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“Get back, Tink.” My grip tightened on the daggers, and I prayed to God he listened as icy air rolled into the large meeting room, seeping over the floors.

Ren appeared at my side, thorn stake in hand. “This is not good.”

“No. It’s not.”

A roar that shook the walls filled my stomach with knots. A stuttered heartbeat later, they came through the doorway. Kalen cocked his arm, letting the dagger he held fly. It smacked into the chest of the first fae, taking it down, but then another and another came through the narrow opening, until dozens of fae were in the room with us. Most were not normal fae. Most were Ancients—Knights of the Prince.

“Crap,” I whispered, stamping down on the bite of fear.

We met them head-on.

Instinct took over as stakes whizzed through the air, some falling, clattering off the dusty floor, and others striking true. Screams and shouts mixed with the wet sound of tearing flesh and cracking bones. It was a whirl of mayhem, and I quickly lost sight of Tink in the crowd of fast-moving bodies.

Ren brought down the nearest fae, moving as fluid and graceful as a dancer. I whipped around, shoving my stake deep into the chest of a fae as Fabian began to glow like the sun. I caught sight of him stalking forward, lifting an arm. A fiery ball of light formed in his hand as Daniel squared off with a Knight.

I started toward them, cut off by a fae who charged me. I danced to the side, my booted foot slipping in something wet—blood. Straightening, I lifted my gaze and saw the female fae coming my way. She darted toward me, but didn’t engage. Then it clicked into place. She was keeping me from engaging. They weren’t trying to fight me. They knew I was the Halfling and that I . . . I needed to be alive, but if there was another halfling, I was disposable.

None of that mattered at the moment.

Rushing toward her, I caught her arm as she tried to sidestep me. She screamed as I twisted, spinning her around. Stabbing the dagger down into her chest, I jerked it back out as I let go of her. She was already folding into herself by the time she hit the floor.

The temperature dropped again and I spun toward the opening as a tall, slender woman stalked into the room. Breena. That fucking bitch was here. Every part of my brain clicked off as I prowled toward her. If anyone died today, it would be her. I swore to God and baby llamas everywhere, that bitch was going down.

Another Order member reached her first. It was Rob. He lifted his arm, but she was fast—wicked fast. Her hand flew out and went straight through the man’s chest.

My steps skidded to a halt as my mouth dropped open in horror. Wait. That didn’t make sense. That wasn’t possible.

Breena yanked her hand back, and it was a bloody mess. His heart—she held Rob’s heart. But Breena wasn’t an Ancient. She was just a normal fae. How was that—

My heart lurched into my throat as I saw the Prince. He walked through the door as Breena dropped the mangled organ. Fear and rage spiraled inside me as I stared at the Prince.

His gaze swept the room until those expressive lips curled into a smirk. He had found me.

Drake smiled. “Hello, Ivy. It’s been too long.”

My body turned to ice as a roar of red-hot rage erupted behind me. Ren. That was Ren causing the tiny hairs all over my body to raise.

Fabian whipped around, shock etched into the one word he spoke, in a language I didn’t understand.

The Prince’s shoulders tensed as his gaze snapped from mine to the Summer Prince. Some kind of emotion flickered over Drake’s face as he stared at the other Prince.

Dear God, they looked so much alike. Like they could be—

“No.” Fabian lowered his arm, and a bright glow faded from him as he stumbled—actually stumbled back a step. “No. My eyes are lying to me. It is not you. You’re dead.”

What in the hell was going on? What was Fabian talking about, and why were they staring at each other like that?

“Ivy! Ivy!” Tink flew near the ceiling, his wings moving frantically as he shrieked my name in a way that caused panic to explode within me. “She’s here! She’s—”

It happened so fast.

That bitch Breena’s head snapped around, her gaze following Tink’s flight. A flicker of surprise showed in her expression and she threw out her arms.

A shockwave rippled through the room. It caught me by the knees, lifting me up in the air and flipping me backward. There was a glimpse of Tink flying backward as I landed hard on my back. Icy fog poured into the room as I rolled onto my side. I’d lost one of my daggers.

That kind of power—it was not normal.

“Ren!” I shouted as I rose to my knees. “Ren—”

“Here,” he grunted, and from the thick white smoke, I saw his hand. His knuckles were bloodied as they wrapped around mine. Ren squeezed my hand and then let go.

A soft laugh carried through the fog—a laugh that sent a bolt of dread straight down my spine.

I stood slowly, breathing heavy as I clutched the one dagger I had left. The icy mist rolled back, revealing those who were still standing.

There weren’t many, but I saw Daniel and Miles standing near Kalen and Faye. I also saw Liz. I didn’t see Tink. My stomach plummeted.

But there was the Prince, his chest rising and falling sharply.

He wasn’t alone. Something rose like a wraith, tall and slender, and as the mist slipped away, I saw a crown of bone, and I knew what Breena was.

Ren groaned. “Oh, hell.”

Behind the Winter Prince stood a Queen smiling a blood-soaked smile.

Chapter 30

“Shit,” I whispered, rooted to where I stood.

Tink’s screeching warning made sense. A brownie would’ve seen Breena—seen through whatever facade she was wearing. He’d seen the Queen and tried to warn us.

But it was too late.

A damn Queen stood before us, and she looked like Breena, but not. Her hair was now a frosted silver, nearly reaching her waist. She wore Breena’s face, but her chin was sharper, her eyes wider and lips fuller. Her blue eyes were luminous against the color of molten silver.

And that crown . . .

It really looked like it was made of bone curved into a half circle and sharpened to rise into three single points, the middle the tallest.

She brushed her hand over Drake’s shoulder, drawing his gaze from the Summer Prince. “Focus, my love,” she murmured. “Focus.”

The Prince went still.

Flanked behind them were three Knights and two more fae. We’d taken down a lot, but not enough—not nearly enough with the Queen here.

Someone, some brave fool, rushed her, brandishing what appeared to be a thorn stake. An Elite member. She caught the man’s arm, and with a flick of her wrist, snapped the bone. The man screamed as she jerked him to her. She was like a cobra striking, burying her mouth in his throat. The man’s scream ended in a gurgle as blood spurted into the mist. She lifted her head and let the man go. He fell to the floor, throat torn out as she faced us.

“Holy fuck,” Miles gasped behind me.

Blood coursed down her chin as she tilted her head. “Surprise?”

I sucked in a breath. A knot of fear formed in my throat. Breena had been the Queen all along?

“The brownie?” she spoke. “Where is it?”

I had no idea where Tink was, but wherever he’d gone, I prayed it was far from here.

“You bitch,” Fabian growled. “You lying, traitorous bitch.”

“Careful,” she said, wiping the back of her hand across her mouth. “I do believe you’re the last of your court? Well . . .” She laughed as she glanced over to the still and silent Drake. She placed a hand on his chest. “The last who knows that he is.”

Fabian’s nostrils flared.

Wait. Was Drake—?

The Queen’s gaze flicked to me. “Look at you. I must say, the changes are an improvement. But not much.” Those icy eyes found Ren. “And you? You’re still as yummy as I remember.”

Potent fury swept through me. “You know what I remember? Gouging your eyes out.”

Her bloody smile spread. “Yes, I remember that too, and I do plan on repaying that favor very, very soon, but we still need you alive for the time being.”