only a matter of time before our little showdown along the interstate would be seen by some unsuspecting person with terrible luck, we had to get off the road and someplace safe where we could question Kyle and find out how they knew we’d been heading to San Diego.

Who was left of our group piled into the SUV, including a tied up and gagged Kyle. We made it to some creepy-ass roadside motel where I normally wouldn’t even think twice about staying, but they had vacancies and looked like the type of place that was used to hearing screams in the middle of the night.

We paid cash for three rooms and stuck Kyle in the middle one, gagged and bound to one of those uncomfortable desk chairs. It was just Ren and I in the room with him. We figured having any of the fae there wouldn’t entice him to play nice.

Besides, Kalen was out there somewhere dumping our damaged vehicles and getting us new rides, and Faye was resting so her arm would heal. I guessed Kalen was going to glamour someone into handing over their keys, and I really didn’t have the brain space to decide if that was right or wrong.

Ren stood directly in front of him, arms folded over his chest. “I’m about to remove that gag and I’m hoping you’re smart enough to not make a lot of noise.”

Kyle glared up at Ren, and I had no idea if he was going to be smart enough or not.

“We want to talk to you and we need you to listen,” Ren said, stepping closer. “We’re on the same side.”

A moment passed and then Kyle nodded. Ren removed the gag, and the first thing out of the older man’s mouth was, “We aren’t on the same side, boy. We stopped being on the same side the moment you realized what she was and you didn’t put her down.”

I arched a brow. “This is going to be a lovely conversation.”

Kyle’s dark gaze shot to me. “Should’ve listened to my gut the first time I met you. Hearing stories of you fighting the Prince and surviving? Bullshit.”

“Contrary to what you believe, I did fight the Prince and I did survive. Not only that, I was then kidnapped against my will, and I still survived.” I held his gaze. “I didn’t know I was the Halfling.”

He sneered. “Like that matters.”

“I guess it doesn’t,” I mused, “because I’m sure you put down a lot of halflings in your day, people who had no idea what they were or why you were killing them.”

“Why don’t you ask him how many he killed before he met you?”

Ren stiffened in front of me.

“He didn’t have the balls to take out Noah. Or you, apparently.” Kyle smiled. “But he’s killed—”

“Shut up,” I spat.

“Thought you wanted me to talk?” He leaned forward as far as the rope Ren found God knows where would let him. “How does it make you feel knowing that the very reason he came to New Orleans was to put a bullet between the eyes of the Halfling—to kill you. But I guess you’ve got a golden pussy, because—”

Ren moved so fast I barely saw his fist connect with Kyle’s face, knocking his head back and the chair up on two legs. Ren’s jaw was so hard it could crack stone as he stood there, staring down at Kyle.

I stepped forward. “Just so you know, I like the idea of my vagina being golden. That’s not an insult.”

“Yeah, you wouldn’t.” Kyle spit out a mouthful of blood. “The lighting is shit in here, but I see you.”

I had a feeling I knew what he meant and I realized I didn’t care. It hit me like a speeding train, but it was what it was. I knew I looked different. I knew what it meant, and I didn’t care. “I don’t give a shit what you see.”

“How? How did you hide what you really looked like?” he demanded. “Because I know damn well if Daniel saw you for what you really are, he still wouldn’t be defending you.”

My head cocked to the side as Ren glanced back at me. “Daniel is defending me?”

For a moment, I didn’t think Kyle was going to answer. “He didn’t want to believe you betrayed the Order. Obviously, he was wrong.”

“I didn’t betray the Order.” I paused. Daniel still believing in me was surprisingly great news. My lips pursed. “Well, killing those Order members who attacked us probably ranks up there in the betrayal department, but we were defending ourselves.”

Kyle stared at me. His left eye was swelling, an injury I guessed had occurred out by the cars. “You look like a goddamn fae. You’re disgusting.”

Striking like lightning once more, Ren’s fist connected with Kyle’s stomach. The contact echoed throughout the room. He caught Kyle by the shoulder, stopping the chair from toppling backward. “I think you meant to say she’s beautiful, but I understand. Words were never your forte.”

“Doing your duty was never yours.” Kyle looked up at Ren and laughed. “Now was it?”