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“What?” he exclaimed.

I looked at Ren, unsure if his reaction was genuine. That was when Ren spoke up. “You didn’t know about that, Daniel?”

“Well, hello, Mr. Owens. Glad to know I’m on a speaker. Anyone else there that wants to say hi?”

“No one else is with us right now,” I stressed that last part. “But we didn’t come alone. We came with backup.”

“For what?”

“To take out the Prince, what the hell else?”

“Girl, you and that tone. Watch it,” Daniel warned.

For some reason, the scolding made me grin, because it was so . . . so Daniel. “Sorry.”

There was a heavy sigh on the other end. “I didn’t know about the Arizona thing. I’m guessing that was Kyle. And I’m guessing that’s why I haven’t heard from him.”

I could feel Ren’s stare on me. “We want to meet and talk.”

“Why should I think this isn’t a trap on your end?”

“Because if I was working for the Prince, I wouldn’t be worried about trapping the Order. I’d be pregnant and staying as far away from you people as possible.”

“You people?” He barked out a laugh. “Thought you were one of us?”

“I will always be a part of the Order, but I figured after everything, that wasn’t an option anymore,” I admitted. “We’re on the same side, Daniel. It doesn’t matter that I’m a halfling. That, I swear.”

Daniel was quiet for so long that I started to worry that he’d hung up, but then he said, “Fine. We’ll meet at eleven tonight, down in the Gaslamp Quarter, across from the Convention Center. I’ll be by the sign.”

He hung up then, and I stared at the phone for several seconds before I spoke. “Well, I guess that went okay?”

The house in Del Mar wasn’t really a house.

It was a freaking mansion—a sandstone, palatial mansion that sat on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, smack dab in the Torrey Pines State Reserve.

I’d never seen anything like it. Ever.

“Why don’t we live in something like this?” Tink asked, lugging his suitcase up the wide steps.

Before I could answer, Fabian was by Tink’s side. “Where I live, it would put this place to shame.”

Tink’s eyes widened. “Do you have Amazon Prime?”

“Of course.” Fabian smiled.

Tink looked over at me. “I’m moving.”

“Uh-huh,” I murmured, way too distracted by the house and the upcoming meeting.

Faye was up ahead, opening the double doors. The inside was just as stunning. A large atrium and an elegant spiral staircase greeted us.

“I’m calling dibs on the bedroom!” Tink raced past us, carrying his luggage against his chest. His Wonder Woman backpack thumped off his side.

“Is he always like that?” Fabian asked, staring up at where Tink was already disappearing down the hall.

Kalen snorted as he walked by with his black duffel bag in hand. It was the first noise he’d made since we’d gotten in the car.

“Pretty much,” I said to the Summer Prince.

“I like it.” He tilted his head to the side. “His thirst for life is . . . infectious.”

“You call it a thirst for life, I call it a hyperactivity disorder.” Ren stepped in, carrying our bags.

Fabian lifted a shoulder in response.

I eyed him closely. “Are you into Tink—like, really into him?”

The Summer Prince twisted at the waist, facing me. “If you are worried that I will somehow harm or hurt him, you have nothing to fear.”

That wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for. “Tink is like a brother to me—a really weird, often annoying, brother. I know you said you won’t hurt him, but if you do, I will find a way to end you. And it won’t be pleasant.”

Fabian grinned. “Oddly, I am starting to like you.”

I frowned, thinking that was a weird response. “All righty then.”

Ren was smiling when I turned to him. I had no idea what to say about Fabian, who was climbing the staircase, in search of a room or Tink or both.

Walking over to us, Faye worked a key off the ring and handed it over to me. “You have a few hours before you have to leave for your meeting.”

Ren nodded. “I need a shower and a power nap.”

“I still don’t like the idea of you guys going there by yourselves,” Faye said, crossing her arms. “I don’t like it at all.”

“We’re not going by ourselves,” I reminded her. “You and Kalen are going to come, but you’re not going to be seen.”

Ren and I were not foolish enough to go without any backup. Just like I knew Daniel wouldn’t.

“I know, but not being seen means we may not have a lot of time to react,” she argued.

Kalen joined us, his eyes shadowed. “If any Order member even looks at you two in a way I don’t like, they’re done for.”

“Well, Daniel is probably going to look at me in a way you don’t like. He looks at everyone in a bad kind of way,” I explained. “I really don’t think Daniel is going to do anything.”

At least, I hoped not.

“He better not,” Kalen said.

Maybe Kalen should stay behind, but he’d pivoted around and stalked off, disappearing into the massive house.

“You think he’s going to be okay with this?” Ren asked, thinking along the same lines as me. “This is going to be risky enough without either side jumping the gun.”

Faye sighed as she pushed her hair back from her face. “He will be.”

“He was really close to Dane, wasn’t he?” I asked.

She nodded. “He was, but we . . . we all knew what we were signing up for when we left.” She lifted her chin, but her lower lip trembled. “There is no greater honor than dying for what is right, for the Summer Court, and for mankind.” Her voice cracked a little. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”

“Yeah,” I whispered, wishing there was more I could say.

Ren nudged me with his arm. “Let’s go find a room.”

That’s what we did, and it was a nice room at the end of the hall on the second floor. One whole wall was glass and faced the ocean. In an hour, the sun would set over the ocean, and I . . . I wanted to see that.

I needed to see that.

“Wow.” Ren dropped our bags on the bench in front of the bed. “This room is insane—the house is insane.”

“It is.” My gaze got snagged on the huge king size bed. “Do you think Tanner knows who lives here?”

“I would have to think so. I mean, renting a place like this would cost a fortune.” Ren eyed the huge TV mounted directly across from the bed. “Did Fabian say he had a place like this? I might try to move in with him, too.”

“Shut up.” I actually missed my apartment. Tink had told me the rent had been paid, so my place was still there. Thank God.

“I’m going to hop in the shower.” Ren grinned. “Want to join me?”

I’d love nothing more than to do that, but my head was in way too many places. “I think I’m going to check out the beach.”

One side of his lips kicked up. “I’ll miss you.”

I laughed. “Well, at least I won’t be hogging all the water.”

“True.” He extended a hand toward me. “Come here for a sec.”

I went to him, putting my hand into his. He pulled me to his chest, folding his arms around me as he held me tight to his chest. Ren didn’t say anything as he tilted his head down and I lifted mine up. He didn’t need to. Everything he felt was in that kiss, and it was probably a good thing that I wasn’t joining him for the shower, because he would definitely not be getting any rest afterward.

“I won’t be long,” I promised him.

He brushed his lips over my forehead. “Be careful.”


Leaving the room, I backtracked my way downstairs and managed to find the back door that led out onto a veranda . . . that led to a massive pool. Like bigger than the one at Hotel Good Fae.